188BET Rowland Meyrick Chase
|Grade 3 Handicap, Wetherby
3m 1f, Class 1
|Saturday 26th December 2015|
Both days of the 188BET Yorkshire Christmas Meeting were abandoned. 40mm of rain left the course flooded.
Top-weight Holywell (Jonjo O'Neill/Joshua Moore) drops back into handicap company for the first time since capturing the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. He followed that up with a 10-length victory over Don Cossack in the Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree, which ensured he was crowned the leading novice chaser that season.
Prior to that, Holywell was fifth behind the same rival in the Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase over three miles at Wetherby on October 31.
Jonjo O'Neill said today: "Holywell seems in great form.
"His two runs this year have been a bit below par, but he is flying at home and schooling brilliantly. I could not be happier with him and hopefully he will pick up.
"He has got a big weight but he carries a big weight every time he runs in the top races. He doesn't know the Rowland Meyrick is a handicap!"
Also set to line up in the three-mile contest is last year's winner Dolatulo (Warren Greatrex/Gavin Sheehan) while stepping up in distance is Top Gamble (Kerry Lee/David Noonan (5)), a Grade Two winner at Ayr in April.
What A Good Night (Dan Skelton/Ian Popham) was successful over the course and distance last year and was also on the scoresheet last time out at Bangor. Another horse to boast course winning form is Grandads Horse (Charlie Longsdon/Brian Hughes), who was successful in the 2013 Bobby Renton Handicap Chase.
Chances of the valuable prize remaining in Yorkshire rest with No Planning (Sue Smith/Danny Cook), a dual winner over fences at Wetherby plus the Micky Hammond-trained duo of Alderbrook Lad (Finian O'Toole (7)), successful twice over the summer at Carlisle and Silver Tassie (Miss Catherine Walton (5)), who finished third at Kelso on his debut for the Middleham handler having previously been trained in Ireland.
Completing the field are dual Grade Three scorer Splash Of Ginge (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Jamie Bargary (5)) and Distime (Richard Drake/Jonathan England).
William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase
£40,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
|1||U14 3-54||Holywell (IRE) 35||8||11-12||Jonjo O'Neill||Joshua Moore|
|2||125 1-P3||Top Gamble (IRE) 29||7||11-6||Kerry Lee||David Noonan (5)|
|3||P7P-77U||Splash of Ginge 28||7||10-13||N A Twiston-Davies||Jamie Bargary (5)|
|4||818 00-3||Dolatulo (FR) 21||8||10-13 pt||W Greatrex||G Sheehan|
|5||112 46P||Alderbrook Lad (IRE) 20||9||10-7||Micky Hammond||Finian O'Toole (7)|
|6||04-1 P3U||No Planning 21||8||10-4||Mrs S J Smith||Danny Cook|
|7||188 P9-0||Grandads Horse 21||9||10-4 p||C E Longsdon||B Hughes|
|8||F1U 6-F1||What A Good Night (IRE) 45||7||10-0 t||D Skelton||Ian Popham|
|9||U-F6 853||Silver Tassie (IRE) 20||7||10-0||Micky Hammond||Miss C Walton (5)|
|10||PF5-813||Distime (IRE) 21||9||10-0||R Drake||Jonathan England|