Racing tip of the day
Will Hayler thinks extremely-rich-but-quite-nice Trevor Hemmings can have a winner or two at his local track this afternoon.
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Gansey - 12.50 Haydock
Despite being worth £610million according to this year's Sunday Times Rich List and owning Preston North End Football Club, Trevor Hemmings always seems like a nice man with his feet fairly firmly on the ground.
I met him a posh racing lunch once and he knew quite a lot about each of his racehorses, despite having near enough 100 in training. Then when we were at the bar afterwards, he bought me a pint. In essence, that three and a half quid won my support for life. (Let's hope other big-hitters in this great game take note of how easy it is to win my respect and that the free pints start flowing from this point onwards. Yes, I really am that fickle).
Hemmings loves having winners at Haydock, despite giving a public roasting a few years ago when the plan to redevelop the track and switch to portable fences was first announced, and the trainers who have horses for him all know to keep a close eye on Haydock's meetings in the programme book.
Hemmings' Dundee caught the eye chasing home a well-treated winner at Aintree last time and I think he'll run a big race in the closing fixed brush hurdle contest.
But my narrow preference is for the other runner in the white, yellow and green colours of the generous pint-buyer, Gansey, who lines up against his fellow old boys in the ApolloBet In-Play Betting Veterans' Handicap Chase at 12.50.
He was pulled up when favourite for a valuable handicap chase at this track in 2011, but returned to produce a much better performance when third to subsequent Grand National winner Auroras Encore last year.
Testing conditions, such as he will encounter today, are absolutely no problem for Gansey. He comes here in decent form too, having led two out in the Grand Sefton Chase last time out before his stamina just petered out as he finished fourth behind Rebel Rebellion.
Yes, he hasn't won for a while, but this race is designed for exactly the sort of horse he is - an honest, if exposed chaser, who is always going to struggle against younger and darker rivals in handicap company.
Today could well be the day for Gansey and he's a backable price with favourite Baby Run - admirable though his effort in the Becher Chase was on his latest start - a possible candidate for the 'bounce' effect, whereby a good run after a long break is followed by a poor one.