Jockey Jacobs rides a cracker in Haydock Park opener

Delire D'Estruval produced a battling display to see off all comers in the Read Paul Nicholls Exclusively At Betfair Newton Novices' Hurdle, the opening race on Haydock's biggest day of the jumps campaign.

Saturday, 25th November 2017, 1:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:06 am
Delire D'Estruval (centre) takes the last on the way to victory
Delire D'Estruval (centre) takes the last on the way to victory

Trainer Ben Pauling's French recruit was beaten into fourth place when favourite for his British debut at Aintree a fortnight ago and was a 12-1 shot for the Listed opener on Merseyside.

Daryl Jacob set out to make all the running aboard the four-year-old, closely pursued by 13-8 favourite Dynamite Dollars, as well as Midnight Shadow.

The latter emerged as the biggest threat and even poked his head in front after the final flight, but Delire D'Estruval fought back bravely to prevail by a neck.

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Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "We were throwing him in at the deep end a little bit, but having come from Guillaume Macaire's stable and run around Auteuil, when the ground came up heavy we decided to give it a go.

"Daryl decided to make the running to try to draw the speed out of the others. He's a gutsy horse and battled back.

"We've not made any big plans for him. We took a bit of a chance running him today, but it worked out well."

Jacobs said: "The horse improved for that run at Aintree."

Hainan, sent off at odds of 13-2, jumped and galloped his rivals into the ground in the Betfair Each Way Edge Handicap Chase.

With a shade over three and a half miles and ultra-testing conditions facing the eight runners, it was not for the faint-hearted.

Hainan appeared to relish the test, however, negotiating his obstacles with aplomb and devouring the ground in front on his way to a 12-length success.

Winning trainer Sue Smith said: "This is obviously what he's been waiting for - three and a half miles on heavy ground.

"They're stiff fences here, but he jumped great and handled the ground well.

"We'll stick to these long-distance chases on this sort of ground on these sort of tracks."

Paul Nicholls made it a remarkable six wins in a row in the same race when Clan Des Obeaux was a runaway victor of the Cash Out In-Play Betfair Graduation Steeplechase in the hands of 19-year-old jockey Harry Cobden.