sport

Brook back for more at Haydock

Wychwoods Brook bids to upstage seasoned campaigners for a second time at Haydock when he tackles the Betfred Grand National Trial on Saturday.

The eight-year-old lifted the Peter Marsh Chase at the Merseyside track from more experienced performers such as Vintage Star, Merry King and Katenko on only his fourth start over fences last month.

While that race was over three miles and a furlong, his trainer Evan Williams likes to think this extra half a mile could help him find the necessary improvement after he was put up 5lb for that success.

"He's in good form. He's a tad lighter than he was going into the Peter Marsh. He's only a novice and it will be very interesting," said the Llancarfan handler.

"He's going to have to improve on his revised mark. We are hoping the step up in trip with bring about that improvement.

"It was a very good performance by a novice. To win a handicap of the calibre of the Peter Marsh as a novice is very difficult."

Williams' 7lb-claiming conditional Conor Ring, who guided Wychwoods Brook to victory in the Peter Marsh, keeps the ride.

"It is imperative we claim off him as he'd have no chance without that half a stone so we're giving it another go," said the trainer.

Jo Hughes is concerned about the predicted heavy ground for Soll, though he equipped himself creditably when fourth in similar conditions at Sandown two weeks ago.

"He's in good form, but he's not a lover of heavy ground - even though he's won on it," said the Lambourn handler.

"I was very happy with him at Sandown as he did not appreciate the ground that day."