Haydock Park, Peter Marsh Chase Day, Saturday 22nd January 2022

Royale Glory In Marsh

Top weight of 11st 10lb proved to be no problem whatsoever for Royale Pagaille as he dug in to land back to back Peter Marsh Chases under Charlie Deutsch for trainer Venetia Williams to land a third course win at Haydock on what was a stellar afternoon for the winter game.

In a race full of Haydock specialists they did go a fair clip as would be expected for a race of this nature but under a patient waiting ride in ground that eased to soft throughout the day he picked his rivals off before sharing the lead at the final ditch from where he battled on and fot the better over Sam Brown by half a length in a race that really got at the heart strings.

The husband of winning owner Susan Ricci, Rich Ricci was very jovial in the winners enclosure and shared his delight with everyone showing his appreciation which went down nicely with the racegoers who surrounded the place after the race was over.

A visit to the Cheltenham Gold Cup again is highly likely and while he does have a bit to find from last year’s run where he finished lame it is possible that in a wide open year he would have as good a chance as any.

Oscar Performance For Tommy

Trophy success in Newcastle has been severely limited in recent years but for trainer Ann Hamilton and her husband Ian they could well be offered a chance to have a trophy parade at St James’s Park as Tommy’s Oscar became best gelding in a leading role as he breezed home in the G2 Champion Hurdle Trial.

In thriving form this season he was making this four wins on the bounce coming clear from the rest of the field under Danny McMenamin who timed his ride perfectly as he landed a big Saturday wih for himself and trainer Ann Hamilton.

Taking this off 156 he is almost certain to head straight to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle and despite the attentions of super mare Honeysuckle the Hamilton’s have nothing to lose by having a go.

JonBon Keeps The Faith

Odds on favorite JonBon gave punters a bad name amongst the bookies as the 2/5f easily obliged in workmanlike fashion to land the G2 Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle.

Up against some decent sorts in what looked a tight race on paper he travelled and jumped pretty well although he did have to be shaken up by Aidan Coleman when getting to the business end to land the spoils for trainer Nicky Henderson who no doubt was probably more relieved than anything as he continues his learning over timber on what was a big day for the trainer as Shishkin’s race at Ascot was still two very long hours  away.

He will head to the Supreme in what looks a hot race and the potential to be the best race of the whole Festival but he looks like he needs a bit further so it would be no surprise if he went up in trip either at Cheltenham or Aintree.

No Drama For Minella

It seems it isn’t a Haydock meeting without a Donald McCain winner and this afternoon proved just that as Minella Drama took the opening G2 Altcar Novices’ Chase in the style of an improving type.

Jumping well and kept right on the hare rail throughout under Brian Hughes he showed his appreciation for the step up in trip, last sighted when down the field in a big G1 Novice Chase at Sandown last month he foynd this company more to his liking and is making into a nice chaser.

He holds an entry in the 2m4f Novice Chase at Cheltenham but it would be no shock if he bypassed that in favour for a crack at the two big 2m4f Novice Chases at Ayr or Aintree instead, he will get three miles in time.

Sadly in the race Clondaw Castle took a fatal fall down the back straight,  Condolences to her owners and all connections at Ruth Jefferson’s.

Haydock Park, Thursday 30th December 2021, The Last Fling Chase Day.

Lion Feels The Love.

As the burning embers of the racing year slowly began to wilt they were suddenly ignited as Blaklion made it two wins on the bounce as he made the very damp crowd who turned out on a wet Thursday afternoon break into a huge cheer as the twelve year old turned the 3m4f Last Fling Chase into a procession.

Already a winner here over 3m1f in a golden oldies race he faced what was probably a slightly weaker field and the 5lb rise was never going to stop him as he had plenty waving the white flag in the last mile or so to come home by a huge 28 lenght margin with The Two Amigos and Beware The Bear the only other ones to complete.

Having not won since 2017 in a period which saw him switch stables from Nigel Twiston-Davies to Philip Kirkby and then on the move again to Dan Skelton, he is now back to his best and while he isn’t getting and younger as we all are, he is on thriving form, his owner Darren Yates has Aintree dreams once again where he was 5th last year, it’s just possible Haydock will feature on his build up for it so expect entries in the Peter Marsh and Grand National Trial both here in January and February.


Jungle Rumbles In The Mud

Donald McCain ended the year at Haydock with a couple of good winners on the day.

Jungle Jack made it two from two over timber as he won the 2m NH Novice Hurdle, following up from his Sedgefield win he had to dig in giving weight away to a few potential improvers and he is going the right way, one to keep an eye on for sure.

The other McCain winner came in the conclding bumper run in almost darkness as Forpaddytheplumber arrived on time to land the lucky last.

Placed in two Irish points he cost £26,000 and should have a decent career ahead of him and should make into a fair novice hurdler next season.

Extra Strong Mint

Jennie Candlish is always good at placing her horses well and she has a very good one in Mint Condition who went in nicely on his handicap debut and only his second start over fences as he took the 2m6f Novice Handicap Chase where he overpowered Ashtown Lad on the run in.

After an eye catching first race over fences here last time out over a furlong shorter he dug in after the last and stuck to the task nicely, a three time hurdle winner at Bangor and Wetherby last season he is going the right way as a chaser and looks to have more to offer.