Friday, May 06, 2011

Brief notes for Haydock & Hexham

Twenty three are declared for tomorrow's Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock - the tapes go up at 3.40. Last year's winner Eradicate heads the field but stablemates Rebel Now (half-brother to Binocular) and Higgys Ragazzo (carrying enough weight for a four-year-old) are likely to be of more interest this time if we believe the layers have priced the event correctly. Five and six-year-olds have won nine of the last ten renewals while the winner has come from the first three in the market on six occasions in the same timeframe. The one that catches my eye is Hunterview. Ante-post favourite for the Sandown Imperial Cup, David Pipe's charge was unfortunate to miss the cut for that race but then ran well for a long way in the County Hurdle at the Festival before putting in a slightly below par effort in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Hunterview tends to race prominently which should serve him well on this sharp track; the handicapper has dropped the gelding four pounds for his last effort so I'm hoping he can be competitive here. At 16/1 the selection holds a reasonable each-way chance - Sky Bet bet a quarter the odds five places.

Othermix is likely to go off favourite for the two and a half mile novice chase but faces no easy task conceding six pounds to three opponents who are not lightly dimissed. Nafaath has clear potential while Paul Nicholls' Red Harbour would represent a play against the jolly if rain were to arrive to ease the going.

Donald McCain may have won the Chester Cup with Overturn on Wednesday but at the other end of the scale he has been a staunch supporter of Hexham down the years. The handler, boasting a 25% strike rate over jumps in the past fortnight, sends four on the long trip north from his Cholmondeley base tomorrow. Omokoroa is the one to beat in the 4.25 but perhaps the most interesting is The Weatherman who makes his debut in the concluding bumper.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Phrases you may associate with Hunterview (25/1) include:
'Has his own ideas', 'difficult ride', 'keeps a bit for himself'. He didn't look in love with the game yesterday, receiving reminders from an early stage - he clearly considered ducking out on the stable bend. Nonetheless he was still in front three from home and although he had no answer to Eradicate's (15/2)impressive turn of foot, he stayed on well for third spot.

Red Harbour (11/8f) was pipped on the line by Siberian Tiger (6/1) while at Hexham Omokoroa (4/6f) won and The Weatherman was a non-runner.