The New One Unibet Hurdle
Haydock Park 14:05
1m 7f 144y, Class 1
❗️ABANDONMENT— Haydock Park Races (@haydockraces) January 21, 2023
Unfortunately racing has been abandoned today due to a frozen track. Temperatures reached -3c last night. Automatic refunds will be made for ticket purchases and the hospitality team will be in touch with customers.
Phil Kirby's new recruit Jason The Militant is entered in the £110,000 Sovereign Handicap Hurdle on day one of Lingfield’s Winter Million weekend on Friday – where he would have to shoulder top weight – while Kirby has also given him an entry here and the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Hurdle back at Lingfield on Sunday.
Twice a winner in Graded company over hurdles when trained by Henry de Bromhead in Ireland, his best performance for his former handler was perhaps when finishing a half-length third to Abacadabras in Punchestown’s Morgiana Hurdle in 2020.
The son of Sans Frontieres is also a Listed winner on the Flat and having made the recent switch to North Yorkshire for £50,000, his new trainer is hoping to enjoy some nice days out under both codes in the year ahead.
“He’s been absolutely grand, he’s very straightforward,” said Kirby. “We schooled him the other day and he jumped well and the plan was always to run in these sort of races.
“He’s got a few bits available to him (this weekend) just to give us the best chance. We’re not going to pick one yet.
“The ground will be ideal for him because he’ll love bottomless ground, so it’s come at the right time really.”
On further plans for Jason The Militant, he added: “We’ll see where we are and work from there.
“I imagine he would struggle in handicaps off his mark (154), so we will try to find these small-field conditions races, see if we can pick up some prize money and have some nice days out with him.
“We’ll definitely have a go on the Flat in some nice places when there is soft ground. He’s been bought to go to some nice places, but he might be a little bit ground dependent, so we may have to pick the right time.”
Nicky Henderson has entered Epatante, with Nigel Twiston-Davies keen to win the prize with I Like To Move It given the race is named after his former stable star, The New One.
The New One Unibet Hurdle
(Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle)
£75,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 144y, Class 1
Going: Heavy (Precautionary Inspection on Saturday at 08:00)
1 520-16 I Like To Move It 6 11-8 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
2 414-24 Nells Son 8 11-7 Nicky Richards Danny McMenamin
3 4-3440 For Pleasure 8 11-4 Alex Hales Adam Wedge
4 U/73-4 Jason The Militant 9 11-4 Philip Kirby Joe Williamson
5 42-431 Minella Drama 8 11-4 Donald McCain Brian Hughes
6 21-322 Epatante 9 11-3 Nicky Henderson Aidan Coleman