What's happening at Chepstow

Race Meeting Report - Friday 28th July

Sat, Jul 29, 2017

Unfortunately the weather gods didn’t provide tropical weather for Caribbean Night, with rain falling steadily. At least there were some colourful characters among the racegoers, and with no winners priced at greater than 6/1 punters had a fair chance of collecting from the bookies during the evening. The going was soft.

Karl Burke’s long journey from his Middleham stable was justified in the first, a 6f two-year-old fillies race. His Double Reflection (5/1) overtook the long odds-on favourite Kareva a furlong and a half out and stayed on doggedly to hold Polly’s Gold by half a length. Apprentice jockey Clifford Lee’s first ride at Chepstow was a winning one.

Mia Cara looked like making all the running in the 7f fillies handicap, as rom three furlongs out Ron Hodges’ Here’s Two (3/1 fav) had tried to challenge, seemingly to no avail. Her jockey Kieran O’Neill persisted, and in the last 75 yards one last effort took her into the lead and a hard-earned length and a quarter victory.

The next race was also over 7f and this time the pacemaker stayed in front the whole way. Indeed, Peach Melba (8/11 fav) drew clear approaching the final furlong and Franny Norton (who was 47 today) didn’t have to be too hard on her from there to come home two lengths ahead of Fastnet Spin. The winner, trained by Mark Johnston, had finished second at Ffos Las three days ago.

Fair Selene (6/1) has been running consistently without winning, but she was rewarded in tonight’s mile handicap. Luke Morris drove her into a narrow lead two out, only for Hernando Torres to challenge and get his nose in front 100 yards out. The filly responded gamely and fought back to get up by a short head. She is trained by Heather Main, and though she normally has only three or four winners a year, the yard is in fine form now as this followed a double at Newbury yesterday.

Morris was back in the winner’s enclosure after the next, a 5f sprint. He was hard at work on Kinglami (9/2) from some way out and was one of five almost in line with a furlong left, but with his trademark all-action style he drove his mount ahead of Seamster a stride or two from the post. John O’Shea’s eight-year-old won by a neck to register his eight success.

Sir Mark Prescott’s Easy Wind was a warm favourite to improve on his handicap debut in the 2m race, but stayed on far too slowly to trouble the winner. Tsundoku (5/1), who had scored over hurdles a fortnight ago, made all the running and went four lengths clear with about three furlongs to go. She wandered left and right but it looked like loneliness rather than fatigue. John Fahy kept her going and she ran out a length and a quarter winner for Somerset trainer Alexandra Dunn.

Goldslinger had a big lead for much of the 1m4f race, and only slowly was it whittled away in the straight by Grams And Ounces (6/1). The ten-year-old stalwart of the Grace Harris stable, who won here and at Bath in June, made up ground remorselessly under Timmy Murphy and hit the front with just over a furlong to go. Goldslinger rallied and Whipcrackaway ran on from further behind, but Grams held them at bay by half a length.

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Jim Beavis