The going had dried out to good to firm for Chepstow’s annual Caribbean-themed evening meeting. On the track it was a good night for front runners.
David Evans has his team in good order. Amor Fati (4/1) has been a real flagbearer for the yard and tonight he won for the sixth time this year, positively trotting up in the mile handicap. Settled in midfield near the stands rail by Rossa Ryan, he made progress to dispute the lead with Balata Bay in the penultimate furlong before drawing right away to score by five lengths.
Rossa Ryan was back in the winners enclosure half an hour later, thanks to the victory of the Richard Hannon debutant Malvern (3/1) in the 6f race for two-year-olds. Plotting a similar course near the rail, Ryan’s mount shared the lead in the middle third of the contest, but from the two pole the little grey colt went on and was soon in command. Cosmic Power ran on late to finish second, just over two lengths away.
A strongly fancied local horse, Broadhaven Dream, was turned over in the 5f race by the mare Compton Poppy (10/1), ridden by George Downing. Her only previous win was here two years ago, ridden by the same jockey. Trainer Tony Carroll fitted blinkers to her for the first time tonight and they enabled her to challenge and pass the favourite with half a furlong to go, winning by half a length.
The quartet competing in the 7f fillies race were led home by the 6/5 favourite Dream World. She made all the running to win for the third time this year for Rutland trainer Michael Appleby, galloping on strongly under Alistair Rawlinson to prevail by a length and a quarter. Zoraya challenged in the penultimate furlong, but faded away to allow Roman Spinner pinch second place.
There was a nautical theme to the finish of the 7f handicap. The form of Mark Loughnane’s Seafaring Girl (6/1) was decidedly moderate, but a change of tactics tonight paid dividends. First-time cheekpieces were also applied and she led all the way to beat Harbour Times by two lengths. It was the first Chepstow winner for her apprentice jockey Sean Kirrane
Few got into the 1m4f handicap, in which Kaylen’s Mischief (7/1) supplied rookie trainer David Jeffreys with the third winner of his brief career. He led throughout, and three furlongs out he was two lengths in front. From that point, nothing could muster a challenge until it was much too late. The odds-on Road To Paris led the pursuers and in the closing stages they got to within a length of the leader, but he already had the race sewn up. Scott McCullagh was the successful jockey.
In the finale, over 2m, the front-running Panatos and Danglydontask fought a great duel from three out. However, course and distance winner So Near So Farrh (11/4) was waiting in the wings. The game little filly outstayed them both, taking the lead with 50 yards to go. Danglydontask was the runner-up, three quarters of a length away. Callum Shepherd rode the winner for Mick Channon.