Raceday LIVE – Hey Day Baby

Uttoxeter, Thu 06 Jun 2024 16:50

Related horse(s):

Hey Day Baby

Hey Day Baby makes her chase debut this afternoon in the Class 5 Handicap Chase (16:50) over three miles at Uttoxeter.

Read our Raceday LIVE Preview below and join us ahead of the race for all the build-up and live updates from the track with the team and Hey Day Baby's lucky owners for the day across our social channels on X (@coral) and Instagram (@coralofficial).

Raceday LIVE Preview

"Hey Day Baby makes the switch to fences this afternoon in what will be her eighth career start under rules to date following one run in a bumper and six over hurdles. Her most credible performance to date was last time out at the start of May, where she finished fourth at Fontwell over two miles and three furlongs, in what was a very strongly run race in which she led up until four hurdles from home.

Following that positive ride, the team at Jackdaws Castle made the decision to school her over fences, which is something they'd had in mind for a little while given how well she'd previously jumped over hurdles, and trainers Jonjo & A J O'Neill were very impressed with what she showed.

Hey Day Baby did receive three entries for her chase debut prior to today's race, and she was actually declared to run at Worcester on Saturday (1st), but unfortunately got balloted out due to too many horses being declared in that race."

WATCH: Hey Day Baby takes to fences "like a natural" in recent schooling session


Hey Day Baby does have form over this trip and over fences, having won her final point-to-point over three miles at Turtulla before joining the Coral Racing Club. The second place finisher that day, Presenting Doyen, has since won twice under rules in Ireland and is rated 120 over hurdles as of right now. 

Talented young apprentice Benjamin Macey takes the reins on Hey Day Baby for the first time this afternoon, claiming ten pounds from her handicap weight of 10stlb, effectively meaning our mare will be carrying just  9st6lb at Uttoxeter today which could act as a huge advantage. Macey's official claim is seven pounds, but as he is riding for his own stable, he's able to claim an additional three pounds.

Raceday Message from Jonjo & A J O'Neill

It’s fair to say things didn’t pan out over hurdles with Hey Day Baby as we’d hoped, and in her last couple of runs she just did not settle, pulling way too hard early on, and losing any chance. However, as a point-to-point winner over three miles, we always felt chasing would be her game, and so today is exciting, as she makes her chase debut.

Ben Macey takes the reins today and takes a very handy 10lbs off her back. As I say it is her chasing debut, so we can expect her to improve for it, but she’s done plenty of schooling at home and has taken to it well.

What we really want to see is her settle, and as they tend to go a yard slower over fences than hurdles, that should help, as should the bigger obstacles, as they have to give them more respect. If she can jump like she has been at home, she should enjoy herself, and hopefully she can kick on from today. 

Hey Day Baby's Owners for the Day

As winners of the Owner for the Day competition, 10 lucky Coral Racing Club members have been given the chance to enjoy an exclusive owners experience for Hey Day Baby's run at Uttoxeter this afternoon.

Each winner, along with a guest of their choosing, will receive free entry to Uttoxeter Racecourse, including exclusive access to Owners & Trainers areas. They'll have the opportunity to meet Hey Day Baby and the O'Neill team, plus get to head into the parade ring before the race begins to be amongst all the other owners, trainers and jockeys. And last but by no means least, each winner will get to take home an equal 10% split of any prize money won by Hey Day Baby.

Today's Class 5 contest is worth £6,150 in total, with the winner set to scoop £3,247.81 for their lucky owners.

2nd: £1,494.44 | 3rd: £747.23 | 4th: £373.92 | 5th: £186.35

Trainer and Jockey Statistics

Jonjo & A J O'Neill
have been in solid form recently, posting three winners from seventeen runners in the last twelve days, as well as a further four second place finishers. At Uttoxeter, Jonjo O'Neill has had 166 winners, with one (from four runners) of those coming since son A J joined the training license. In total, the Gloucestershire based duo have trained twelve winners from 61 (19% strike-rate). 

Nineteen-year-old Benjamin Macey is in the saddle this afternoon, and the talented young conditional jockey is still in the infancy of his career. He's had nineteen rides in his career to date, winning on two occasions, and placing in a further eight races. Interestingly, he's only had one ride since A J O'Neill joined the license at Jackdaws Castle, which he won onboard Time For A Pint, who was carrying the same weight as Hey Day Baby will be today in a handicap chase over three miles.

At The Races | Verdict

A tentative vote goes to PHIL DE PAIL, who was unlucky not to get off the mark over hurdles and was going well from the front when unseating his rider six out at Warwick in this sphere last time. The seven-year-old gets to run off an unchanged mark and he is narrowly preferred to Hey Day Baby and Hey Brother, who is entitled to improve on his first start for new connections at Hexham. Hattons Gardens and Lough Salt cannot be ruled out either.

Today's opposition


  • Phil De Pail heads the market for Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero. Despite having no wins to his name in twelve races under rules, he comes into the contest as the top rated horse. He was last seen unseating Toby Wynne in a race won by Time For A Pint for Jonjo & A J O'Neill, also ridden by Benjamin Macey. Usual partner Henry Brooke takes the reins today.

  • Jeteye was pulled up last time out due to the ground being a little too soft for him, and is expected to come on for that run, having finished a solid second in a hurdles race over an extended three mile trip two starts ago. Jonathan England retains the ride.

  • Batman For Ever has raced twice over hurdles and twice in point-to-points since moving to Stuart Coltherd's yard from Rebecca Menzies. His last victory came two starts ago in a point-to-point event in April, but he hasn't been victorious under rules since October of 2021 when he was trained by Guillaume Macaire in France. Sam Coltherd rides again today.


We hope you enjoyed reading today's Raceday LIVE Preview. Don't forget to tune in just before 16:50 to watch Hey Day Baby's chase debut for the club live on the Coral Sports app.

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