Haydock Park, Saturday 7th August 2022, Rose Of Lancaster Stakes Day

Fox Power To Lancaster Glory

Just like the 2015-16 Premier League season which saw Leicester City crowned Champions, trainer Andrew Balding continued his assault on the top of trainers title with Foxes Tales topping up the prize money by adding £36648 to the coffers with a hard fought win in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.

Run on what became heavy ground as were almost all races due to persistent rain showers Foxes Tales has had a steady season winning a maiden at Newbury and a handicap at Royal Ascot, he was one of first off the bridal under Silvestre De Sousa but kept finding for pressure and the 3yo just held on from the strong finishing Fancy Man by three parts of a length.

Foxes Tales is one of those likeable types and has been brought along nicely by his trainer, still with more to offer he could end up Ascot bound in October and given the likely conditions they’ve had over the years on Champions Day where he would have a good chance as any but should stay in training next year as he looks the sort to make a high quality middle distance 4yo.

Fancy Man back in second ran a far better race than he has all season and travelled well before being asked, he looked to stay 1m2f and might even get furthern in time.

Waliyak In Hern Romp

Waliyak took full advantage of the decimated field for the Listed Dick Hern Stakes to easily land the spoils and justify favouritism for the Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell combination.

Rated 98 she was fully entitled to win this race and unlike at Royal Ascot where she was giving weight away to Lola Showgirl, both faced off on levels and Waliyak relished the soft conditions she gained some valuable black type and no doubt the Varian yard will be perusing the race book to seek some more out to add to her eventual paddock value, the Superior Mile here on Sprint Cup day would be a reasonable target unless the cards at York or Goodwood towards the middle and end of August have something more suitable.

This race was depleted with six of the originally declared runners being taken out on account of the ground but take nothing from the winner, she could only beat what turned up and that did include a Royal Ascot winner too.

McCain Flat Raid

Songstress Rihanna might not be short of a few bob but this afternoon if she’d have opened a stall at the back of the Makerfield Stand selling brollies shouting out “By my Umbrella ella ella” as she did in her 2007 hit single “Umbrella” (Many were certainly needed here!) then she could have easily had a few quid on Russco and cheer home the Donald McCain trained horse under her daughter Ella with chants of “Come On Ella,Ella,Ella” who landed one of the 7f handicaps that book ended the card.

Having landed his two previous races over 7f down the M6 at Wolverhampton it’s clear this step up in trip has brought out the best in Russco who landed this off a recent 7lb rise to 70, the handicapper hasn’t quite got to him yet and he’s a nice fun horse for his owners.

This was also Ella McCain’s third win from fifteen rides at Haydock and with some real high quality northern handicaps coming up in August and September hopefully many trainers will use her current 5lb claim.

Elsewhere on the card the popular Middleham Park Owners were heard in fine voice as Cold Stare bounced back to form in the 3yo+ handicap over 7f, what looked a competitive race on paper turned out to be just that as he managed to hold on from the fast finishing Edgewood back in second.

He was winning here on 85 which was 4lbs off his last winning mark of 89 back at Goodwood last year and has won one race each season since his racing career began back in 2017 so now it is time to avoid him until next year unless he defies his current trend and goes in again before the season is done with.

So not the best weather for summer flat racing although Foxes Tales is certainly one to keep on side, Andrew Balding is having a real go at what looks a wide open champion trainers title and wuth the top six past the £2,000,000 mark it should make for a pulsating run upto Champions Day in October

Next up we go on our travels as Nunthorpe Day at York will be the first post lockdown awayday, till then it’s goodbye.

Haydock Park,Saturday 13th May 2017,Pertemps Swinton Hurdle & Spring Trophy Stakes Day

The annual yearly convention in the UK when the tweed and flat cap world meet up with the suit and trilby one for the only mixed meeting in the country, Four races over the jumps with four flat ones made for an exciting afternoon with a mix of close up finishes and long stretched out ones too. 

(L-R) Philip Hobbs,Dan Skelton,Paul Nicholls

Feature race of the day was the Grade Three Swinton Hurdle over 2m and Evan Williams continued his top quality record in this race with his third win if five years as John Constable was an absolute picture as he bolted in by fourteen lengths ahead of Optimus Prime who was part of a real heap of finishers for the minor money, Davy Russell gave this horse a peach of a ride, taking this off 134 he is now apparently being aimed at a flat campaign and has a very workable mark of 88 so expect him to turn up somewhere soon, possibly back here in two weeks for a 2m flat race. 

John Constable,2017 Swinton Hurdle winner


On the level this afternoons flat races were held on the inner course, the outer one should be back in use for the Temple Stakes in a fortnight. 

The big flat race or the day was the Spring Trophy, a listed race over 7f and this was just taken by the Richard Hannon trained Oh This Is Us, second two weeks ago over course and distance he just got the edge over Absolutley So by a neck in a thrilling finish, still an entire his connections have him in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot but an obvious target given this horse acts well at Haydock could well be the John O’Gaunt back here in June over the same trip. 

In the other races on this stellar eight race card Mia’s Storm put in a very impressive performance in the opening staying hurdle over 2m7f as she routed a decent quality field by eight lengths, she excelled over this longer trip and will go chasing in the autumn after her summer holiday with connections hoping to pick black type up at some point. 

Mia’s Storm

Monjeni quickly picked up the winning thread after last Sunday’s poor showing at Hamilton,previously a dual scorer at Wolverhampton this Ian Williams trained 4yo is still showing continued improvement since March, he is in the sales at Doncaster but the trainer is hoping any new owner will keep him in Worcestershire, taking this off 73 he is making into a nice flat stayer with no doubt a hurdling career also bound to be on the horizon in Autumn. 

A tight looking 6f Conditions Race went to the judge and eventually Di Clarke gave the verdict to the Bryan Smart trained Mythmaker who got the better over Aeolus by a neck, fit from the all weather he was fifth in the big sprint on All Weather Finals Day and can more than pay his way in the summer, Listed races will be on the agenda next, Aeolus was unlucky in defeat and could be aimed at the Chipchase at Newcastle which he won in 2015, the big disappointment was Waady but will be better back at 5f. 


Saeed Bin Surror has a nice 3yo for Godolphin in Leader’s Legacy who followed up last months Epsom maiden win in style to land the 3yo 1m handicap (0-95), well to the fore he quickened and had easily had the measure of the well fancied The Grape Escape me, This winner looks to have lots more potential and we could see him back here for the Silver Bowl in a couple of weeks time before possibly a crack at the Brittania at Royal Ascot. 

Leader’s Legacy

Champion NH trainer Nicky Henderson saddled a 1-2 in the 2m5f Intermediate Chase, Hammersly Lake under the steerage of defending champ Richard Johnson supplemented his recent win at Huntingdon with an easy stroll home here, jumping well at the back of the pack he made his way through the field and responded to the urging of Johnson, Kilcrea Vale was far better after two poor showings at Cheltenham and Sandown and will be better upped to three miles. 

The final race on the eight race card was a 2m3f Chase in which plenty had questions to answer over their form and jockey Daryl Jacob who has had plenty of big race wins here over the past few seasons picked up a very smooth win on the Ben Case trained Crookstown, back to a handy mark he made a couple of errors but travelled well and always had the measure of the novice Never Up. 


So an enjoyable afternoon of flat and jumps at Haydock, Mixed meetings will always have various opinions but the crowd enjoyed the variety of races and it was a very rare chance for both codes to have a get together. 

Next up on here we go to York on Wednesday for the opening day of the season featuring the big Group races of the day,the Duke Of York Stakes for the sprinters and the Musidora a huge trial for the Oaks, Till then goodbye.  


Optimus Prime,5yo gelding from Dan Skelton was runner up in the Swinton but can do even better when he goes over fences.  

Carigrad,3yo Colt from Hugo Palmer was third in the 1m handicap and can pick up some races as the summer goes on