‘The 11-1 may not last’ – Trainer targets fifth Swinton Hurdle winner

The Swinton Handicap was a regular target for handicap hurdle king Martin Pipe back in the day. The modern day domination of the race has come from the Welsh yard of Evan Williams. In the last seven running’s of the race, Williams has saddled nine horses. They have produced four winners and four places, an incredible return with just a single runner out of the each way money.

This competitive handicap from Haydock is part of the ITV Racing coverage on Saturday that also features Ascot and Lingfield. Nine meetings overall on a busy day for our horse racing tips with Nottingham, Hexham, Naas, Cork, Warwick and Thirsk also in action.

3.10 Haydock – Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle

Williams sends a single runner to the race in 2021 in the form of Ballinsker. Things have not gone quite right this season after a promising start when chasing home Milkwood at Ffos Las. Beaten four lengths off level weights on that occasion, that would make this handicap mark of 126 very tempting given that rival won the Scottish Champion Hurdle a few weeks back from 142.

He has had just five starts over hurdles following a single point to point win in Ireland. On that occasion, the runner-up was Belfast Banter who has won the County Hurdle and the Grade 1 Top Novices’ at Aintree. Once more, that looks a strong piece of form for a horse rated just 126.

Sixth in the Greatwood in his first handicap, he was second turning for home, still right in the mix at the last before the Cheltenham hill caught him out. This sharper two miles should help and it’s easy to excuse his Betfair Hurdle run given he couldn’t get close to the front where he likes to be.

He’s four pounds lower than his Greatwood run here and given the record of his yard in this race, he has to be considered a huge each way player. A race that has likely been ringed on the Williams calendar since the autumn and that long term planning can come to fruition.

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