Haydock Park stages competitive meeting as crowds return

It is a big day for horse racing on Wednesday as limited crowds return to racecourses, and there is plenty for spectators to get their teeth into as Haydock Park stages a competitive seven-race card.
Haydock Park stages a competitive seven-race card.Haydock Park stages a competitive seven-race card.
Haydock Park stages a competitive seven-race card.

The action gets under way at 12.10pm with the finale at 3.30pm and we have previewed all of the racing with stats and analysis.

There is excellent prize money on offer at the Merseyside venue, including for Novices’ Chase at 1.15pm which carries a prize fund of £18,500.

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The exciting Espoir De Romay represents the in-form Kim Bailey and bids to cement a recent win at Huntingdon in which he jumped with aplomb on his chase debut. He looks like the one to beat, but takes on three talented rivals who are all possible winners if putting their best foot forward.

Royale Pagaille has arguably proved slightly disappointing on two starts for Venetia Williams having been well-beaten on both occasions in small-field events. However, he clearly remains open to plenty of improvement and looks the type who will continue to improve with age.

Redford Road has failed to win in two starts over fences, but looks the type to progress over the larger obstacles. Third on his first outing over fences at Perth in September, he was quite disappointing at Newbury in November and is clearly capable of better.

The quartet are completed by Doc Penfro who shaped with plenty of promise on chase debut when second to the exciting The Big Breakaway at Cheltenham in November.

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Another highlight on the card is the £15,000 Introductory Hurdle at 1.50pm. Three of the quintet have won their last start over hurdles, which includes the progressive Admirel for Tom Lacey. He showed a smart turn of foot to score by three and a half-lengths at Sandown in November, having previously finished in mid-division in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Qualismart made a perfect start to life for Harry Whittington when scoring by two and a quarter-lengths at Market Rasen in November. He looked very progressive and may be capable of defying a penalty.

Ranch Hand is the other horse in the line-up to have won last time out. Rated 102 on the Flat, which included Listed success in September, he was a gutsy winner at Exeter on hurdling debut and will improve for that experience.

The other highlight on the card is the Veterans’ Handicap Chase at 2.20pm which carries a prize fund of £22,500. Top-weight Whisper is a former Cheltenham Festival winner and has his first start for Nigel Twiston-Davies having lost his way on his two latest runs. The Dutchman is a former course and distance winner, but is another horse on a retrieval mission.

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Burtons Well was a smart winner at Doncaster in February and clearly retains his ability. He is sure to be suited by these conditions and is one to note along with the admirable Seeyouatmidnight who turns 13 next week, but was a gutsy winner at Carlisle in March.

Others to note are Fingerontheswitch who boasted some smart form last term, including when second in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster before being pulled-up in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival.

He is the selection of Betting Expert’s Stephen Harris and is open to more improvement. Bottom-weight Indy Five was second at Uttoxeter on his reappearance and is another to note.

Stephen Harris of Betting Expert Wednesday Selections

12.10pm - Bushypark

12.45pm - Torn and Frayed (Nap)

1.15pm - Doc Penfro (Value bet)

1.50pm - Adrimel

2.20pm - Fingerontheswitch

2.55pm - Goobinator

3.30pm - Niche Player

Tips and analysis via Betting Expert

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