Haydock Park, Saturday 23rd April 2022, Flat Season Opener

Boardman Cycles To Glory

The 6yo Boardman had to overcome a few traffic problems in running to land the feature Great Shevington Handicap under David Allan for Tim Ewsterby yesterday on an afternoon which heralded the return of flat racing to the north west.

Not ideally drawn in stall eight of the ten starters meant he was held up as they went round the turn before being angled out as they got to the flamme rouge from where he hit top stride to get up on the line to beat Alrehb his fellow market leader who was always up with the pace but got beat by the better horse on the day.

Going in off 90 means he’ll probably face a step up into pattern company and being a dual Haydock winner he could be back as many have done over the years here to have a crack at the Spring Trophy.

Doyle At The Double

Visually the most impressive performance of the afternoon came in the 3yo Novice race for fillies over a mile as Hollie Doyle bagged the first of her two winners on Nashwa from the Gosden yard.

Just the one start last October at Newmarket over 7f she was very well fancied in this race and drew away very comfortably to break her duck at the second time of asking, she has a nice look about her and holding an Oaks entry at Epsom and the French one at Chantilly means that the connections rate her highly indeed, she will easily get 10f going off this so it’ll be very interesting to see where she goes for her next run.

Nashwa

Her second winner of the afternoon came up in the Lathom Handicap over a mile as she partnered Excel Power home in a bold display of front running from the inside draw to the delight of the bookies as he landed the pot at 20-1.

He finished off last season winning on the sand at Chelmsford at the same price under the same jockey and should continue to pay his way once more as the season progresses, the horse and jockey combination continue to flourish as of his five wins Hollie has been in the saddle for four of them, it’s possible the handicapper might have his say after this though.

Excel Power

Comedy Has Last Laugh.

Lastly the toughest performance of the day came in the opening contest as Charlie Appleby continues his good run of things as New Comedy dug in under James Doyle to make it two wins from two starts this year.

Unraced as a two year old this already gelded son of Sea The Stars won on his course debut at Southwell back in January and had a real battle against Duty Bound who was one of two Gosden runners in the field in the last furlong but the Godolphin favourite just got up on the line in a real head bobber of a finish.

He shapes more like a stayer going off how he won this afternoon and has plenty of fight in him when taken on, like many who win a maiden or novice race it’s hard to know what his ceiling will be but you would imagine it could be a high rise building as opposed to a bungalow!

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