This was Newport County Raceday, with several players, the management and supporters of our local club present to celebrate their fantastic season and great FA Cup run.
We were also joined by our racecourse ambassador Richard Johnson, less than a week after his glorious Cheltenham Gold Cup win on Native River. The pair's 2016 Coral Welsh Grand National win will live long in the memory of all who saw it, and Richard Johnson was a popular draw among today's racegoers, with appearances in the Parade Ring and the hospitality facilities going down well.
Unfortunately he didn't ride a winner on this occasion, a second on Warren Greatrex's Another Emotion was his best result of the day.
Star performer was jockey Nick Scholfield who scored a treble on Garrane (Jeremy Scott), Reelingintheyears (Emma Lavelle) and Beeallandendall (Deborah Faulkener). The victory of Garrane in the opening handicap hurdle was never in doubt, and he won in the style of the 5/4 favourite that he was. The result of the maiden hurdle was a lot closer, with Reelingintheyears holding on gamely from the David Pipe trained favourite Garran City. The second horse had finished third on his hurdling debut at the last Chepstow meeting and deserves to be winning soon.
Scholfield's final winner of the day came in the last on Beallandendall. At the ripe old age of 10 this horse is in the form of his life and he did it well, following up his win at Chepstow on 24th February and becoming local trainer Deborah Faulkener's third career winner.
Trainer of the day was Evan Williams. His The Last Day was the convincing winner of the 2 mile novices' hurdle under Adam Wedge. This horse had previously won at Chepstow in November. It was a family affair in the Newport County Supporters Club Handicap Hurdle. Williams trained the winner Virginia Chick for his wife Cath. The winning rider was their daughter Isabel.
As well as having the Gold Cup winning jockey in attendance, we also welcomed Gold Cup winning trainer Colin Tizzard. He teamed up with jockey Harry Cobden to take the with Wizards Bridge. The winner was under pressure from the favourite The Bay Birch, but found a bit extra when required.