A Successful Weekend Had By All

Racing
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10 June 2024

Saturday’s Country and Western Race Night at Chepstow proved to be a big success with an attendance pushing 4000 people on a lovely sunny evening. Hundreds of the customers wore cowboy hats and other attire suitable for the occasion and a good time was had by all. The night ended with a great performance from the country band One Night In Nashville.

It was most definitely a theme well received and will undoubtedly grow in future years. In the current climate, where the cost of living crisis is putting pressure on many businesses in the leisure sector, we were delighted with the response. Chepstow’s next meeting is Monday 17th June. It’s now just a month away until the concerts with Shania Twain, Tom Jones and Hozier. All the details are on the website.

There was a successful Welsh invasion at Perth in Scotland on Sunday.

The Bowen team won the 25th anniversary running of the Perth Gold Cup, a race in which the family must always be feared. Peter and Sean were successful with Henllan Harri in 2018, Peter and James won in 2021 with Landofsmiles and Sean was aboard the 2023 winner, Gordon Elliott’s Ballykeel. This time it was Peter and his son Mickey sharing the responsibility of training and Sean riding. The horse was Statuario.

Statuario has been a good and consistent servant despite going three years without a win between 2019 and 2022. He kept on running well – twice in a row he was beaten a nose – and the handicapper showed him no leniency. But since then he’s won three times at Perth, most recently in May when he proved he could stay three miles over fences.  

Takling the same trip on Sunday, good to firm conditions reduced the field to six. Statuario was travelling well when hitting the front four out, only for Hang In There to dispute matters and gain a slight advantage going to the last. Hang In There unfortunately lived up to his name, hanging and holding his head a little to one side, allowing Statuario to regain the lead in the final half dozen strides and give Peter a birthday winner.

Christian Williams also sent horses to Perth from his base at Ogmore-by-Sea and Fever Dream, ridden by Jack Tudor, made the long journey worthwhile by winning the long-distance hurdle. He’d run better for a step up to two and a half miles in March and moving up to three this time was no problem.  

Sean Bowen was also on target at Bangor on Saturday. Fancy Stuff is a mare who in 2021 won an Irish point to point and then, on her first start for Dan Skelton, a bumper. After that, however, she had gone steadily downhill and last year she moved to Tom Gretton’s Worcestershire yard. At Ludlow in December she showed distinct promise with James Bowen on board (“eyecatcher” was the term used in the Racing Post’s description of her performance). Three lesser runs followed, but her new owners – the Thirsty Thursday Partnership – must have been hopeful Fancy Stuff had turned a corner when at Stratford last month she was sent off the 11/4 favourite and ran out an easy winner under Bowen. He took the mount again on Saturday and despite some sketchy jumps she won just as easily at odds of 11/8.

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