There were sunny spells for Chepstow’s first flat meeting of 2019, where the going was good, good to firm in places.
John Flint trained a 66/1 winner at Salisbury the previous evening and resumed with a 10/1 victory in the shape of Carp Kid. In hindsight, that was a generous price as he’d only been raised one pound for his last outing on turf, which was a win back in August. In today’s 1m4f contest Finley Marsh made the running on him until being passed five furlongs out, but he was content to bide his time until asking for more with two and a half to go. He found plenty, and stormed home almost four lengths ahead of Kirkland Forever.
Ralph Beckett had four entered originally in the 1m2f novice stakes and chose to run the well-bred debutante Aloe Vera (8/1), who overcame a slightly tardy start to score cheekily in the end. The leaders went off very fast and the filly was able to come from a long way back, eating up the ground in the home straight. She deprived Maiden Castle of the lead inside the final half furlong to win by a neck, with the benefit of a confident ride by Josephine Gordon.
Running in a handicap for the first time, David Evans’s Lady Reset (20/1) bolted up in the mile handicap. Prominent throughout, and staying closest to the stands rails, Rossa Ryan urged her into the lead two out. She soon saw off Lonicera to win by the best part of three lengths.
There was another clear-cut winner in the next race, a 7f fillies handicap. This was the David Loughnane-trained Plumette (8/1), who repaid the faith shown by her owner when buying her out of a seller last month. She was travelling strongly at halfway and hit the front inside the last quarter of a mile. Trevor Whelan had to shake her up to go into a clear lead, but she did that readily enough, finishing a length and a half ahead of Cotubanama.
The fifth race went to local trainer Ron Harris’s Brother Bentley (6/1). He’d shown a few signs of ability since coming back from a break and today he broke his duck, tried over 6f for a change. Wearing first-time blinkers, he took the lead two furlongs out and from there Jason Watson just had to keep him balanced and going straight. The rest of the field closed at the very end, led by Tizwotitiz, but Bentley still had a length and a half in hand.
Fair Cop (3/1) won the 5f handicap. Carrying the Lochsong colours of Jeff Smith and wearing first-time cheekpieces, she led before halfway and was clear a furlong out. David Probert was able to let her coast home by a length and a half from Union Rose, who ran on too late to be a threat. It was a welcome change of fortune for the Andrew Balding yard, which had had two beaten favourites earlier on the card.
Rossa Ryan completed a double by partnering Panatos (5/1) to an all-the-way success in the 2m race. He needed stoking up in the penultimate furlong, but after that it was apparent that his opponents, led by Three Star General, weren’t going to catch him. He won by two lengths. Panatos was having his third run since moving to Alexandra Dunn from France. Unusually, he is still a colt despite failing to win any of his previous 15 starts.
As an added bonus, later there was a race for Arabian horses, which was won by Paramer Angel for trainer Delyth Thomas and young jockey Charlie Price.