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Hey Day Baby's Southwell race recap including interview with Jonjo O'Neill Jr

20 Feb 2024
Hey Day Baby made her handicap debut on Sunday at Southwell for trainer Jonjo O'Neill which saw her lineup against five rivals in the Class 5 Handicap Hurdle.

Following her third run over hurdles at Plumpton in January, Hey Day Baby was given a low handicap mark of 76 which was a fair reflection on what she's shown so far in all her runs under rules. The highest rated runner in the race was the Ryan Potter-trained, Shesupincourt, but it was It's Maisy who was eventually sent off as the 15/8 favourite.

Conditions were set to be very testing following the recent rain, with Southwell having to survive a morning inspection for the card to go ahead.

Hey Day Baby's Owners for the Day in the Parade Ring

Race Review

Hey Day Baby, who was sporting blinkers for her step up in trip to three miles, was clearly keen to get things moving as she jumped off in front and was at the head of the pack as they hopped over the first hurdle.

She was settled down by Jonjo O'Neill Jr [jockey] as they turned the first bend, but as they went over the next couple of obstacles she was soon back in front and began to open up an early lead of about six to eight lengths.

You could see just by watching from home that the ground was a tough task and it wasn't long before Shesupincourt was the first runner to be pulled up.

Despite her jumping being near foot perfect, following her early exuberance, Hey Day Baby had clearly used up all of her energy too soon, and she was unfortunately next to be pulled up by Jonjo O'Neill Jnr.

It's Maisy and Innisfree Lass were the main two who continued to battle on for the remainder of the race, with the latter eventually staying on best to pull away and win by 16 lengths.

It was a day at the races to forget for Hey Day Baby, but there were a couple of clear reasons as to why she didn't perform as we'd have hoped.

Check out the post-race interview with Jonjo O'Neill Jr at the top of the page to hear what he had to say about Hey Day Baby's performance.
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