REVELEY HOPING TO RUN TAZBAR IN GRADE TWO ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES' HURDLE
A superb day's racing at Haydock on Saturday, February 16, includes the North West course's richest handicap chase of the season, the £125,000 Grade Three Red Square Vodka Gold Cup (2.45pm), run over an extended three-and-a-half miles, which has attracted 24 five-day acceptors.
County Carlow-based trainer Pat Hughes is hoping for a good performance from Point Barrow in Saturday's feature race. The 10-year-old gelding was a gallant fourth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on January 24, despite being burdened with top weight in testing conditions.
Hughes commented today: "Point Barrow will line up in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup at Haydock on Saturday. He's come out of his run in the Thyestes Chase really well and he showed some real ability under top weight on that occasion.
"He'll love good to soft ground on Saturday. He always runs a decent race on faster ground in the spring but I think he's slightly better with a bit of cut under him. He sported blinkers for the first time at Gowran Park and they seemed to help him lay up early on in the race, so he will be wearing them again on Saturday.
"This will be his last run before going to Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National in April. He's fit, well and has always been a horse for the second half of the season, so I'm hopeful for a good show on Saturday."
Point Barrow, winner of the 2006 Irish Grand National, is bidding to become the second Irish-trained winner of the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup following Pat Fahy's victory with Nuaffe in 1995. The Arthur Moore-trained King Johns Castle, who finished a close second on his latest start in the valuable Pierse Handicap Chase at Leopardstown on January 13, is the other potential challenger from across the water.
2006 winner Ossmoses could aim to become the first dual winner of the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup, while last year's runner-up L'Aventure could try to give Paul Nicholls a second triumph in the race following Shotgun Willy's superb weight-carrying performance in 2003. The champion trainer has also engaged Geeveem and Opera Mundi, who was a game winner of the Betting As It Should Be Handicap Chase over three miles at Haydock Park on November 24 before disappointing when favourite at Doncaster last time.
Miko de Beauchene could make his first appearance since an emotional victory in the Welsh National on December 27, while the third and fourth from that race, Over The Creek and Naunton Brook could re-oppose the Robert and Sally Alner-trained gelding.
Howard Johnson has entered his smart staying chaser and last year's ninth Bewleys Berry, who again comes into the race having finished second in the totesport.com Becher Chase at Aintree, and the 10-year-old gelding could be joined by the Alan King-trained D'Argent, who prevailed over fellow entries Philson Run, Blue Splash and Sixo in the Grade Three totesport.com Classic Chase at Warwick on January 12.
A fantastic day's racing at Haydock on Saturday also boasts two Grade Two contests, including the £30,000 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (1.35pm), run over three miles, in which Saltburn-based trainer Keith Reveley is hoping to run his exciting prospect Tazbar.
The six-year-old gelding has won both his starts since chasing home Lightning Strike in the two-mile Listed Betfair Poker Newton Novices' Hurdle at Haydock on November 24.
Reveley said: "I'm hoping to run Tazbar in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday, providing the ground is not too soft. He's a three mile horse as he showed when winning over two-and-three quarter miles at Newcastle in December.
"I made a big mistake by running him over a shorter trip in the Grade Two Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle at Doncaster last time (an extended two miles), but I was expecting the ground to be soft when it was actually nearer good to firm.
"It's unbelievable that he still managed to win that race because he definitely needs further and Phil Kinsella said he was flat out all the way round. He's such a smashing, genuine horse and we probably haven't seen the best of him yet."
The Albert Bartlett Hurdle has attracted a quality entry, including Gone To Lunch, who finished third behind Inglis Drever and Blazing Bailey in the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on January 26. Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle scorer Souffleur could line up for Peter Bowen, while Sue Smith has engaged Coe, who took the Red Square Vodka "Fixed Brush" Novices' Hurdle at Haydock on December 30 before finishing a good second in Grade Two company at Doncaster.
Saturday's other Grade Two race is the £40,000 RealholidayReports.com Rendlesham Hurdle, also run over three miles. Millenium Royal could return to the course where he won the Betfair "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle on November 24, Day One of the North West Racing Masters, and the eight-year-old gelding could re-oppose the second Sonnyanjoe and Special Envoy, who was unlucky when falling at the last in that contest.
Jonjo O'Neill has entered both Black Jack Ketchum and Wichita Lineman, as well as talented mare Refinement, while Emma Lavelle could run last year's winner Labelthou.
The ground at Haydock is currently soft and Clerk of the Course Kirkland Tellwright is anticipating ground that will ride on the soft side of good on Saturday, with decent weather forecast for the coming week.
Tellwright commented: "The weather is set to remain dry and bright all week with relatively cold nights. I'm expecting the ground to dry further, but it would be a considerable surprise if it got beyond good to soft by Saturday.
"There is currently no problem with frost on the course but we are keeping an eye on the forecast night temperatures."
RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Haydock Park’s most valuable handicap chase, the £125,000 Grade Three Red Square Vodka Gold Cup takes place this year on Saturday, February 16.
This prestigious extended three and a half mile event, supported by Red Square Vodka for the sixth time in 2008, always attracts some of the leading staying chasers and is an ideal prep race for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree. The race was previously known as the Greenalls Grand National Trial and the De Vere Gold Cup.
Red Rum ran at Haydock before every one of his five Grand Nationals, of which he won three (1973, 1974 and 1977) and came second in the other two (1975 and 1976), Party Politics (1992 Grand National) and Earth Summit (1998 Grand National) also used the race as their stepping stone to Aintree glory.
Last year saw two mares fight out the finish with Heltornic prevailing by a length and a quarter from L’Aventure while in 2006 Ossmoses provided permit holder Don Forster with his biggest success, when galloping to a 15-length victory over Model Son.
The 2005 renewal saw Forest Gunner put himself firmly in the picture for the John Smith’s Grand National with a length and a half defeat of Double Honour in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup. He went on to run a fine race at Aintree that year under Carrie Ford, coming home fifth to Hedgehunter. Kelami, who finished third in 2005, subsequently tasted success in the William Hill Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, while the fourth L’Aventure captured the following season’s Welsh National at Chepstow.
Martin Pipe, who retired from the training ranks in 2006, enjoyed his second Red Square Vodka Gold Cup success four years ago, when Jurancon II came home 15 lengths clear of Bear On Board under conditional jockey Joey Elliott.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Shotgun Willy defied top-weight to win the 2003 renewal in a thrilling finish, beating his half-brother, Welsh National winner Mini Sensation as well as Grand National winner Bindaree and Take Control, the 2002 Scottish Grand National hero.
Frantic Tan enjoyed a runaway success when winning for Nigel Twiston-Davies in 2001, while The Last Fling, trained by Sue Smith and owned by Trevor Hemmings, completed a memorable treble when successful in 2000, having already landed two other major chases at Haydock, the Edward Hanmer Memorial Chase and the Peter Marsh Chase.
The Peter Beaumont-trained Young Kenny jumped to the front and never looked likely to relinquish his lead when he won in 1999. The Ardross gelding went on to justify favouritism in that year’s Scottish Grand National.
Martin Pipe had his first winner when the bold jumping Dom Samourai earned a well-deserved success in 1998, with Earth Summit in fifth.
Suny Bay produced a near-faultless display of jumping to win in 1997, and had his odds slashed for the Grand National at Aintree, where he finished runner-up to Lord Gyllene. The following season he filled the same position at Liverpool, this time behind Earth Summit.
In 1993 the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup was won by top-weight Party Politics, who had been victorious in the previous year’s Grand National. He also went on to finish seven lengths runner-up to Royal Athlete in the 1995 renewal at Aintree. Not just a pointer towards the Aintree Grand National, the race also bodes well for future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners.
Adrian Maguire steered Cool Ground to victory at Haydock in 1992 and was again in the saddle when defeating The Fellow by a short-head at Prestbury Park in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup less than a month later.
The Peter Easterby-trained Alverton, the 1979 Haydock victor, also followed up in that year’s Gold Cup when he justified joint-favouritism at Cheltenham under a fine ride from Jonjo O’Neill.
Three years earlier Royal Frolic also achieved this magnificent big race double for owner Sir Edward Hanmer. He ran on well in the Gold Cup to beat Brown Lad by five lengths in an 11-strong field which also consisted of Glanford Brigg (the 1974 Haydock winner) in fifth and beaten favourite Bula one place further back.
Bregawn was hampered two out when the length second behind Scot Lane in the 1982 renewal of the Haydock contest. The following year he triumphed in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
For further information, please contact Dickon White, Haydock Park’s Managing Director, on 01942 725963 or 07798 928924, or visit www.haydock-park.co.uk
THE RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP
ROLL OF HONOUR (1968-2007)
Year Name Age/Wgt Trainer Jockey Owner SP Runners
2007 HELTORNIC 7-10-00 Michael Scudamore Tom Scudamore Stephen Molloy 12/1 16
2006 OSSMOSES 9-10-00 Don Forster Richard McGrath Don Forster 14/1 14
2005 FOREST GUNNER 11-10-10 Richard Ford Peter Buchanan John Gilsenan 12/1 11
2004 JURANCON II 7-10-06 Martin Pipe Joey Elliott David Johnson 10/1 10
2003 SHOTGUN WILLY 9-11-12 Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh Graham Roach 10/1 17
2002 Meeting Abandoned
2001 FRANTIC TAN 9-10-04 Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn The Bunkers Hill Mob 7/2 fav 18
2000 THE LAST FLING 10-11-01 Sue Smith Seamus Durack Trevor Hemmings 5/1 7
1999 YOUNG KENNY 8-10-00 Peter Beaumont Brendan Powell Gareth Read 9/1 13
1998 DOM SAMOURAI 7-10-00 Martin Pipe Chris Maude Brian Kilpatrick 10/1 15
1997 SUNY BAY 8-10-08 Charlie Brooks Jamie Osborne Uplands Bloodstock 7/2 5
1996 LO STREGONE 10-10-00 Tom Tate Charlie Swan Sylvia Clegg 7/2 11
1995 NUAFFE 10-11-00 Pat Fahy IRE Sean O’Donovan John Doyle 4/1 10
1994 Meeting Abandoned
1993 PARTY POLITICS 9-11-07 Nick Gaselee Carl Llewellyn PatriciaThompson 16/1 9
1992 COOL GROUND 10-11-03 Toby Balding Adrian Maguire Whitcombe Manor Stables 12/1 11
1991 TWIN OAKS 11-11-00 Gordon Richards Neale Doughty John Moreton 7/4 fav 15
1990 RINUS 9-10-04 Gordon Richards Richard Dunwoody A M Proos 11/2 11
1989 ETON ROUGE 10-10-01 Mercy Rimell John Bryan Mrs Bryan Jenks 11/2 4
1988 YAHOO 7-10-10 John Edwards Tom Morgan Alan Parker 11/4 fav 8
1987 Meeting Abandoned
1986 Meeting Abandoned
1985 EARLS BRIG 10-10-06 William Hamilton Phil Tuck William Hamilton 3/1 9
1984 MIDNIGHT LOVE 9-10-03 Denys Smith Chris Grant Carpenters Paints Ltd 14/1 10
1983 RIGHTHAND MAN 6-10-09 Michael Dickinson Robert Earnshaw Muriel Haggas 9/4 fav 10
1982 SCOT LANE 9-10-00 Martin Tate Craig Smith T Isherwood 14/1 12
1981 SUNSET CRISTO 7-11-07 Ray Hawkey Chris Grant Miss C Hawkey 5/1 jfav 8
1980 CAVITY HUNTER 7-11-01 Tony Dickinson Ridley Lamb F Tyldesley 4/1 9
1979 ALVERTON 9-11-05 Peter Easterby Jonjo O’Neill Snailwell Stud 2/1 fav 13
1978 RAMBLING ARTIST 8-10-06 Anthony Gilliam Jonjo O’Neill E Robbins 3/1 8
1977 GENERAL MOSELLE 8-10-03 Harry Wharton Ian Watkinson Mrs F Metcalfe 15/2 10
1976 ROYAL FROLIC 7-10-09 Fred Rimell Mr Sam Morshead Sir Edward Hanmer 3/1 fav 7
1975 THE BENIGN BISHOP 8-11-08 Ken Oliver Ron Barry D Oliver 4/1 6
1974 GLANFORD BRIGG 8-10-07 Jack Hardy Steve Holland P Harper 4/1 fav 12
1973 TREGARRON 6-10-06 Ken Oliver Colin Tinkler H Blyth 7/1 11
1972 YOUNG ASH LEAF 8-11-08 Ken Oliver Tommy Stack R McDonald 6/1 9
1971 RAINBOW VALLEY 8-10-13 Tony Dickinson Michael Dickinson Monica Dickinson 7/2 6
1970 Meeting Abandoned
1969 TWO SPRINGS 7-10-04 George Owen Roy Edwards D H Barnes 5/1 6
1968 HALF AWAKE 8-10-13 D Thomson Tommy Stack D Thomson 7/2 9
Run over 3m until 1990
FACTS AND FIGURES FOR THE
RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP
- The late Ken Oliver holds the best record of trainers in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup, having won the race three times with Young Ash Leaf in 1972, Tregarron the following season and The Benign Bishop in 1975. Two other trainers who are no longer with us - Tony Dickinson and Gordon Richards - were successful twice. The former scored with Rainbow Valley in 1971 and Cavity Hunter in 1980, while Richards struck with Rinus in 1990 and Twin Oaks the following year. Martin Pipe, who retired from training in 2006, also hit the bullseye twice, with Dom Samourai (1998) and Jurancon II (2004).
- Four jockeys have been successful twice. The first was Tommy Stack, victorious on Half Awake in 1968 and Young Ash Leaf in 1972, followed by the now leading trainer Jonjo O’Neill, who won on Rambling Artist in 1978 and Alverton the following year. Chris Grant was successful on Sunset Cristo in 1981 and Midnight Love in 1984. Carl Llewellyn was triumphant on Party Politics in 1993 and Frantic Tan in 2001.
- No owner has won the Red Square Vodka Gold Cold Cup on more than one occasion, and no horse has won the contest twice.
- Eight-year-olds have the best record, having won on nine occasions. Next best are nine-year-olds, and seven-year-olds, with both age groups providing eight successes, followed by 10-year-olds on six victories and six-year-olds with two wins. Twin Oaks in 1991 and Forest Gunner in 2005 were both 11-year-olds.
- In 2003 the Paul Nicholls-trained Shotgun Willy produced the best weight-carrying performance when shouldering 11st 12lb to victory. At the other end of the weight spectrum, six horses have carried the minimum of 10st to glory - Scot Lane in 1982, Lo Stregone in 1996, Dom Samourai in 1998, Young Kenny in 1999, Ossmoses in 2006 and Heltornic last year.
- Favourites have a fair record, having been successful eight times in 35 runnings (22.8%). However, only one market leader has scored since 1992. The longest-priced winner was Party Politics in 1993, when Nick Gaselee’s charge was sent off at 16/1.
- The highest number of horses to go to post was 18 in 2001, the year that Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Frantic Tan justified favouritism. The smallest field was four in 1989. There were 16 runners last year, with the current safety limit being 20 runners.
- There has been one Irish-trained victor - Nuaffe who won in 1995 for trainer Pat Fahy, jockey Sean O’Donovan and owner John Doyle.
RECORD OF CURRENT TRAINERS IN THE
RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP (SINCE 1988)
2007 PU Sir Rembrandt
2006 3 Sir Rembrandt
2003 4 Wonder Weasel
2003 13 Bobby Grant
2001 PU Young Kenny
2000 2 Niki Dee
2000 4 Young Kenny
1999 1 YOUNG KENNY
1999 11 Island Chief
1996 PU Jodami
Sue Bramall IRE
1998 PU Antonin
1998 3 Strath Royal
2001 PU No Retreat
1998 PU Avro Anson
Francois Doumen FR
2007 PU Kelami
2006 PU First Gold
2005 3 Kelami
1996 PU Scotton Banks
1995 PU Cool Ground
Pat Fahy IRE
1998 PU Dun Belle
1995 1 NUAFFE
Francis Flood IRE
2007 7 G V A Ireland
2005 1 FOREST GUNNER
2006 1 OSSMOSES
2003 PU Kit Smartie
2007 PU Kilbeggan Blade
2006 2 Model Son
2000 PU Fiddling The Facts
1999 2 Fiddling The Facts
2006 7 Double Honour
2005 2 Double Honour
2001 PU Atavistic
1999 7 Mudahim
1988 3 Mr Moonraker
1990 5 Highway Express
Michael Hourigan IRE
2006 R A New Story
2001 11 Tullymurry Toff
2000 3 Tullymurry Toff
2007 9 Bewleys Berry
2006 4 Tyneandthyneagain
2007 11 Kandjar D’Allier
2004 2 Bear On Board
2003 10 Southern Star
1991 PU Sandicliffe Boy
1990 7 Travel Over
2007 4 Wild Cane Ridge
2004 PU Joe Blake
1995 6 Plenty Crack
1993 F Plenty Crack
1991 5 Plenty Crack
2001 6 Moral Support
1999 5 Cavalero
Tony Martin IRE
2001 9 Hollybank Buck
2000 5 Hollybank Buck
2007 10 Cloudy Lane
1998 PU Kendal Cavalier
2007 6 Leading Man
2005 5 Truckers Tavern
2001 5 Streamstown
1992 PU On The Twist
1991 4 On The Twist
2003 7 Supreme Glory
2001 4 Supreme Glory
2007 2 L’Aventure
2007 5 Cornish Rebel
2006 5 L’Aventure
2006 PU Eurotrek
2005 4 L’Aventure
2004 6 Exit To Wave
2003 1 SHOTGUN WILLY
1999 10 Earthmover
1998 F Belmont King
1998 PU Court Melody
1996 4 Deep Bramble
1995 4 Vicompt De Valmont
2004 PU Wain Mountain
2004 P World Wide Web
2003 11 Carbury Cross
2003 PU Mini Sensation
2001 PU Radiation
1992 PU Boreen Owen
2003 9 Hugo De Grez
1995 PU Capability Brown
2000 PU Feels Like Gold
2007 1 HELTORNIC
2005 PU Turnium
1999 3 Him Of Praise
1998 2 Him Of Praise
2006 6 Truckers Tavern
2006 PU Chives
2005 PU Chives
2003 3 Artic Jack
2003 14 Ardent Scout
2001 8 The Last Fling
2000 1 THE LAST FLING
1993 PU Kildimo
1992 2 Kildimo
1992 F Withy Bank
1991 7 Withy Bank
Charlie Swan IRE
2006 PU What A Native
1998 7 Lo Stregone
1997 5 Lo Stregone
1996 1 LO STREGONE
2007 3 Mon Mome
2007 PU The Outlier
2003 5 Jocks Cross
2001 2 Jocks Cross
1999 6 General WolfeRECORD OF CURRENT JOCKEYS IN THE
RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP (SINCE 1988)
Mr Will Biddick
2007 3 Mon Mome
* 2.45pm RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP (Grade Three) 3m 4f 110y £125,000
~3.25pm Gordon Plant Memorial Trophy Novices’ Handicap Chase 2m 4f £20,000
4.00pm Sporting Index Walrus Hunters’ Chase 3m £12,500
* BBC Televised Races
~ Channel 4 Televised race GOING ON
RED SQUARE VODKA GOLD CUP DAY
2003 Good, Good To Soft In Places
2000 Soft, Heavy Patches
1999 Soft, Heavy Patches
1998 Good To Soft changed to Soft after second race
1992 Good To Soft
1991 Good To Soft
1988 Good To Soft
1985 Good To Soft
1983 Good To Soft
1982 Good To Soft
1978 Good To Soft