Wednesday’s race of the day – Runner-by-runner guide to fascinating Introductory Hurdle at Haydock

Jon Vine takes a look through the runners set to take part in the Introductory Hurdle at Haydock and provides readers with his tips in the race of the day on Wednesday 4th November.

As part of our Daily Tips service, I’ve taken a look through each of the runners in Wednesday’s race of the day at Haydock and tips an exciting filly to get one over the boys.

Wednesday’s Race Of The Day at Haydock

Ebony Jewel

More than useful form in bumpers, finishing second to Mr Grey Sky before a 12-length triumph at Ayr. Ended season with sixth-place finish in Grade Two bumper at Aintree. Was beaten into third as the 11/10 favourite on hurdles debut at Ayr and will need to sharpen up his jumping if he wants to build on that result.

Marie’s Rock

Beautifully bred filly who scored a comfortable victory on her only bumper start last term, winning on good ground at Ffos Las by three lengths. Nicky Henderson is a master with young mares and there’s no doubting she will take to hurdling. Massively respected.

On To Victory

Formerly trained by Eve Johnston-Houghton on the flat, where he reached a superb rating of 108. Even shared the track with Stradivarius when finishing eighth in the 2018 Yorkshire Cup. Now with Alan King, who has plenty of experience helping flat racers transition into jumpers. Been off the track for a long time though and this trip could prove a little sharp.

On To Victory (left) finishing second in a big handicap at Glorious Goodwood in 2017.

Saint Dalina

Showed promise in a bumper last term, but has disappointed in two starts for far during the sutumn. Beaten 20-lengths in a bumper on her reappearance, before a 30-length defeat on heavy ground at Uttoxeter. Seemingly has little chance.

Stimulating Song

Failed to win in any of his four starts in bumpers. Finished second twice in September, before finishing fifth in Class Two at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting. Mare has produced five progeny who have failed to win 35 starts between them. Doesn’t seem to have the class of some rivals here.

Sunny Express

Finished third in good-quality bumper on debut last term. Made Hurdles debut at Carlisle last month and ran well to place second. Top two pulled a long way clear of a 115-rated rival. Would be surprised if there wasn’t one or two better than him in here.

The Con Man

Unbeaten in two start. Impressive in both too. Won a point-to-point over three miles on heavy ground, before a smart victory over now 131-rated Garrettstown at Carlisle. Ground was heavy that day too, so conditions at Haydock will be ideal.

Verdict

The Con Man and On To Victory clearly have plenty of potential over hurdles, but both would be more suited to tests of stamina and this two-mile trip may be a little swift. Preference, therefore, is for Nicky Henderson’s filly Marie’s Rock (5/2 bet365).

When it comes to young mares going over hurdles, there are few better trainers out there than Henderson and he will have been impressed by the way his filly put the race to bed at Ffos Las in the spring. Now, the form of that race hasn’t worked out well at all, but Marie’s Rock is bred to improve over hurdles and I think she may have a little too much speed for her rivals over this distance.