Labelthou lands Haydock heat

Labelthou made just about all the running to land the Grade Two Casino 36 Stockport Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

Labelthou made just about all the running to land the Grade Two Casino 36 Stockport Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

Barry Fenton was keen to settle his mount at the head of affairs and did not ask her to quicken the pace until the field swung for home for the final time.

The well-backed 5-4 favourite responded well from that point and saw out the near three-mile trip better than her rivals, who were headed Afrad.

Following her eight-length triumph, Emma Lavelle's classy mare was cut to 33-1 from 50s with both Paddy Power and VC Bet for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Lavelle said: "She's an amazing mare - she is just so tough.

"Initially we weren't going to run her again before Cheltenham but we will definitely go there for either the World Hurdle or the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle.

"She's in the Coral Cup but after that I don't think she will be going for that.

"Obviously she doesn't mind this ground but I have a feeling that a bit better ground would suit her more."

Heltornic just lasted home to earn a deserved success in the valuable Red Square Vodka Gold Cup Chase.

Michael Scudamore's seven-year-old was always prominent in the extended three-and-a-half-mile handicap and assumed command halfway down the back straight on the final circuit.

Rivals were queuing up to challenge from that point on but the 12-1 chance kept digging deep to repel them all.

L'Aventure (14-1) came from a very unpromising position to lay down a serious challenge after the last, but despite finishing the stronger, she was never quite getting to Heltornic who scored by a length and a quarter.

Mon Mome, sent off at 12-1, ran his usual consistent race but had to settle for third, while Wild Cane Ridge plugged away to grab fourth.

Representing winning connections, former jockey Peter Scudamore said: "It's a great day for a small stable like ours. We only have about 25 in full training and she is a very courageous mare.

"She was 3lb out of the handicap but she wasn't far off 10st and the handicapper has her 9lb better than today so we had to run.

"She's still a novice so we might look for a little novice race for her before the end of the season.

"Perhaps one day she might run in the National or maybe she'll breed the winner of the race as she's impeccably bred."

French raider Millennium Royal bounced back to his best to claim the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Jacques Ricou.

Francois Doumen's charge finished well down the field at the Merseyside venue last November but he put up a much better performance this time.

Ricou sent the 33-1 shot into the lead on the run to the penultimate flight and kept him right up to his work to hold the renewed challenge of Hirvine by one and three-quarter lengths.

Doumen said: "It was a very bad idea of mine to put the blinkers on last time (at Haydock), but at the end of last season he had a bad period and was sour so I tried to keep him as fresh as possible in his morale.

"He does what he wants to really and today he decided to compete and he did it well.

"I suppose he will go for the final of the Pertemps at Cheltenham unless there is a weak field in the World Hurdle.

"He loves soft ground, he is a good jumper and he is capable when he wants to do it."

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox