Haydock Park opens their gates for the second jumps meeting of the season this Wednesday for the Christmas Time Raceday.
There are six races on the card for the afternoon of racing with the feature being two Class 2 contests – The Conservatory Insulations Novices’ Chase and The Join Racing TV Now “Introductory” Hurdle. Both races have a prize pot of over £12,000.
Tickets are still available for meeting starting from £10 – find them at https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/haydock/events-tickets/christmas-time-raceday/tickets/#filteredBy=GA&tab=day1
Race Previews and Selections:
First Race, 12:40 – Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Northern Lights Stayers Hurdle Series Qualifier) – 2m7f
An interesting start to the card with a conditional jockey handicap hurdle. The star attraction in this one is Jonjo O’Neill Jnr, the youngster rode out his claim on Monday at Plumpton for his 25th winner of the season. ARCTIC ROAD returns over hurdles after finishing fifth to an impressive River Frost at Ayr in a Novice Chase. Carries the heavy burden of 12st here but should go well for trainer Oliver Greenall.
Second Race, 13:10 – Watch Racing TV Maiden Hurdle – 2m7f
Maiden Hurdle over the same distance as Race 1 but with the professionals aboard the horses. The likely market favourite for this one is from Phillip Hobbs’ stable in the form of KEEP WONDERING. Hobbs has not had a winner since last Wednesday’s double at Hereford, but this horse was second on his debut under rules at Aintree four weeks ago. Unraced over obstacles Neil King’s FLINTROCK is worth monitoring the market for with Bryony Frost booked to ride.
Third Race, 13:55 – Conservatory Insulations Novices’ Chase – 2m5½f
A small field expected for this one but with splashes of quality included. DASHEL DRASHER unseated rider Matt Griffiths at the first at Newbury on Saturday in the dramatic race won J P McManus’ Champ. Still off 145, it is the highest rated horse in the race and set to fight for favouritism with CHAMPAGNE MYSTERY. Strong connections for this horse for Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings and multiple champion trainer Nicky Henderson. Saddled by Nico De Boinville, the horse has some useful form. Winning on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree in early November beating the much fancied Present Value, should go well.
Fourth Race, 14:25 – Join Racing TV Now “Introductory” Hurdle – 1m7½f
Many chances in this one and the top of the market is expected to be tight. THE CON MAN returns after a 367-day absence and still holds and unbeaten record after being gelded. MARIE’S ROCK comes here for the Henderson-De Boinville team off the back of a bumper win at Ffos Las in the summer, not to be discounted. ON TO VICTORY has 16 runs on the flat and only moved to Alan King’s yard in mid-November, should like the soft ground but my selection lies with MARIE’S ROCK.
Fifth Race, 15:00 – Watch Racing TV Now Handicap Chase – 3m1½f
Longest race on the card over the extended three miles, two of the field of 7 runners will carry the penalty of 12st or over in this handicap. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL bolsters good form, finishing behind Ask Ben who finished fourth behind Stoney Mountain and Tedham in the Stayer’s Hurdle race on Betfair Chase day. COBOLOBO looks set to be his main challenger for this contest. Jonjo O’Neill’s horse previously lost a short head to Cheltenham festival winner Kilbricken Storm, as that form hasn’t really worked out I think SPEAK OF THE DEVIL wins this for trainer Lucinda Russell.
Sixth Race, 15:30 – Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Hurdle – 2m3f
My most confident pick comes in the final race of the day – TRUE ROMANCE for jockey Henry Brooke. Brooke carried home Cornerstone Lad in the Fighting Fifth to defeat dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D’air and claim his first Grade one winner. Second last time out by a nose and a previous winner over hurdles at Southwell, I expect TRUE ROMANCE to run out winner. ROMEO BROWN for Phillip Kirby and jockey Thomas Dowson looks to pose some each-way value.
Keep following our tips throughout the week on MSL with Paul tomorrow, and I hope we can continue to find you some winners.
Photo By Dan Heap (Under creative commons license)