N’Golo Scores In Swinton
The white rose was being firmly paraded around Haydock Park on Saturday on a stellar afternoon for the neighbours on the other side of the M62 as Ann Duffield and Gavin Sheehan teamed up to land the first big race of the new jumps season with N’Golo as the dashing grey formerly trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins bagged the Grade 3 Swinton Hurdle in supreme style.
In a fair renewal of this historic handicap the winner was always well to the fore and on the run in was always in command of victory, he has taken a bit of time to find his feet in British races and while he struggled at the top table in Ireland he should be able to do a bit more depending where he goes now as he also has a flat rating of 78 which could be exploited in middle distance races.
Severance ran an honest race back in second but just always seems to find one to good in his races, the wind surgery seems to have worked the oracle with him and could be one to keep onside next season.
Aldaary Blooms In Spring
On the flat the feature contest came straight after in the Listed Spring Trophy over seven furlongs which saw a fine seasonal reappearance by the William Haggas trained Aldaary who easily brushed aside a fair looking field with utter contempt under Jim Crowley.
He finished off his 2021 campaign at Ascot on Champions Day when he landed the Balmoral Handicap and now looks set for an even bigger jump up in company, he should be Royal Ascot bound but after the way he win here it would be no shock if a return trip for the John O’Gaunt Stakes in a fortnight would be on the cards.
Romeo On The Run
Sue Smith runners are always to be feared at Haydock even in spring as opposed to the depths of winter that regular visitors here are used to experiencing and today proved to be no exception as Romeo Brown jumped out to make all up in the longest race of the afternoon the three mile handicap hurdle.
In a very competitive race on paper this 8yo under his conditional rider Thimas Willmott who claimed 3lbs, made every post a winning one, he turned on the screw as they came into the home straight and simply could not be caught although Panic Attack from the Pipe yard stayed on itno second spot she simply could not reduce the defecit even on the long run in.
This was actually the first time Romeo Brown had finished a race here at Haydock, he ran twice here in December 2019 and fell both times and thankfully that memory is now a world away.
Brad Bags Sprint
Hugo Palmer continued his solid start from his new Cheshire base after being signed by Michael Owen to run Manor House Stables as Brad The Brief under David Egan took the 6f Conditions Stakes.
Already a previous course winner in 2020 when Haydock raced in lockdown he has been consistent enough and although he does struggle in higher grade races, he is at home in races like this and at Listed/G3 level.
Hard to know what future targets will be but possibilities could include visits to Ireland and France as the season progresses.
A fine day of mixed racing where the flat and jumping worlds come together for an afternoon of racing from 6f to 3m and other trips in between
This meeting is the only one left in the UK at the moment and while it’s a shame that the sport doesn’t have more compared to France and Ireland it is nice to experience the variety that they can offer.