A Welsh 1-2-3-4 At Stratford!


22 May 2024

The first feature meeting of the summer at Chepstow takes place on Saturday 8th June – it’s Country and Western Race Night featuring live music from One Night In Nashville.

As well as the racing, there will be line dancing lessons, a rodeo bull challenge and a tin can shooting alley. The gates open at 4pm and the first race is off at 6pm. The band will be on stage after the last race at 9pm. There’s one meeting before Country and Western Night on Friday 31st May. Further details of ticket and hospitality packages are on the website.

David Evans’ useful filly Radio Goo Goo led all the way in Ripon’s feature race on Sunday. The 3/1 favourite had won four consecutive races a year ago and only now has the handicapper relaxed his grip enough. She was nine pounds below her highest rating, and three below her last winning mark. With the plum draw on the rail, she was quickly away and always had a length or more in hand, seeing out the six furlongs well under David Nolan.

David Probert was in Rome that day to ride Andrew Balding’s Royal Supremacy into second place in the Italian Derby. The colt was only rated 87 but astute placing has earned his owner in excess of £100,000.

The Welsh were in the Stratford winners’ enclosure after four of the six races there on Sunday. Indeed, there was a 1-2-3-4 in the long distance mares hurdle. Lorcan Williams (photographed) riding Saint Bibiana for Paul Nicholls’ ex-wife Georgina, hit the front with 150 yards to go to score quite comfortably. She was just too good for the runner-up, Rebecca Curtis’s Bridget Mary. The Braces’ Newmill Getaway finished well for third and Debra Hamer’s Rubys Reward stayed on for a satisfactory fourth place on her first outing for 209 days.

Half an hour later Curtis’s The Boola Boss made all the running in the 2m6f chase. A series of bold leaps on the final circuit prevented his rivals from keeping up with him. The good ground and a step up in distance also played to his strengths. Paul O’Brien was in the saddle.

Dual bumper winner Minella Rescue was a strong-finishing third in a decent novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s April meeting. He was 40/1 that day, and that form made him the 2/7 favourite for a lesser contest at Stratford with Sean Bowen up. It wasn’t as easy as the odds suggested, though and Minella Rescue had to be driven to collar the leader halfway up the run-in.

Bowen completed a double in the next on the gambled-on Fancy Stuff. This mare’s recent record was far from fancy, but she justified 11/4 favourite easily, cantering into the lead turning into the home straight to win unextended by eight lengths.

At Uttoxeter on Saturday James Davies was reunited with the Gary Hanmer-trained Miss Maverick, on whom he’d won a maiden hurdle a month ago. This time she was plugging on gamely in second place when the leader came down at the last. Miss Maverick side-stepped him neatly and ran out a possibly lucky winner, though it wasn’t certain that the faller would have won. That was Davies’s third winner after three weeks of the new season, compared with nine in the whole of 2023/24.

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