Haydock Park Races 2013 – First Half Results 

Managed by the Jockey Club, Haydock Park is conveniently situated at equal distances from Manchester and Liverpool. Racing in the vicinity dates back to 1752, and despite its close proximity to industry, the course is still set amid woodlands and tree-lined avenues, offering a park-like atmosphere.

The 2013 racing season at Haydock Park was set with 33 race days, including both flat racing and jumps. On 19 January, three Class 2 events were scheduled—the M53 Ford Sponsor Paul Hanagan Novices’ Chase, the williamhill.com Supreme Novices’ Trial Hurdle and the Peter Marsh Chase (Limited Handicap)—along with the stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial. However, all races had to be abandoned when heavy snow fell, making the track unavailable.

The first really important early event of the year was the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle covering three miles on 16 February. Held annually, it is a Class 2 series qualifier for the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle held at the Cheltenham Festival in March. This year, eight-year-old Seymour Eric ridden by Ian Popham led a field of nine jumpers to finish first at 7/2 odds. Four-and-a-half lengths back, Ireland’s Knock A Hand finished second at 10/1 and Bouggler made the podium in third at 25/1.

That same day, two Grade 2 events were held over three miles. Across The Bay won the betfred Mobile Lotto Hurdle to pay 9/1. Meanwhile, in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, the favourite Two Rockers prevailed at odds of 15/8. Both winners hailed from Ireland. Then, the betfred Grand National Trial was contested. The 9/2 favourite Well Refreshed ridden by Joshua Moore overcame a bad mistake at the last, galloping away from runner-up Rigadin de Beauchene to win by ten lengths. Welsh National hero Monbeg Dude claimed third.

In March, racecourse officials announced record ticket sales across the entire 2013 race calendar. Eager customers had already snapped up badges and packages for scheduled race days, right up to the final event of the year on 30 December, with overall advance sales up 35 per cent on the same time in 2012.

Easter weekend featured seven Saturday races conducted under the sponsorship of BetVictor.com. It was designated a family day with a Willy Wonka theme, complete with such children’s entertainment as a Golden Ticket Cube, Wonka Factory, Oompa Loompas and funfair rides. Admission was free for anyone aged 17 and under when accompanied by an adult.

As spring began to unfold, the racing pace picked up. GPW Recruitment sponsored six challenges on 27 April, including four handicap events and two maiden stakes, one of which was for fillies. Pertemps Network then took up sponsorship of seven races on 11 May. Those included the Grade 3 Swinton Hurdle, the first graded race of the 2013/14 UK National Hurdle season, which was won amid a field of 16 starters by Ireland’s Barizan at odds of 8/1. Next, there were six races conducted under the 32red title on 23 May and half a dozen more sponsored by PHS the following day. Among the eight races backed by betfred on 25 May was the season’s first Group 2 sprint—the five-furlong betfred Temple Stakes—worth £90,000. It was won by Ireland’s eight-year-old Kingsgate Native at odds of 14/1.

June saw five full days of racing, with more maiden stakes and handicaps on the 7th, 12th, 13th and 22nd. Two Group 3 sprints were conducted on 8 June, too, but the bigger events are yet to come in the second half of the year, including the much anticipated 46th running of the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday, 7 September.

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