Betfair Chase takes centre-stage at Haydock Park
The highlight is of course the Betfair Chase in which Haydock lover Bristol De Mai is chasing a fourth win in the three-mile event.
The ground at the track is currently Good to Soft, Good in places and there are showers forecast throughout the day. We have previewed the action with our race by race guide. If you are heading to Haydock on Saturday, OLBG have you covered with more tips.
12.10pm Listed Novices’ Hurdle (2m)
An interesting event. Might I was a smart bumper performance and impressed on his debut over hurdles at Newton Abbot, whilst It’s Good To Laugh is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles. Sonigino is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and has his first start for Paul Nicholls having won twice over timber in France for David Cottin. Barrichello finally got off the mark at the sixth time of asking over hurdles at Bangor and is respected along with Knickerbockerglory who was fourth on debut for Dan Skelton. However, preference is for Haute Estime. He impressed when scoring at Kelso and is firmly in the could be anything category and he looks an interesting prospect here.
Selection: Haute Estime
12.40pm Handicap Chase (3m 4f)
Speak Of The Devil has been in fine form this season and is respected along with course and distance winner Chef D’Oeuvre, whilst Amateur and Jersey Bean also look capable of taking steps forward. However, preference is for Truckin Away. The eight-year-old disappointed in the Midlands National when last seen, but he remains open to plenty of improvement and is taken to score here.
Selection: Truckin Away
1.15pm Handicap Hurdle (2m 2f)
Navajo Pass is a smart performer on his day and is respected off top-weight. Christopher Wood was fourth in the Elite Hurdle last time out and is respected, along with Calico who was smart last year, but disappointed in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his return to action. However, preference is for Mackenburg. He shaped with plenty of promise when third on his reappearance at Wetherby and he should come on plenty for that.
1.50pm Graduation Chase (2m 5f)
Alnadam and Itchy Feet are both capable on their day. Pay The Piper looks a chaser to follow going forward and he shaped with plenty of promise when second in a Listed event at Carlisle last time out. However, this is all about Bravemansgame. A Grade One winner over timber, he made a winning chasing debut in good style at Newton Abbot and he is taken to score again here.
2.25pm Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle (3m)
Riggs is an interesting contender if able to build on his encouraging return, whilst Irish raider Rightplacerightime is a fascinating contender over from Ireland having scored at Fairyhouse last time out. He could be thrown in off a mark of 125. Owner JP McManus also has two interesting runners with Flight Deck and Didtheyleaveuoutto, whilst Bass Rock and Orbys Legend who scored last time out are others to note.
3.00pm Betfair Chase (3m 1f)
Irish duo Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore team up with A Plus Tard who looks sure to go close. He won the Savills Chase last term, before going on to finish second to stable companion Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The seven-year-old has had this event as his starting point for some time and he looks a leading player given he is officially the highest-rated horse by 6lbs. Bristol De Mai is bidding to record his fourth win in the Betfair Chase and has to be respected at his beloved Haydock, given he seems to relish this track and is also one to catch first time out. Royale Pagaille also boasts winning form at Haydock and he is another to note, despite the prospect of the ground being too quick. Waiting Patiently is now trained by Christian Williams and he is a fascinating contender given how well he goes fresh. Next Destination and Imperial Aura are progressive chasers who also warrant a mention, whilst Chatham Street Lad and Clondaw Castle complete the eight runners.
Selection: A Plus Tard
3.35pm Handicap Chase (3m 1f)
Former Welsh National winner Potters Corner and classy chaser Ramses De Teille are respected, along with the unexposed Empire Steel. However, Strictlyadancer impressed when scoring at Cheltenham last week and he is taken to complete a quick turnaround with victory in the finale.