The first weekend of the new month will be opened at Haydock Park as the new wind of optimism for fans continues to blow around the tracks as lockdown rules begin to ease. Talks of rapid testing on tracks and letting trainers back are welcome news and worth keeping in mind as the season progresses. The first Saturday of the month gets us started at Haydock Park, and it is never too late to get a crash course on how to bet on horse racing with Bet365, with weekends like this being the perfect opportunity to wet your feet if you are a newbie to the excitement of horse racing. Both tracks at the park will be going soft, but things may change on a whim with no definite weather prediction yet. The racecard will be stuffed with seven outings of top-tier racing.
The show gets underway at lunchtime, as the BETWAY CHALLENGER MARES’ HURDLE SERIES FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE RACE gets us going at 1 PM. Set up for horses four years old and above, the distance to conquer will be two miles, two feet and a hundred and
ninety-one yards. Twenty-two horses will make up the starting grid, with Alan King having three mares in the mix. It will be a curious watch, with horses weighing in at three different weights. How much will that play in the final outcome?
The BETWAY CHALLENGER MIDDLE DISTANCE CHASE SERIES FINAL HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE comes next at the half-hour mark, with twenty horses in the mix for a 35,000 GB pot over a distance of two miles, three feet, and two hundred and three yards. No ratings
required for this one but the horses will be five years and older. Nigel Twiston-Davies will have a double interest in this one, with the Irish geldings Rocco and Guy. The two 2 PM races will be just as entertaining, with the BETWAY CHALLENGER TWO MILE HURDLE SERIES
FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE RACE. Sixteen horses will go at it for a mile, seven feet, and a hundred and forty-four yards, for a pot of 35,000 GBP. Horses will be four years and above, and almost evenly distributed between 11 and 10 stones in weight. It will be trainer Nicky Henderson's turn to hold a double stake in the race, with two geldings, including the French Gipsy de Choisel. The second of the 2 PM runs, the BETWAY CHALLENGER STAYING CHASE SERIES FINAL HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE, will have all the big partakers of the
day, Venetia Williams, Nicky Henderson, Alan King and Twiston-Davies, invested. Nineteen five-year-olds take to the line for a Class 2 run of three miles, one foot, and a hundred and twenty-five yards. That will be the joint longest distance of the day alongside the BETWAY VETERANS’ HANDICAP STEEPLECHASE, the sole Class 4 outing of the day, for horses rated 0-120 and aged nine years old and above. The pot will be 8,000 GBP, the smallest of the afternoon.