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Race Meeting Report - Wednesday 2 November

Wed, Nov 2, 2016

There was nothing of the calibre of last week’s winner Thistlecrack on display today, but who’s to say that one of today’s novices won’t develop into a top class horse? The weather was fine, the going good, good to firm in places, though the presence of the word “firm” no doubt caused several non-runners. The day was in aid of the SSAFA charity, hence the military vehicles parked at the back of the stands.

Orchard Park set a very steady gallop in the first, a 2m maiden hurdle, until picking up the pace on the far turn. Up the home straight several possible challengers couldn’t quite get on terms, but Charlemar (7/2) wore him down in the last 75 yards to score by three quarters of a length for Harry Whittington and Gavin Sheehan.

Colin Tizzard trained the first and second in the 2m4f maiden hurdle, separated by only a short head after a good tussle from the final flight. Unfortunately for most punters, the outsider beat the 5/4 favourite. Tom O’Brien had had to niggle Burton Boru (12/1) along coming into the home straight, but his stamina came into play and by out-jumping his more fancied stable companion Waterloo Warrior at the last he was able to gain a fractional advantage.

Valseur Du Granval (5/4 fav) ran out a convincing winner of the 2m novices chase, snaking his way past his rivals to dispute the lead with Yes Daddy from the third last. When Adrian Heskin asked him to go on after the last he promptly went five lengths ahead. The time of the race was fast and he looks a decent prospect for the Tom George yard.

Messrs George and Heskin won again in the next, a 2m hurdle, with Rocklander (2/1 fav). This was another good performance, for once he cruised to the front at the fourth last his backers had no worries. The four and a half length margin over Third Act could have been greater.

George and Heskin had to settle for second place in the 3m hurdle, which Colin Tizzard won with Wizards Bridge (7/1). The horse was reverting from chasing after acquiring a variety of letters in his form figures. He overcame being the meat in a sandwich four out, led approaching the second last and soon went clear. A poor jump at the last didn’t upset his momentum and he came home three and a quarter lengths ahead of Some Are Lucky. The winner was partnered by seventeen year old Angus Cheleda, having his first ride under National Hunt rules.

Phangio, the 12/1 outsider of four, took the 3m chase. He led all the way except for a couple of brief intervals in the home straight when two opponents came alongside. His superior jumping saw off the first of them and he ran on strongly after the last to defy Deadly Move by almost four lengths. Stan Sheppard rode the winner for his father Matt.

Tom George and Adrian Heskin completed trebles in the bumper with Sumkindofking (8/11 fav). Always in the front two, he eased ahead half a mile out and won very easily indeed. Eaton Hill was the twelve-length runner-up.

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Jim Beavis