SILVER Streak came out of the clouds to win the 2018 Pertemps Swinton Hurdle Handicap in dramatic fashion at Haydock Park twelve months ago.
And proud owner Les Fell, a 76-year-old beef farmer from Settle, says he will always treasure his favourite racing moment at Haydock Park.
“I’ve only got one horse, so as an owner you dream about winning a prestigious race like the Swinton Hurdle, but perhaps not believing it is ever going to happen,” said Mr Fell.
“It is a shock when it does and even now it is a little bit unreal.”
He recalled: “The whole family came to support Silver Streak at Haydock Park.
“My sister her husband and two children had never been to a race meeting, but they couldn’t believe it when Silver Streak won and all the excitement.
“I’ll be watching the Swinton Hurdle on ITV tomorrow, remembering the day when my grey horse won Haydock Park’s most historic race.
“It is a moment I will always hold dear.”
Silver Streak’s trainer Evan Williams claimed the Swinton Handicap Hurdle with Silver Streak for a record-equalling fourth time.
The Welsh trainer has made the race his own, having lifted the title four times in the last seven years with Barizon (2013), Ballyglasheen (2014) and John Constable (2017).
And Silver Streak used his Haydock Park success as a foundation stone for further glory, defying the odds to finish third in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle last autumn.
“Cheltenham is our Olympics, but it was that win at Haydock Park that meant the most to me,” added Mr Fell.
“That incredible finish, when Silver Streak went over the final hurdle, he was a long way behind the leader Chesterfield.
“Silver Streak has his own ways, he can be quite tough to handle, but he is an incredibly brave horse and that was him, chasing down Chesterfield and taking the race on the line.”
Silver Streak is back home with Mr Fell and his family now, in a field by the River Ribble in the Yorkshire Dales.
“It is a lovely spot for him, and he enjoys coming back here for his holidays.
“Last weekend was so cold though we had to get a rug for him but I’m sure it will warm up soon and he can enjoy a bit of sunshine before he goes back in training for next season.”
Gates open at Haydock Park tomorrow at noon and The Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle goes off at 3.10pm.
Tickets, 0344 579 3006, the jockeyclub.co.uk/haydock