Swinton Handicap Hurdle Tips: Heritage to strike at Haydock for Wadham

A competitive field will line up for the Swinton at Haydock on Saturday
A competitive field will line up for the Swinton at Haydock on Saturday

While most racing eyes are on the top quality Flat action at the moment there's still a real treat for National Hunt fans on Saturday afternoon at Haydock Park as the hugely competitive Swinton Handicap Hurdle will take place at 15:00, and our man Steve Chambers previews the event here...

Attracting some really quality handicappers this year, your eyes are immediately drawn to the head of the handicap and last year's Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Milkwood and this year's Greatwood hero West Cork, who sit one and two on the racecard, and they have to be leading players here. The former failed to fire in this year's Scottish Champion Hurdle, so it's a slight worry if he can replicate his 2021 form, but he will strip fitter for that outing and has to be respected at 10/1. Fourth in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, West Cork then finished runner-up in the Scottish Champion, but he's been given another 2lb rise, so he's at a mark of 144, which could see him struggle, and he's worth taking on at the head of the market.

John McConnell's Anna Bunina was victorious in this year's Scottish Champion Hurdle, and the progressive six-year-old mare will attempt to follow that Ayr success up here and is available at 6/1. A fine winner that day, she's been handed a 5lbs rise by the handicapper for that event, and this could be a much tougher test with a lot more runners, and she could find it hard to notch up back-to-back wins.

A fascinating, unexposed runner is the Philip Hobbs-trained Luttrell Lad, who has only had four runs over hurdles during his career, but during that time has won once and finished second three times, so he still has the potential. Second at Chepstow last time out, he runs off a mark of 135 here which could prove to be very attractive, and of the leading contenders at the head of the market he's the most eye-catching one at 8/1.

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With a field of 17 set to go to the 1m 7f 144y post, then it's a real tough task for punters to find the winner, but one that catches the eye is the Lucy Wadham-trained MISS HERITAGE, who was last seen with a Grade 2 Mares' Hurdle at Doncaster by 15 lengths, and a repeat of that effort should see her go very close at 16/1.

Given a 7lbs rise for that victory, she will have to deal with a mark of 134 here, but she showed when second in the Imperial Cup earlier in her career off a mark of 133 that she can run a big race in a competitive two-mile handicap hurdle, and she has to be a player. A hugely consistent performer throughout her career, Miss Heritage has often been knocking on the door, so at 16/1 she marks terrific each-way value and she can make the frame at the very least.

Tom Lacey's Sebastopol was a winner over fences last time out, but reverts to the hurdling sphere here, so if he can replicate the same form from his chasing campaign then has to be a player, while Herbiers built on a ninth placed finish in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham by finish second at Prestbury Park last month and is another of note.

Milkwood maybe the flagbearer for the Mulholland yard, but Peltwell has been a winning machine of late racking up seven wins on the spin, and that charge sneaks in at the bottom of the handicap. The winning run came to an abrupt end last time out when unseating at Haydock, but if the nine-year-old can bounce back from that effort and complete here then has to be considered a lively outsider in a thrilling renewal.

2022 Swinton Handicap Hurdle
Miss Heritage silk

Miss Heritage (EW)

lost
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