The last Chepstow meeting of May took place on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The going was good to firm.
The first action on the track was a one mile race for Arabian horses. It went to the grey Paramer Angel, ridden by Charlie Price for Delyth Thomas. He beat Abiyah Athbah narrowly over course and distance earlier this month, and today he held on from the same opponent by three quarters of a length.
In the opener, over the straight mile, Ocala was 5/6 favourite to give David Probert his 50th winner of the year. It was plain sailing; she tracked the two leaders until going on two furlongs out, and though Ragstone View went in pursuit she was never seriously threatened. The two length winner continued the Andrew Balding stable’s great form.
The second race was over 7f and featured another odds-on favourite. As soon as the stalls opened Jack Mitchell aimed Simon Crisford’s handicap debutant Chance (10/11 fav) to run against the stands rail. Left by himself there, he was always prominent, taking the lead off Glamorous Crescent a furlong and a half out. The runner-up, tanking down the middle, showed good early speed and kept on well to finish three quarters of a length behind, with daylight back to the rest.
The 6f two-year-old fillies maiden went to Rod Millman’s Bettys Hope (3/1 jt fav), who had finished second in all her three runs so far. She broke well, and with Rob Hornby on board led the field across to the stands side. She kicked on three out and from then didn’t look like being caught. Under a hands and heels ride in the closing stages, she had a length in hand over Lili Wen Fach and the debutante Faldetta, who ran on steadily to fill the places.
The stands side was, once again, the place to be for the 6f handicap. Bungee Jump (17/2), who won this race at this fixture last year, broke smartly out of the stalls and proceeded to gallop the opposition into the ground. She increased her clear lead at the furlong pole and Rossa Ryan as able to take it easy in the end, coming in two lengths ahead of Great Midge and taking local handler Grace Harris off the cold trainers list.
A strong pace was set in the 1m2f race and they finished well strung out. The unconsidered Cwynar took the lead three out and looked as if she would give Rebecca Curtis a rare win on the flat, but she was outstayed by Mick Channon’s Banksy’s Art (14/1). Coming off a six month break, he went ahead 150 yards out and ran out a convincing three and a quarter length winner. Scott McCullagh was the successful jockey.
Three stood out in the 1m4f novices race and they dominated the business end of it. Goscote, who made most of the running, repelled the challenge of the favourite Motaraabet between three and two out. However, it was the Ralph Beckett-trained gelding Brasca (9/4), saved for a late run by Rob Hornby, who was strongest at the finish. He brushed past Goscote inside the final furlong and won in pleasing style by two and a half lengths. The hurdler And The New was left about 12 lengths at the start, only to run on in eyecatching fashion to come in fourth.
The final race was a 1m4f handicap. The Tom Dascombe-trained Charlie D (9/4) had good all-weather form last year and, fresh from a good break, translated it to turf today. Richard Kingscote drove him ahead a quarter of a mile out and he gradually extended his lead to a length and three quarters. The Detainee plugged on to take second place.