Horse Racing Tips

Haydock Racing Tips: Hillcrest can confirm himself smart

Haydock start
The Grand National Trial takes place at Haydock on Saturday

"...should have the class to concede weight all round here..."


Timeform's Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each Way selection at Haydock on Saturday.

NAP: Hillcrest looks banker material

Hillcrest - 15:50 Haydock

Hillcrest is held in the highest regard by trainer Henry Daly and he has won all of his completed starts over hurdles. He was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Cheltenham last time, and was extremely unlucky to unseat his rider when hampered by a faller at the third flight.

It is best to put a line through that run, and he remains with untapped potential, especially now stepping up to three miles. Hillcrest should have the class to concede weight all round here, and a routine win here will set him up nicely for the Cheltenham Festival next month.

NEXT BEST: Still life left in Blaklion yet

Blaklion - 14:40 Haydock

Secret Reprieve is very much the up-and-coming force in this division and is entitled to come on for his first run for 12 months in the Welsh National last time, but he was beaten over 40 lengths that day, so looks short enough in the betting. At the prices, it is 13-year-old Blaklion who makes the most appeal following back-to-back wins at this course in soft and heavy ground, respectively.

Admittedly, he isn't getting any younger, but it is rare to see a horse of his age jump and travel with so much enthusiasm as he did when scoring by 28 lengths over course and distance last time, and he clearly has a great affinity for this track. Blaklion has finished runner-up in this race twice before from BHA marks of 152 and 161, but races from 145 now, and with his age seemingly proving no barrier at present, there is plenty to like about his chances.

EACH WAY: Baxter has a fair chance

Bill Baxter - 15:15 Haydock

Bill Baxter was no more than workmanlike when landing the odds to open his account in this sphere in a maiden hurdle at Ayr in November, but that race worked out well, and he was ridden too patiently behind a handicap blot at Catterick last time.

He left the impression he is on a fair mark on that occasion, though, and seems sure to be well suited by this bigger field. Bill Baxter is also unexposed at this trip and looks a thorough stayer, so he should have conditions in his favour.

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.