What's happening at Chepstow

Race Meeting Report - Monday 28th August

Mon, Aug 28, 2017

Eleven races of varying natures were just part of a wide range of activities laid on for Chepstow’s Bank Holiday Family Day. The going was good and the weather glorious.

The highlight was a new £20,000 staying handicap sponsored by the Oakgrove Stud, run in honour of former champion jockey Sir Gordon Richards’ amazing feat of riding twelve winners in a row in 1933, eleven of them here.

Before that Taz, sponsored by Griffiths and Armour, streaked away with a mascot race. Two pony races followed before the conventional sport got under way at 12.45 with the first division of a seven furlong handicap. Despite racing keenly early on, Chatoyer (3/1 fav) still had plenty left in the locker when he came to the front two out. Sean Levey rode him to a cosy half length victory from Bounty Pursuit and the fast-finishing Wahaab. It was trainer Richard Hannon’s first success of the afternoon.

The second division was won by Ron Harris’s ten-year-old Corporal Maddox. Though he’s not the force of old he showed he still enjoys his racing by taking the lead two out and keeping on willingly for Sam Hitchcott. It was his 13th win from 116 starts. Carcharias was the two-length runner-up.

A mile race for two-year-old fillies went to Jonathan Portman’s improving grey Show Of Force (11/4). Initially she led the half of the eight runners that favoured the stands side. Two out, she drifted across to join the leader in the centre of the track, Fusion Central. With Rob Hornby urging her on, she kept on gamely to edge ahead in the last 75 yards and win by a neck.

Another two-year-old race over a mile commemorated a great local racing fan, Dorothy Mort, and this was won by Regimented (11/8 fav). Hollie Doyle tracked the leaders before bringing him to challenge and pass his stablemate Sallab and Blue Laureate inside the final furlong. She used hands and heels to hang on by a neck and a head, which was just as well as one strike with the whip was met with a swish of the tail. Richard Hannon trained the first two.

Rise Helicopters brought one of their machines along for public inspection as well as sponsoring the 6f handicap. Baron Bolt (3/1), three times a winner at Catterick for Paul Cole, was piloted by the up and coming apprentice David Egan to come from the rear and hit the front half a furlong out. The consistent Major Valentine scrambled into second place, a length and three quarters behind.

Egan was in the winner’s enclosure again after the next race, a seller for apprentice jockeys. The maiden Tifl (14/1) needed every yard of the six furlongs to catch up with the favourite Dream Farr and to the surprise of some, the photo revealed his nose was the first one past the post. He’d only beaten three horses in his last four races, so Heather Main has done well to get a win out of him.

The recent course and distance winner Taws (2/1 fav) enabled David Egan to complete a hat-trick in the new Sir Gordon Richards Handicap over two miles. It was the eighteen-year-old’s first treble. Medburn Cutler went for home three out and looked like he might make it win number five here, but Taws remorselessly gained on him and put her head in front a couple of strides before the line. Rod Millman trained the winner, who will be aimed at the Cesarewitch Trial race at Newmarket.

The day ended with a 1m4f handicap and another close finish. After Grams And Ounces had made a bold bid from the front Casaclare took over two out, only to be collared by the unexposed Murchison River (7/2) half a furlong out. Dane O’Neill drove him to victory by a neck. Trainer Henry Candy had tried him over a mile and a quarter and a mile and three quarters but today’s distance was just right.

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Jim Beavis