Thorney horse landed a Wetherby gamble for trainer Pam Sly

Thorney trainer Pam Sly is no stranger to big-race success and the Classic winning handler enjoyed more glory on Saturday (October 30) when the progressive Haafapiece landed a competitive handicap at Wetherby.
Racing at Wetherby. Photo: Getty Images.Racing at Wetherby. Photo: Getty Images.
Racing at Wetherby. Photo: Getty Images.

The eight-year-old was returning from a 189-day break in the handicap hurdle over an extended two miles and three furlongs. Ridden by Jack Andrews, the son of Haafhd went off at 15/2 for the 14-runner event after attracing plenty of support leading up to the race.

Having travelled strongly into contention Haafapiece engaged in a prolonged battle with Our Surprise in the home straight. However, Haafapiece showed a good attitude in the closing stages, staying on resolutely all the way to the line to record a length and a quarter success.

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Owned by Mrs Tilly Coles, this was a fifth career win for Haafapiece and his fourth success over hurdles. It was also a notable win for Sly given she also bred the winner.

Looking ahead Haafapiece has been raised 5lb for that win, but he remains a hurdler with more improvement in him. Whilst a higher mark will not make life any easier, two and a half-miles could be a perfect trip and he also seemed to relish running on quite a flat track at Wetherby. He looks capable of landing more prizes this term if he can get the ground to suit given his progressive profile.

Sly is operating at a 16% strike-rate in the last two weeks with one winner from six runners, highlighting the good form of her string.

Sly also saddled Xcitations to finish an excellent second at Huntingdon on his debut over fences on Sunday. Having jumped well throughout, the six-year-old went on to finish behind Millers Bank and looks capable of getting off the mark over fences in the near future.

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