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Race Meeting Report - Friday 28th April

Sat, Apr 29, 2017

The last jumps meeting until October at Chepstow featured the Dunraven Bowl, the championship race for novice hunter chasers in south and west Wales. The dry spell meant watering had been necessary to leave the going good to firm, good in places.

The opening novices hurdle over 2m4f was reduced to a virtual match between a Nicholls and Henderson-trained pair, and they were close all the way up the straight. Harry Cobden’s mount Peak To Peak (2/1) led most of the way and regained the upper hand on the run-in, to the delight of punters who didn’t want to back the long odds-on favourite Jameson. He was beaten three quarters of a length and was either unwilling or uneasy on the ground.

The Chris Down-trained Billy My Boy (11/2) improved a lot for this, his second outing after a break, making all the running in the 2m handicap hurdle. After the third last he and Third Act drew clear of the rest, but the leader kept up the gallop and won by a length and three quarters. It was Tom Scudamore’s 100th winner of the season, achieved with a day to spare before its conclusion.

There were only four runners for the 2m4f chase, all of them from big stables and all with a chance on form. David Bass sent Kim Bailey’s Such A Legend (100/30) off in front and there he remained. His rivals were never far away but his consistently good clean jumping never gave them an opportunity to get on terms and he stayed on well to win by a length from Tempestatefloresco.

In the 2m4f handicap hurdle Redbridge Miller (16/1) completed a welcome double for Chris Down, stepping up markedly on previous efforts with the aid of a tongue tie for the first time.

He was always going well, just behind the leader, until taking over after the fourth last. He battled on doggedly after the final flight, drifting left as he tried to repel Chevalgris, and the pair passed the post together though split by the width of the track. Redbridge Miller unseated James Davies as they pulled up, but the jockey wouldn’t have minded too much as the judge decided they’d held on by a head.

Four out in the Dunraven Bowl, it looked like being a duel between Tinkers Hill Tommy and Spencer Moon. At that point last year’s runner-up Repeat Business (4/1 jt fav) was only eighth, but Mr Richard Patrick conjured up a great run from him and he finished like a train, hitting the front with 150 yards to go. Appreciating every yard of the 3m trip, he scored by five lengths for the Pencoed stable of Jonathan Tudor. After the race Countess Dunraven presented the trophy to the winning owners, Mr and Mrs Jeffrey Bird.

Phangio’s good run here 11 days ago entitled him to start the 11/8 favourite for the 3m2f chase. When his pilot Stan Sheppard stole a look at the opposition behind him as they turned into the straight his confidence was apparent. He came right away from his rivals after the third last and coasted to a 23 length success from the heavily-eased Trafalgar. Stan’s father Matt trained the winner, who was also victorious here in November.

The finale was a 2m maiden hurdle. The two market leaders were put in their place by Henry Oliver’s Burrenbridge Hotel (100/30), who travelled and jumped well. Tom O’Brien chose to wait until the approach to the last before asking his horse to quicken. Benefit Of Luck was no match for the impressive four and a half length winner, who should go on to better things.
Jumping returns to Chepstow in October, but before then there are plenty of flat race meetings.

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Jim Beavis