The second day of this two day meeting was NFRC raceday, a conference and social event for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.
Chepstow annual members had enjoyed a pre-racing visit to local trainer Grace Harris's stable yard where the star attraction was evergreen 15 year old Paddy The Oscar, also engaged in our 4pm handicap chase. Jockey Liam Heard was in action there, schooling Faint Hope and Grams and Ounces, before making a late dash to Chepstow to take the first aboard Flight to Nowhere. The horse had enjoyed a 52 day break since being somewhat disappointing at Plumpton in January and returned at 11/1.
Colin Tizzard and Harry Cobden combined to take the second, the mares novices' hurdle, with the impressive Dinos Benefit. The pair also won with Wizards Bridge on yesterday's card. This filly looks one to follow, she readily dispensed with the odds-on Nicky Henderson trained favourite Kupatana.
There was another beaten favourite in the staying novices' hurdle. Chooseyourweapon could only finish third behind Kilfilum Cross for Kim Bailey and David Crosse. Despite only four runners this looked a close race on paper, however the winner won by 21 lengths despite taking it easy on the way to the line. His rivals had been run ragged and were very tired at the line. Kim Bailey also had a winner at Ludlow.
There were 11 runners in the handicap chase, including the aforementioned course favourite and top weight Paddy The Oscar (twice a winner and three times second this season) and joint favourite Lac Sacre (a head second at Ffos Las last time). However the race went to 10/1 chance Looks Like Power for Debra Hamer and Trevor Whelan. Paddy The Oscar led for much of the race but was passed over the last couple and Looks Like Power always had a bit in hand over Lac Sacre who held on for second.
Heluvagood lost his maiden tag and sprung a bit of a surprise in the novices' handicap hurdle. Rated only 88 and carrying over a stone and a half less than the favourite
Minellatillmorning, he previously had at best a couple of fourth placed efforts to his name. However he was very good today, settling in the rear before challenging two out and readily going clear. He is trained by Victor Dartnall and was ridden by Ciaran Gethins.
Battle Dust was last seen at Chepstow winning a novices' hurdle for Kim Bailey in December 2015 but he hasn't won again under rules. Since going point to pointing last December he has been a great servant though, he has won two point to points and today he took our hunter chase for trainer Philip Rowley and rider Alex Edwards.
There were joint favourites for the last, the mares' bumper, in Meep Meep and Viva Vittoria. Both were having their first run. It was Meep Meep who came out on top for Tom Lacey and Tom Scudamore. The 5 year old finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of the year younger Viva Vittoria, with Cavok a neck back in third.