LIVE Raceday – Hey Day Baby
It was a pleasing performance given she was quite keen most the way around and had to be dropped towards the back of the field for the majority of the race.
As they turned onto the home straight, she stuck to her task well and galloped strongly to the line.
Watch the post-race video below with Jonjo O'Neill Jnr to hear his thoughts on her debut run.
14:55 – Relaxed and ready to go.
14:50 – Progress, expectations, and race tactics with Jonjo O'Neill Jnr ahead of today's contest
14:40 – A Cheltenham Festival winning trainer is in the building
'I’m really excited to see Hey Day Baby run, I had a successful week at Cheltenham, so I’m hoping my luck continues today. This is my first time coming as an owner, so to see guys like Dan Skelton up close is fantastic.'
From Joe, one of Hey Day Baby's owners for the day.
14:20 – A closer look at some of today's opposition
Sanda Rena came in for a lot of support overnight and we can see why. She was a £150k purchase for the Ben Pauling team at the January Cheltenham 2023 Sales following her debut point-to-point win in Ireland and is likely to be ready first time out under the ride of Luca Morgan.
Daytona Beach made her debut in a listed bumper at Market Rasen last month, and she finished to good effect after being held up throughout, so she is one to keep an eye on.
She's A Fine Wine also has her second start here for the Olly Murphy team, and there's no doubt he'll be looking for her to take a step in the right direction following a very promising 2nd-placed finish on debut at Ayr.
14:00 – First trip to Southwell for one of Hey Day Baby's owners for the day
'This is my first time at Southwell, but I'm a student at Nottingham so it was a nice local one to come to, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Hey Day Baby gets on today.'
13:30 – The doors are open and the team have arrived at Southwell racecourse
13:00 – Pedigree pointers
Hey Day Baby is a half-sister to a horse called Mr Whipped who started his career with Nicky Henderson and won his first three races over hurdles.
One of those victories included a win against none other than the Stayers' division hero Paisley Park back in 2018.
It's fair to say things didn't quite go to plan for Mr Whipped after being pulled up in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival later that year, but he has recently got his career back on track with the Brian Ellison yard after moving in 2021 with a recent chase victory at Wetherby.
12:45 – 'This is a nice starting point'
Latest update from Jonjo O'Neill:
She is a filly we are looking forward to and though we know we don’t have a bumper filly on our hands, this is a nice starting point for her to learn plenty.
Several of her opponents are coming with experience from point-to-point races just like her, so it makes for a strong little race today.
12:30 – Jonjo O'Neill sends three runners to Southwell today
We have 3 runners at @Southwell_Races this afternoon.— Jonjo O'Neill (@JonjoONeill) March 20, 2023
File Illico runs in the 2.35 Handicap Chase, Hey Day Baby (pictured here with Johnny) runs in the Mares’ Maiden Bumper at 3.05 and Valentine Getaway runs in the 4.05 Mares’ Novices Handicap Hurdle.
Jonjo Jr rides. pic.twitter.com/bj8ueplJg0