• Racing/
  • Rain A Pain For As I Am

Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Swinton Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 13 runners)
  • Winner £34,170 2nd £12,822 3rd £6,420 4th £3,198 5th £1,608 6th £804
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 52.30s
  • Off time: 15:30:13
Full result
Result 15:30 Haydock Park
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 11 Ballyglasheen 25/1
2nd 7 Barizan 6/1
3rd 10 Vibrato Valtat ¾ 10/3f
  • Last Updated: May 9 2014, 13:45 BST

Don Cantillon is concerned conditions at Haydock could become too testing for As I Am in Saturday's Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.

As I Am: Aiming to win the Haydock showpiece.
As I Am: Aiming to win the Haydock showpiece.

Don Cantillon is concerned conditions at Haydock could become too testing for As I Am in Saturday's Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.

The one-eyed six-year-old clinched her second Listed prize of the campaign and her eighth career victory overall with a determined display at Cheltenham last month and now takes on the boys in a race better known as the Swinton Hurdle.

Cantillon said: "She's in fantastic form, but the ground situation looks a bit of a disaster.

"They watered the ground earlier in the week and then they've had a deluge of rain, so that has to be a big concern.

"The track will suit her, the jockey (Conor Shoemark) suits her, the race is perfect and she's in great form, so the ground is the only worry.

"If she finishes in the first four, I'll probably open a bottle of champagne as whatever she does from here on in is an absolute bonus.

"After her Listed results this season she's all set up for her career as a mother.

"We thought about getting her in foal in the last couple of weeks, but we decided to wait and she'll definitely be going to stud early in the next breeding season.

"She had a break before her last race at Cheltenham, so we'll try and keep her on the go during the summer if we can find the right races for her. We'll probably run her in a novice chase at some stage.

"I'm just so privileged to have her."

The Paul Nicholls-trained Vibrato Valtat heads the betting for the Grade Three contest and connections are keeping their fingers crossed it does not prove to be one run too many for the talented novice.

Dan Downie, racing manager for owners Axom, said: "He worked well earlier this week and Paul is happy with him.

"The only slight worry is he's been on the go all season, but he seems fresh and well and hasn't had too many hard races so hopefully he'll be all right. He certainly seems in good heart going into the race.

"Hopefully there'll be a strong pace. We thought he'd get that in the Imperial Cup and unfortunately he didn't, but that is definitely what he needs to be seen at his best.

"Hopefully they'll go a good gallop on Saturday and the one good thing about him is I don't think we're too worried what the ground is like. He seems fine on most ground.

"Fingers crossed he runs a good race and then he'll be given a well-deserved holiday."

Alan King's Montbazon, third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham and seventh in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr, tops the weights.

The trainer told his website, www.alankingracing.co.uk: "Montbazon has a stiff task with top weight and every drop of rain that falls diminishes his chance.

"He did not enjoy the ground in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr, but he had previously run a blinder on a decent surface when finishing third in the County at Cheltenham.

"If the weather does improve he has the class to make his presence felt."

Barizan won the race 12 months ago for Evan Williams and is back to defend his crown, this time under the tutelage of Donald McCain, who also runs Life And Soul.

Dubawi Island is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles and also features in a 16-runner field along with smart mare Swing Bowler.