Grade Two New One Unibet Hurdle Guide 2022

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Danny McMenamin

Tommy's Oscar

J: Danny McMenamin
T: Ann Hamilton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 156
Days: 21

A horse with Champion Hurdle aspirations for smaller connections come March, which is what we all love to see in racing, connections taking a chance with a horse that does look a very nice horse.

Tommy’s Oscar takes the step up into Graded company for the first time in his career, but he does look to deserve to take the chance at these higher levels, due to currently on a three-race winning streak, winning all three races by a combined 17 lengths.

His last run at Musselburgh on new years day is his most impressive victory to date, beating a horse trained by champion trainer Paul Nicholls who was quite well fancied that day and is a Graded winner himself, with some decent form in behind.

The Ann Hamilton trained gelding travelled strongly throughout the race, relishing the quick pace over the 2-mile trip, and was going easily at the 3rd last before surging clear up the home straight to stay on and win by 6 lengths.

He has improved with each run and looks more like a graded horse in the making each time we see him on a racecourse.

Should he win this Grade 2 Champion Hurdle trial at Haydock, then hopefully all roads lead to the 2-mile feature race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Three wins in a row, with his career best performance last time out, this 7yo looks to improve with each run and with Champion Hurdle aspirations from connections shows how much of a talent he is, will be hard to stop in this given his current run of form.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Aidan Coleman

Hunters Call

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 12
Weight: 11-4
OR: 145
Days: 42

This 12yo trained by Olly Murphy has had an on and off career, missing all of 2018, 2019 and majority of 2020.

He has however looked to come better with age, winning a nice Class 2 at Bangor on his seasonal reappearance, which was his first run for 7 months before running an absolute blinder of a race in the Grade 2 International Hurdle last time out at Cheltenham, to only be beaten by Guard Your Dreams and Song For Someone, with horses like Heaven Help Us, Sceau Royal and Ballyadam in behind that day.

He is the apple of Olly Murphy’s eye, behind the first big race success of his training career back in December 2017 winning a Grade 3 at Ascot and being 12yo he must be showing something at home to suggest he can handle the heat of this Grade 2 race again.

He is a 12yo now though and must deal with the younger rivals in this pretty hot contest. Could run well and go two places better than last time.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Kielan Woods

Global Citizen

J: Kielan Woods
T: Ben Pauling
Age: 10
Weight: 11-4
OR: 134
Days: 35

A horse for Ben Pauling who is very talented on his day, winning Graded races over hurdles and fences including this race back in 2019, but hasn’t been seen to best effect since winning the Grade 2 Wayward Novices Chase at Kempton in December 2019, in fact that was his last winning performance, which was some performance might I add.

He has beaten some top horses in his time but does look to be the repressive horse in the field, with connections opting to come back hurdling after pulling up multiple times at the back end of 2020.

His form hasn’t exactly taken a step in the right direction that connections may have wanted since going back to the smaller obstacles, and he does look to be on the slide talent wise but did look to have somewhat of an ounce of zest in his game when coming second in a competitive class 3 handicap hurdle at Doncaster last November.

He has been disappointing since in lesser company and does look up to it in this against horses going the other direction to him.

Classy sort in his day with multiple Grade 2’s to his name but does look regressive now and is not getting any younger.

Will have to step up a lot to land this race.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Sean Bowen

Garo De Juilley

J: Sean Bowen
T: Sophie Leech
Age: 10
Weight: 11-8
OR: 132
Days: 108

A rare French raider in this race for Sophie Leech, who does look slightly up against it with the form to his name but was a fairly recent winner at Pau in the heavy conditions last February, beating a horse of David Cottin’s by 2 and a half lengths who has since came out a won twice after they met, both of which were graded races.

This horse does have some form in England back in 2020 and is a graded winner for these connections but his recent form may suggest he will be up against it in this, however soft conditions are in his favour.

French raider who beat a nice horse in Ajas (Who has since won two graded races since) in February of last year, will love the softer conditions but must give the main market leaders 4lb’s and is much lesser rated than they are.

Best watched.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Brian Hughes

Navajo Pass

J: Brian Hughes
T: Donald McCain
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 140
Days: 14

The Donald McCain 6yo was the winner of this race last year but was slightly handed the success with Buveur D’air having his first run in over a year and the repressive Ballyandy (Who hasn’t won since winning this race back in 2020) the only two rivals in the race, two horses with big points to prove that day who were soundly beaten.

Navajo Pass hasn’t won since running in this race last year, running in slightly lesser races but has been rated at 156 previously, so is now slightly slipping down the ratings from his peak rating, but does have a 6lb penalty in this against the main protagonists in the top end of the field.

He is clearly a nice horse who has the talent to win this again, with conditions that will be very much in his favour.

But although the winner of this race last year, he hasn’t won since and does and the 6lb penalty could be too much to handle.

He will have to bring his A-game to win this harder renewal this year.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Nick Scholfield


J: Nick Scholfield
T: Alastair Ralph
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 135
Days: 23

Alastair Ralph has his horses in fine order at the moment and Nick Scholfield is fresh off a Grade 2 success with Stag Horn from the weekend at Warwick, so he will be riding on a high at the moment with Rockadenn who does look slightly up against it in this.

He hasn’t run in a graded race before, but unlike the favourite he hasn’t won recently, in fact he hasn’t won since at Class 2 at Taunton in the heavy conditions February last year.

He is one of the less exposed sorts in the race and clearly does love the softer conditions with the ground set to be on the soft side as per usual at Haydock on Saturday, so that will play to his strengths, but he is much lower rated than the horses at the summit of the market and will have to improve tonnes to land this race, something that doesn’t look particularly like given his recent runs in lesser races.

Hasn’t won since last February but does love the softer conditions being a French recruit but does look up against it in this against some improving types.


James Mackie | @jamesmackieee