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Haydock Park

  • 14:40 StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial 2m

  • (Grade 2) £75,000 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £42,712 2nd £16,028 3rd £8,025 4th £3,998
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 57.00s
  • Off time: 14:40:42

Full result

14:40 Haydock Park Result 18th January 2014
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Melodic Rendezvous 11-8 Nick Scholfield J Scott 8 7/4
Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd 4 out, led run-in, kept on well towards finish opened 9/4 touched 9/4 £900-£400
2nd Ptit Zig (FR) 11-12 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 5 Evsf
Tracked leader, left in lead 4 out, pressed and jumped right last, headed run-in, kept on and held by winner opened 11/10 touched 11/10 £550-£500
3rd 11 Jumps Road 11-4 Brendan Powell C L Tizzard 7 28/1
In touch in 4th, headway to track leaders before 3 out, ridden before and not fluent last, one pace and just held on for 3rd close home opened 25/1 touched 33/1
4th nse Morning Royalty (IRE) 11-4 B S Hughes James Moffatt 7 50/1
In rear, soon towards rear, headway 4 out to chase leaders, pushed along before 2 out, soon outpaced, kept on from last, just held for 3rd close home opened 40/1 touched 50/1
5th 2 Ifandbutwhynot (IRE) 11-8 Timmy Murphy D O'Meara 8 16/1
Towards rear, soon in rear, headway before 2 out, weakened last opened 10/1 touched 16/1
UR Act Of Kalanisi (IRE) 11-4 A P McCoy Dr R D P Newland 8 15/2
Led and clear, hit and pecked badly and unseated rider 4 out opened 7/1 touched 15/2

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.20,£1.80
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£1.10 2&3:£3.30 1&3:£7.00

Jackpot: £40,339.04 carried forward to Kempton Park, 19th Jan
Placepot: £34.20, Pool: £107821.13, 2295.31 winning tickets
Quadpot: £6.30, Pool: £7350.84, 859.58 winning tickets

Verdict

Few winners of this Champion Hurdle Trial have gone to Cheltenham with realistic claims and MELODIC RENDEZVOUS is unlikely to be challenging the market leaders come post time. There was a good deal to like about this performance with connections having feared the race may have come a week or two too soon with the eight year old recovering from a muscle injury that had led to his disappointing performance in the Fighting Fifth. His record now stands at six wins from nine starts and he was vying for favouritism in the Supreme Hurdle last year before being ruled out for the season in the run-up to the Festival. It's worth noting that one of his two other defeats came at the hands of the Supreme winner Champagne Fever in a Grade One Punchestown bumper the previous season and that, perhaps, is a fair indication of where he stands in the pecking order with the form of his wins fairly easy to knock. He did quicken clear in great style though and deserves the opportunity to test his mettle against the best in this division and it's to be hoped that when he does get that opportunity that he arrives fit, healthy and ready to do himself justice. Ptit Zig was sent off as favourite after running a fine race under a big-weight in a valuable handicap but he lacked the winner's change of pace in a more tactical affair. He stays further than this but might not be the easiest to place in the short term; his future lies over fences next season although it would be no surprise to see connections keep him back for a tilt at the valuable French prizes in early summer where he should get his ground. Jumps Road, beaten 12 lengths behind The New One last time, ran about as well as can have been expected as did Morning Royalty. Ifandbutwhynot, in contrast, weakened a shade tamely when the tempo quickened but is likely to have found this ground too testing and can be expected to fare better back in handicap company in the spring.