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Race Meeting Report - Thursday 24th August

Thu, Aug 24, 2017

The going was good to soft, good in places on this mainly bright afternoon. The leader in the jockeys’ title race, Silvestre de Sousa, was kept busy with eight rides, two winning and two finishing second.

The first race was a 5f dash for two-year-olds. Punters were fooled into ignoring Spoof (25/1), from the Charlie Hills stable. Despite being denied a clear run a couple of times and a little tail-swishing Callum Shepherd was able to drive him ahead in the last few strides to beat the favourite Time For Wine by a short head.

Passionatta (7/1), with the help of a first-time visor, took the 5f handicap for three-year-olds. Former Irish champion jockey Johnny Murtagh was scoring with his first ever runner at Chepstow as a trainer. She led soon after the start and ran on well to repel Glyder’s challenge in the last furlong and a half. Exquisite Ruby ran on late to get within a length and a quarter of the winner, who was ridden by local man David Probert.

The one mile fillies handicap went to the Mick Channon-trained Pattie (5/2 fav), reunited with Silvestre de Sousa, who won on her in June. Held up until asked to improve three out, she made good progress to lead at the furlong pole and kept on well to stay three quarters of a length in front of Here’s Two.

The same tactics worked for de Sousa on Topmeup (5/2 fav) in the first of a couple of mile races for all horses aged three and above. It was a well deserved change of fortune for David Evans’ filly, a 16-race maiden who hadn’t out of the first four in any of her last 10 starts. Imbucato was two and a quarter lengths away from giving the Johnny Murtagh stable a double.

Doctor Bong (12/1) scored for the nearby yard of Grace Harris in the second mile handicap. He cruised into the lead three out and once Luke Morris kicked on he quickly put daylight between him and his rivals. Idling in the final furlong, Royal Melody was allowed to close to within a length and a half. To cap a fine day for the stable, they had another winner at Stratford three quarters of an hour later.

A two and a quarter mile marathon was won by Sir Mark Prescott’s Oxford Blu (11/8 fav). He was second for most of the race, in which Goldslinger was fifteen lengths clear along the far side. That one’s lead diminished from half a mile out and the favourite went past with two furlongs to go. Rosie Jessop had to keep him up to his work to make sure the veteran Riptide’s late effort was to no avail. The winner came home three quarters of a length ahead, and is entered in three races on Wednesday.

Hayley Turner was here for one ride, Seafarer (100/30) for Marcus Tregoning, and the combination won easily in the end. Racing over a mile and a half for the first time, he had to battle to get the better of Star of The East and Sparte Quercus in the penultimate furlong but from there he stayed on much the strongest to win by two and a quarter lengths and seven.

Eve Johnson Houghton is having another fine season and her Hedging (11/2) recorded his second course victory in the seven-furlong finale. Guided by Charles Bishop from midfield to take a share of the lead with Tulip Dress a furlong out, they then fought out the closest finish of the day and there was only a nose between them at the line.

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Jim Beavis