Brecon Hill out to mark reputation of late bumper king Swinbank
Brecon Hill will attempt to underline the late Alan Swinbank's renown with bumper horses at Market Rasen and give the yard a winner four days after the trainer's sudden death.
As well as being remembered as the trainer of multiple Group 1 winner Collier Hill, Swinbank won 20 bumper races in the last five seasons – nearly half his total in all jumps races.
Brecon Hill contributed to the tally with a victory at Catterick in February and now lines up under the charge of Sally Haynes, Swinbank's partner and assistant who has been granted a temporary licence to run the Melsonby yard, near Richmond in North Yorkshire.
Brecon Hill will be one of two runners on the card for the stable; the other is Shulammite Man, who makes his jumps debut in the opening novice hurdle. Both are ridden by Leighton Aspell.
"It was a very big shock to us all and we're all sort of paddling through at the moment," said Haynes on Saturday. "I've got the licence for three months to keep things going and we'll decide what to do from there. There are a lot of horses here and a lot in the field as well.
"Brecon Hill is already a winner and he's fit and well, while the other is going over hurdles for the first time. We'll try to get a winner for the boss."
She added: "They used to call Alan the bumper king didn't they? He used to make good money out of the bumper horses if he could get them winning and get them away.
"He's left such a big void. His character was something different. We're are all a bit glum-faced but he'd want us to keep things ticking over."
The two feature races on the card are the £30,000 Matchbook Betting Exchange Dambuster Chase and a 2m4f handicap hurdle worth £20,000.
Dan Skelton is averaging a winner a day this month, having sent out Too Many Diamonds to win for the third time in a week at Bangor on Saturday.
Work In Progress, who came home alone in a three-runner race at Fontwell 16 days ago, represents the yard in the handicap hurdle, while Yorkist carries stable hopes in the chase, in which Baby King will attempt to follow up trainer Tom George's success in the race 12 months ago with Sir Valentino.