After an enforced hiatus of 435 days I’m finally back on course and here at Haydock Park to report (throw in a spot of radio) on all the action on Saturday 8th May 2021 – Swinton Hurdle Day – the only surviving mixed flat/jumps card left in England.
Keep refreshing this link throughout the afternoon for all the latest race results and updates.
12.50: We’ve got our fair share of non-runners but that’s perfectly understandable given the deluge of rain around the country today. Here they all are courtesy of the RP 1:25 Canyon City (13)Talkischeap (3)Colonial Dreams (7)Jarveys Plate (6)Proschema (4)Giovanni Change (9)3:10 Teqany (1)Didtheyleaveuoutto (11)Hooper (10)3:45 Lord Of The Lodge (3)4:20 Burrows Seeside (9)4:55 Hes No Trouble (6)5:35 Solar Impulse (7)The Russian Doyen (3)
13.40: It’s first blood to the veteran’s as the gutsy 12-year-old Dell A’arca swoops late under Fergus Gillard to deny Trincomalee and Sir Robbie in the dying strides. If the rest of the afternoon is as exciting as that then racing is ultimately the winner in these strange Covid times.
14.10: The first flat race of the afternoon goes to the Ralph Beckett-trained favourite Aleas under a patient ride from Hector Crouch. Pacesetter Darvel stayed on well for second place. The other three runners certainly struggled with the conditions underfoot.
14.45: Cape Byron knuckles down well to be beat the seasoned sprint veteran Brando over a tough six furlongs. Roger Varian and Eoin Walsh teaming up for the victory.
It’s now time for the highlight of the afternoon – the Swinton Hurdle.
15.20: The Olly Murphy-trained Copperless takes the Haydock feature under a cool ride from Aidan Coleman, eventually going off the well fancied 9/2 favourite.
Cormier came through the field well in the closing stages to finish second but was no match for Copperless who got away from the field by a mere 8½ lengths.
Tom O’Brien in third was seen recording a message about his ride on Camprond (third) and thanking JP for the opportunity to ride him which I thought was a nice touch.
It’s the Listed Spring Trophy over 7f up next…
15.50: Qaysar doesn’t half love his trips to Merseyside, winning here for the third time at odds of 9/2. Joe Fanning masterfully brought him through from last to first to pick up the valuable prize.
It’s the last of the flat races next on this excellent mixed card. Why can’t we have more of them?
16.30 Stan or Chris? Take your pick but Boardman has just won the seven furlongs Pertemps Handicap under an enterprising ride from Dane O’Neil, eventually grinding down Ffion to score by 4¾ lengths. Tim Easterby’s stable are certainly flying.
Francky! Do you remember me? Peter Bowen and son James combine to win the Intermediate Handicap Chase with Francky du Berlais. The eight-year-old looks like a Summer Plate contender if ever there was one. Fortified Bay unfortunately fluffed his lines at the last to open the door for the Bowen charge.
The finale goes to the Neil Mulholland Exelerator Express under a smart waiting ride from Sam Twiston-Davies. My friend Charlotte Potter will be happy! Goodnight all.