25 February 2018
Winter Ladies Day was suitably fine and bright, but with a very cold wind. The going was soft. The fourth fence in the back straight and the second last hurdle in the home straight were omitted.
A big field contested the 2m4f maiden hurdle. Rod Millman’s Champagne Champ (4/1), five times a winner on the flat, disputed the lead for most of the race but looked set to be swamped by half a dozen pursuers at the penultimate flight. Despite holding his head high, he refused to give in, put in a big jump at the last and kept on resolutely under Nick Scholfield to hold off Mount Rushmoore by three quarters of a length.
Flintham got an easy lead in the 3m novice chase but had no answer when Rolling Dylan (7/4) cruised past at the fourth last. Fluffing the final fence didn’t stop the Philip Hobbs-trained second favourite cantering to a facile 18 length win, partnered by Micheal Nolan.
Lady jockeys filled the first three places in the 2m hurdle, which was particularly appropriate on Chepstow’s Winter Ladies Day. Bryony Frost, having her first ride on Paul Nicholls’s Moabit (6/1), brought him to the front two out and he went into a clear lead on the long run to the last. Applesandpierres (Bridget Andrews) and Diable De Sivola (Lizzie Kelly) followed four and a half lengths away.
Sainte Ladylime made a gallant attempt to make all the running in the 3m hurdle but had to give way between the last two, when the bottom weight Carnspindle (14/1) hit the front. He popped over the final obstacle nicely and stayed on well to beat the Sainte and Poker Play by two and a quarter lengths. Thomas Greatrex rode the winner for his father Warren.
The fifth was a 2m chase worth £22,000 commemorating the late Roger Lewis, who was a familiar figure in Welsh racing circles for decades. The Evan Williams-trained Tornado In Milan led coming out of the back straight and although Overtown Express stalked him until the second last, where he got to within two lengths, the leader pressed on again. His five length victory was a welcome result for the stable jockey Adam Wedge, who was without a win for two months.
The next was another 2m chase. The 2017 winner Modeligo was another who tried to lead all the way, only to run out of gas between the last two fences. Beallandendall (7/1), who’d never been far away, took the lead and stayed on well to score by four lengths. Little Jimmy ran on late to finish runner-up. Nick Scholfield was completing a double. It was the second career winner for Newport trainer Deborah Faulkner.
They went a fair gallop in the bumper and there were still quite a few with chances half a mile out. Supremely Lucky (7/1) made smooth progress from midfield to shadow the leaders before Bridget Andrews nudged him to the front about a furlong and a half out. Kapgarry, although clearly second best, made sure the winner couldn’t take it easy and he finished just two lengths to the good. He joined Dan Skelton’s yard after finishing second in an Irish point-to-point two months ago.