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 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 Interskyracing.com 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 haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Haydock Park is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby.
Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive.
The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
For further information please contact:
Grant Rowley, Regional Communications Manager, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07884 655990 or email: Grant.Rowley@thejockeyclub.co.uk
Jessica Dalgliesh, Senior Communications Executive, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07464 491507 or email: Jessica.Dalgliesh@thejockeyclub.co.uk
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 britishchampionsday.co.uk