Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle Guide 2022

Andy Smith | @AndySmithRacing

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Aidan Coleman

Thomas Darby

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 155
Days: 63

Olly Murphy’s 9 year old is relatively lightly raced for his age and has only been seen on course 17 times in his career.
A decent novice hurdle campaign saw him come a valiant 2nd to Klassical Dream in the 2019 Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

A short spell chasing followed but after two attempts over the bigger obstacles his time over fences was brought to an end. Scoring in handicap company at Ascot in early 2020 was the last time he managed to get his head in front for almost 2 years.

Mainly being campaigned over 2.5 miles, he showed marked improvement when trying 3 miles for the first time at the end of last season to be 3rd in a Grade 1 behind Thyme Hill.

Shaping like he needed the run on seasonal return, he then won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury. Scalping two previous Stayers’ Hurdle winners in the process.

Moved into Grade 1 company for his most recent outing saw Paisley Park reverse the form and he looked outclassed behind the likes of Champ and Thyme Hill.

Dropping back in grade will help but he carries a 6lb penalty for his success at Newbury, however his form this season sets the standard.

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Harry Skelton

Molly Ollys Wishes

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 8
Weight: 11-3
OR: 145
Days: 28

A highly consistent mare for Harry and Dan Skelton, Molly Olly’s Wishes has been lethal in the company of her own sex but has seemingly struggled when put in against the geldings.

The 8 year old pulled up on her hurdling debut and didn't taste success under rules until being sent up in trip for an impressive display at Warwick to break her maiden.

Graduating through handicaps in her first season in open company, she’s gotten better with experience and scored in listed company on bottomless ground at Warwick again.

Trying her luck against the boys next time out in a grade 2 saw her put in her place by Brewin’upastorm.

This season has been much of the same. An impressive win over a seemingly inadequate 2 miles came when taking on other mares but again she struggled when pitched in against the boys.

Last seen winning a grade 2 at Ascot, again she looked a class above against her own sex. This is her first crack at 3 miles but it remains to be seen if that’ll unlock the potential needed to finally get the better of the boys.

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Tom O'Brien

Third Wind

J: Tom O'Brien
T: Hughie Morrison
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 144
Days: 35

Hughie Morrison is represented by his 8 year old gelding Third Wind. An impressive novice hurdler, Third Wind was only beaten once in his opening season over timber but struggled to uphold that form when switching to fences the following campaign.

Immediately dropped back to hurdles he tasted success in a decent Pertemps Qualifier before going on to be 4th in the final at the Festival.

He then struggled to acquit himself in staying handicaps and graded races. Unable to defy a mark in the mid 140’s and not quite good enough to make his presence felt in Grade 1 company.

He did taste success when beating Lisnagar Oscar in this race last year but that brings a 6lb penalty with it for this year’s renewal. This season he’s struggled for form again in graded company and handicap company.

Although he won this race last year he’s been out of form this season having only posted a 7th of 8 in the Long Walk and 3rd behind Sporting John in a Pertemps Qualifier.

This requires a lot more and he’s not shown anything promising this season.

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Brian Hughes


J: Brian Hughes
T: Warren Greatrex
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 140
Days: 29

Warren Greatrex’s gelding managed to beat Lisnagar Oscar in his maiden hurdle and earmarked himself as a decent stayer when rounding out his novice hurdle campaign coming 2nd to Champ in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

Kept over hurdles for the following season, he scored in this race in 2020 when obliging easily as favourite on deep ground. He rounded out that season with a near career best to be 4th in the Stayers’ Hurdle behind Lisnagar Oscar.

A short spell chasing followed but he failed to score in either of his outings over fences, despite going off a short priced favourite both times. He’s since struggled for form over hurdles and fences and hasn’t managed to notch a win for 2 years now.

Returning to racing this year over fences again, he once again failed to oblige favourite backers and had to settle for 2nd. Last of 3 runners in the December Novices’ Chase at Doncaster, plans were seemingly scrapped to keep him over the bigger obstacles.

Last seen being beaten by Top Ville Ben at Lingfield, he failed to sparkle in a weak looking race where the favourite failed to fire.

Not a convincing effort to tee him up for making much of an impression here.

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Thomas Dowson

Top Ville Ben

J: Thomas Dowson
T: Philip Kirby
Age: 10
Weight: 11-4
OR: 140
Days: 29

A veteran 10 year old for Philip Kirby, Top Ville Ben bounced back to form recently when landing a Class 2 conditions race at Lingfield on deep ground.

It was the gelding’s first win since December of 2019 when he captured the Rowland Meyrick in impressive fashion at Wetherby. Deep ground has always brought out the best in him and almost all of his wins have come on soft or slower ground.

His form this season had left quite a bit to be desired. Dropped in at the deep end when contesting the Charlie Hall chase at Wetherby on seasonal comeback, he was a well beaten 5th behind Fussil Raffles.

A heavy fall over the grand national fences in the Becher Chase was backed up with a decent outing in the Rowland Meyrick again to be 3rd, Wetherby certainly bringing out the best of him.

His win at Lingfield came as something of a surprise as it was his first run over hurdles in the UK since 2018 and he impressively just managed to make all and keep Emitom at bay with relative ease.

Deep ground is to his liking and he’s won around Haydock before, however it’s unlikely he has the quality to hold his own in a grade 2 over hurdles now.

Haydock - February 19 2022
Haydock 14:05
Sam Twiston-Davies


J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 11
Weight: 11-4
OR: 142
Days: 455

An 11 year old gelding wearing the double green of Munir and Souede, Wholestone has been a valiant servant for Nigel Twiston-Davies and makes his return to racing after a lengthy 455 days on the sidelines.

A decent staying hurdler in his day, Wholestone finished 3rd in the 2017 Albert Bartlett. His first season in open company saw him capture the Relkeel hurdle at Cheltenham and a good run to come 3rd again to Penhill in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

A fruitless second season over hurdles saw connections switch him to fences where he did score in his last outing over the bigger obstacles only to be returned to hurdles at the start of the next season.

Two poor outings saw him well stuffed by Roksana in the Yorkshire Hurdle before falling in handicap company here at Haydock.

He’s clearly had his issues since as he hasn’t been seen since November of 2020 so it’s near impossible to assess what kind of condition of form he’s going to return to racing in as an 11 year old in a deep looking contest.

He’s best just watched on return.