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Record-seeking Evan Williams represented as maximum field goes for tomorrow’s £100,000 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park

Press Release 10th May 2019 Haydock Park

Record-seeking Evan Williams represented as maximum field goes for tomorrow’s £100,000 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park


Friday, May 10, 2019 – A maximum field of 17 goes for glory in the £100,000 G3 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle (3.10pm) at Haydock Park tomorrow.


The famous two-mile contest is the richest on an outstanding eight-race mix of Jump and Flat racing at Haydock Park that offers £270,500 in prize money.


Warwickshire-based Olly Murphy, who commenced training half-way through 2017 and has made a tremendous start to his career, runs Fiesole (David England, 11st), who was very impressive when winning the Sussex Champion Handicap Hurdle at Plumpton by seven lengths on April 21. The seven-year-old joined Murphy this season, having previously been trained in Ireland.


27-year-old Murphy reported: “Fiesole is in great nick.


“He won nicely at Plumpton and has a real good each-way chance up at Haydock.


“I am just hoping that they don’t get too much rain as the faster the ground, the better for him in terms of his chances in the race.


“Fiesole has gone up 12lb (in the ratings) and has won a nice pot now, but it would be nice to think there is more improvement to come and that he is capable of another big performance.”


Fellow Warwickshire-based trainer Dan Skelton has already saddled four winners in the 2019/20 campaign, having sent out an amazing 205 winners last season. He is represented tomorrow by Sofia’s Rock (Harry Skelton, 11st 4lb), a winner of two of his three starts in novice company, who is tackling a handicap for the first time.


Evan Williams is seeking an unprecedented fifth victory in the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle, having sent out the winner four times in the last six runnings.


The Vale Of Glamorgan handler is represented by his impressive 2017 winner John Constable (Adam Wedge, 10st 10lb), who has dropped 24lb in the handicap to a rating of 132 since finishing seventh behind stablemate Silver Streak in this race 12 months ago.


John Constable, now an eight-year-old, has not raced since coming seventh in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on January 26, after which he underwent a wind operation.


Williams explained today: “John Constable seems all right, but he was badly out of form when we last saw him.


“I tried to make him into a chaser in the autumn [finished fifth at Southwell and third at Worcester] and I don’t think it did him any favours to be honest - he was not himself after that.


“We have given him a wind operation and we will just have to see if that helps him or not.”


Asked about possibly becoming the winning-most trainer in the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle (he is currently tied with Martin Pipe on four winners), Williams added: “I think we are a long way away from that!

“The horse I wanted to get in was Court Royale, but he just missed the cut unfortunately.


“I can’t tell you anything about John Constable other than that he is fresh after a good holiday, but he needs to recapture a lot before you would be confident of breaking any records.”


John Constable winning in 2017


Heading the weights is Le Patriote (Dr Richard Newland/Sam Twiston-Davies, 11st 12lb). The seven-year-old returned from a 165-day break to win a competitive handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on April 17, having landed the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial Handicap Hurdle at Ayr in November.


Worcestershire-based Newland is also represented by Leoncavallo (Charlie Hammond (3), 11st 7lb), last seen when fifth in the G2 Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr on April 13.


Nicky Henderson saddled Eradicate to back-to-back victories in the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle in 2010 and 2011. The master of Seven Barrows is doubly represented tomorrow with Mister Fisher (Nico de Boinville, 11st 9lb), winner of the G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle over the course and distance in January, and Jenkins (11st 7lb).


mister fisher.jpg

Mister Fisher on his way to winning the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle


The Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle is one of the few races in the calendar to have eluded 11-time champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls, who this year relies on progressive four-year-old Christopher Wood (Harry Cobden, 11st 2lb), who won his first two starts over hurdles before finishing third in the G1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at the Randox Heath Grand National Festival at Aintree on April 4.


In-form handler Alan King runs Dino Velvet (Adrian Heskin, 10st 13lb), second last time out in the G2 Scottish Champion Hurdle.


Cubswin (Neil King/Richard Johnston, 10st 9lb) brings good recent course and distance form to the table having won the Betway Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle by a neck from the re-opposing Arthington (Seamus Mullins/Kevin Jones (3), 10st 11lb) on April 20.


Nietzsche (Brian Ellison/Danny McMenamin (7), 10st 13lb) was successful in the G3 Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham in November and showed signs of a return to form when on the Flat at Doncaster on April 27, while Champagne City (Tom George/Jonathan Burke, 11st 3lb) put together some good placed efforts in competitive company last season.


Also set to line up are Flying Tiger (Nick Williams/Chester Williams (5), 10st 9lb), winless since taking the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, and Project Bluebook (John Quinn/Jonjo O’Neill Jr (3)), who has not troubled the judge since scoring in G2 company at Fairyhouse in April, 2017.


The field is completed by Kingofthecotswolds (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Jordan Nailor (7), 10st 8lb) and Thistimenextyear (Richard Spencer/Darragh O’Keeffe (7), 10st 5lb), who was runner-up in the Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle at Aintree on Grand National Day.


The Flat highlight tomorrow is the £37,000 Listed Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes (4.20pm, eight runners) over seven furlongs. The field is head by the 115-rated Suedois (David O’Meara/David Nolan), who captured the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, USA, in 2017.


The eight-race card runs from 2.00pm to 5.55pm.


The going at Haydock Park is currently:

Flat Course: Good to Soft

Jump Course: Good


Light showers are forecast today, while tomorrow is predicted to be dry with temperatures of up to 14 degrees Celsius.


Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle

Facts & Figures


*This year sees the 41st running of the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle. Always a very competitive handicap hurdle, the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle carries prize money of £100,000 and is the joint-richest handicap hurdle staged at Haydock Park. Previous winners have gone on to be leading performers at the very highest level. The safety limit is currently 17 runners.


*Fred Rimell sent out Royal Gaye to land the inaugural running in 1978, with dual Champion Hurdle winners Monksfield (1978 & 1979) and Night Nurse (1976 & 1977) finishing second and third respectively. Sea Pigeon, who would go on to win the Champion Hurdle in 1980 and 1981, started the 5/2 favourite and finished eighth.


*The 1979 race went to the Bob Turnell-trained Beacon Light, who earlier in 1979 finished third to Monksfield and Sea Pigeon in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.


*Rimell gained his second victory in the space of four years when Gaye Chance entered the winner’s enclosure in 1981. Three years later, after Mercy Rimell had taken over the reins from her late husband, Gaye Chance won at the Cheltenham Festival, taking the Stayers’ Hurdle, while his full-brother Gaye Brief captured the 1983 Champion Hurdle.


*Past Glories (1988) was another winner to be placed in the Champion Hurdle. He was only beaten three and three-quarter lengths into third by Kribensis, despite his 150/1 starting price in the 1990 Cheltenham showpiece.


* Martin Pipe had the first of his four successes with Corporal Clinger in 1985. The master of Nicholashayne also struck with Tragic Hero (1996), Rainbow Frontier (1998) and Acambo (2006).


*In 2018, Evan Williams joined Pipe as the most successful trainer in the race’s history when saddling the winner Silver Streak, who went on to be third in the 2019 Champion Hurdle. Williams was previously successful with Barizan (2013), Ballyglasheen (2014) and John Constable (2017).


*Intersky Falcon was victorious in 2002 for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, who also won the Haydock hurdle as a jockey on the Peter Easterby-trained No Bombs in 1980. Intersky Falcon went on to win a number of top prizes including two G1 Christmas Hurdles at Kempton and also came third to Hardy Eustace in the 2004 Champion Hurdle.


*Andy Turnell is the other successful jockey to have gone on to train the winner of the race. Turnell rode Beacon Light (1979) and Secret Ballot (1982) to victory and saddled Blue Bajan (2008) to success.


*Four jockeys have ridden two winners of the contest. Three of these (Andy Turnell, David Bridgwater & Paul Moloney) are now retired, while Graham Lee has switched to the Flat.


*Macs Joy became the third and latest Irish winner in 2004, coming home two and a half lengths clear of Dancing Bay to justify favouritism. The Jessica Harrington-trained gelding went on to win the G1 Irish Champion Hurdle in 2005 and was runner-up to Brave Inca in the 2006 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. The two previous Irish-trained winners were Bitofabanter (1992) and She’s Our Mare (1999).


*The Nicky Henderson-trained Eradicate (2010 & 2011) and Dreams End (1994 & 1997) are the two dual winners. Dreams End was trained by Philip Hobbs for his first success and by Peter Bowen for his second.


*Ballyglasheen (2015) is the longest-priced winner, being returned at 25/1, while 3/1 favourite Spinning was the shortest in 1993.


*It is a relatively poor race for favourites, with only six (15 per cent) successful in the 40 runnings to date.


*When successful for the second time in 1997, Dreams End became the oldest winner at the age of nine. The youngest winners were the four-year-olds Sybillin (1990), Tragic Hero (1996), Rainbow Frontier (1998), Mirjan (2000) and Ballyglasheen (2014).


*Pertemps Network has been the sponsor since 2012. Previous sponsors were Betfred, the Tote, Crowther and Merewood Homes, Swinton Insurance and Royal Doulton.


*The Pertemps Swinton Handicap Hurdle takes place on the only remaining mixed (Flat and Jump racing) card in Britain. Three Derby-winning owners have seen their colours carried to victory at Haydock Park - Jim Joel (1979 Beacon Light, 1982 Secret Ballot), Paul Mellon (1993 Spinning) and Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar (2016 Gwafa). Joel won the Derby with Royal Palace (1967), Mellon with Mill Reef (1971) while Al Homaizi and Al Sagar took the Epsom Classic with Authorized in 2007.



Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle

Roll Of Honour


YEAR    HORSE             AGE/WGT        OWNER                        TRAINER                      JOCKEY            SP        RAN

2018                                            Silver Streak    5-10-02             L Fell                             Evan Williams              Adam Wedge         13/2      16

2017                                            John Constable 6-11-02             Walters Plant Hire Ltd      Evan Williams              Davy Russell         5/1F      17

2016                                            Gwafa               5-11-00             Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar Paul Webber     Richie McLernon     6/1       16

2015                                            War Sound       6-10-06             The Englands And Heywoods Philip Hobbs            Ciaran Gethings     6/1F      16

2014                                            Ballyglasheen   4-10-10             R J Gambarini                 Evan Williams              Paul Moloney         25/1      13

2013                                            Barizan             7-10-06             P Conway & John Lee Jones Evan Williams            Paul Moloney         8/1       16

2012                                            Red Merlin        7-11-03 Timeform Betfair Racing Club & M Taylor Donald McCain     Jack Doyle 13/2F    19

2011                                            Eradicate         7-11-05             Alan Spence                   Nicky Henderson          Jeremiah McGrath 15/2       22

2010                                            Eradicate         6-10-01             Alan Spence                   Nicky Henderson          David Bass 16/1      23

2009                                            Joe Jo Star        7-11-00             The Ipso Facto Syndicate  Richard Fahey             Brian Hughes        16/1      24

2008                                            Blue Bajan        6-10-08             Dr John Hollowood          Andy Turnell               Graham Lee          4/1F      24

2007                                            Leslingtaylor    5-9-11               Marie Taylor                   John Quinn                  Dougie Costello      16/1      23

2006        Acambo            5-10-04             David Johnson                Martin Pipe                  Andrew Glassonbury 16/1 21

2005                                            Coat Of Honour 5 10-00             Andrea & Graham Wylie   Howard Johnson          Graham Lee          6/1       11

2004     Macs Joy          5-10-00             Mac’s J Racing Syndicate  Jessica Harrington IRE     Timmy Murphy   4/1F      19

2003     Altay                6-9-11               R M Jeffs & J Potter          Richard Fahey                Padgh Whelan    13/2      14

2002                                            Intersky Falcon 5-11-10 and Jacqui O’Neill Jonjo O’Neill            Liam Cooper          11/2      11

2001                                            Milligan            6-11-04             George Leatham             Venetia Williams          Norman Williamson10/1      23

2000                                            Mirjan              4-10-06             Miss S Blumberg             Len Lungo                        Tony Dobbin     7/1       22

1999                                            She’s Our Mare 6-10-00             Denise Reddan               Tony Martin IRE           David Casey          10/1      22

1998                                            Rainbow Frontier4-10-00          Clive Smith                    Martin Pipe                  Charlie Swan         10/1      16

1997                                            Dreams End     9-11-11             T. G. Price                      Peter Bowen                Leighton Aspell      14/1      19

1996                                            Tragic Hero      4-10-09             Knight Hawks Partnership Martin Pipe                  David Bridgwater   9/1       19

1995                                            Chief Minister   6-11-06             Graham Shiel                 Tom Dyer                   Peter Hobbs          16/1      13

1994                                            Dreams End      6-11-04             T. G Price                       Philip Hobbs                Michael Hourigan10/1         18

1993                                            Spinning          6-11-00             Paul Mellon                    Ian Balding                 Jimmy Frost          3/1F      17

1992                                            Bitofabanter     5-11-01             Mrs. I Loughlane             Arthur Moore IRE         Tom Taaffe           14/1      22

1991                                            Winnie The Witch7-10-02 Paddocks Thoroughbred Racing Ltd Ken Bridgwater         David Bridgwater   8/1       12

1990                                            Sybillin             4-10-01             Marquesa de Moratalla     Jimmy FitzGerald         Derek Byrne          8/1       14

1989                                            State Jester      6-10-00             Eric Barber                     Bill Elsey                     John Quinn            14/1      18

1988                                            Past Glories     5-11-09             Noel Hetherton              Bill Elsey                     Paddy Farrell         16/1      23

1987                                            Inlander           6-10-08             Jeff Daniels                    Reg Akehurst              Steve Smith Eccles4/1        8

1986                                            Prideaux Boy    8-11-02             Graham Roach                Graham Roach             Martin Bowlby       15/2      20

1985                                            Corporal Clinger 6-10-03           Jay Dee Racing LTD         Martin Pipe                  Paul Leach 11/2      21

1984                                            Bajan Sunshine 5-10-13             Paul Green                     Martin Tate                 Peter Scudamore 6/1          15

1983     abandoned due to waterlogged ground

1982                                            Secret Ballot    8-10-03             Jim Joel                         Bob Turnell                 Andy Turnell         10/1      17

1981                                            Gaye Chance     6-10-10             Mrs M Curtis                   Fred Rimell                 Sam Morshead       13/2      18

1980                                            No Bombs        5-10-09             Snailwell Stud Co Ltd       Peter Easterby             Jonjo O’Neill          7/1       14

1979                                            Beacon Light    8-11-01             Jim Joel                         Bob Turnell                 Andy Turnell         12/1      17

1978                                            Royal Gaye       5-10-00             Sir John Hanmer             Fred Rimell                 Colin Tinkler          20/1      20


About Haydock Park Racecourse


Haydock Park is a dual-purpose racecourse, staging 32 racing days on the Flat and over Jumps in 2018, and a leading conference centre in the north west of England. More information is available at


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About QIPCO British Champions Series

QIPCO British Champions Series shines the spotlight on Britain's most prestigious Flat races between May and October, culminating in the grand finale on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Ascot Racecourse with the richest race day in British history - QIPCO British Champions Day.

Hosted across ten of the UK's leading racecourses it encompasses the top British racing festivals, including the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket, the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom, Royal Ascot, the Moët & Chandon Newmarket July Festival, The Qatar Goodwood Festival, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York and the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

QIPCO British Champions Series comprises five easy-to-follow race categories - Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares. For tickets to QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday 19th October go to



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