Ballyoptic win sets Haydock and Grand National targets

TRAINER Nigel Twiston-Davies will enter Ballyoptic again for both the Betfair Chase at Haydock and then for the Grand National again, following a sjuperb performance at Wetherby yesterday.

At this popular northern track, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, Ballyoptic gave the trainer his fifth victory in this race, despite heavy rain and testing underfoot conditions.

This was the 50th running of the popular Grade Two race at Wetherby- and the second winner for this trainer there in the last three years .

Ballyoptic on his way to victory
Photo: John Simpson

Wetherby’s,two-day meeting started on good-to-soft ground but rain on Friday, followed by more overnight and during the day, jockeys reported that course conditions were much softer than that.

The consensus of opinion was that the track was riding way softer than that with ‘heavy’ being the consensus.

Some horses struggled on the softened track, but it suited the Scottish National runnner-up, Ballyoptic, whose previous chase wins had all been on soft or heavy ground, and being a Scottish National runner-up, had plenty of proven stamina.