Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle
Grade 3, Haydock Park 14:25
£80,000 added, 4yo plus,
3m 58y, Class 1  
Saturday 21st November 2020

Free Racing Tips

1 Main Fact 13/2
2 Third Wind 6/1J
3 Highland Hunter 7/1
4 Ask Dillon 20/1
17 ran NR: I K Brunel Distances: 2¾l, 1¾l, 1¼l
Time: 6m 22.32s (slow by 24.32s)

Main Fact has been a revelation since joining David Pipe, being beaten off a mark of 98 in December before winning each of his next eight starts to line up on Merseyside off a 49lb higher rating.

Returning to jumping action for the first time since March after three wins on the level, Fergus Gillard took off a useful 7lb in this ultra-competitive heat and Main Fact was among the market leaders as a 13-2 chance.

His supporters might have been worried with Main Fact back in the pack for much of the race, as Wholestone and Clyne set the pace, but with one hurdle to jump, Gillard had manoeuvred his mount into fourth and produced a perfectly-timed challenge to snatch glory.

Main Fact powered past his rivals to come home two and three-quarter lengths clear of Third Wind, with Highland Hunter third.

A delighted Pipe was not on Merseyside, but he said from his Pond House base: “He’s a freak of a horse really, isn’t he?

“His relations are graded horses in America, and he’s bred by Juddmonte – and obviously, this was a career-best today.

“The rain came for us, which obviously he loves.

“Not that I could see much on the TV, but Fergus gave him a great ride. They’ve got a great partnership.

“He’s not pretty to watch in his races. But he’s there at the finish – which is the most important thing.”

He went on: “I was thinking the same the thing (not to be today) – but you just hope he’s starting to stay on.

“We weren’t certain to get the three miles – even though it was likely – but he’s got every yard of it, and he’s probably idled when he’s got to the front again.”

On future plans, Pipe said: “I suppose it has to be (graded races now).

“Because of his style of running, soft or heavy ground is probably pretty important – but at the same time, he deserves to go up in grade again. This was a fantastic race, but he probably deserves to go into graded company.

“We’ll stick at this (staying trip) now. He has to improve again, but he’s going to go up into the 150s now, so you have to take him seriously.”

Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle
£80,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 58y, Class 1
17 ran
Going: Soft, Heavy in places

1      Main Fact 7 11-4 David Pipe Fergus Gillard 13/2
2 Third Wind 6 10-12 Hughie Morrison Jonjo O'Neill 6/1J
3 Highland Hunter 7 10-4 Paul Nicholls Sean Bowen 7/1
4 Ask Dillon 7 10-12 Fergal O'Brien Connor Brace 20/1
5 3 West To The Bridge 7 10-11 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 20/1
6 The Jam Man 1 7 11-5 Ronan M P McNally Miss M O'Sullivan 7/1
7 1 Kalashnikov 7 11-12 Amy Murphy Jack Quinlan 22/1
8 ½ Flashjack 10 10-8 Henry Daly Micheal Nolan 40/1
9 Imperial Alcazar 6 10-11 Fergal O'Brien Paddy Brennan 13/2
10 ½ Justatenner 9 10-5 Tristan Davidson Harry Reed 80/1
11 Clyne 10 10-11 Evan Williams Jordan Nailor 50/1
PU Who Dares Wins p 8 11-4 Alan King Tom Cannon 33/1
PU Collooney 6 10-5 Olly Murphy Aidan Coleman 14/1
PU Relegate 7 10-8 C A Murphy Robbie Power 6/1J
PU Fauburg Rosetgri 8 10-5 1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 80/1
PU Dolphin Square 6 10-10 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 17/2
FELL Wholestone 9 11-6 Nigel Twiston-Davies Daryl Jacob 33/1
NR 12 I K Brunel 6 10-9 Olly Murphy NON RUNNER