We’re getting ready for our popular Easter Monday Family Race Day on Monday 18th April.
As usual we’ll have fun fair rides, face painters, go karts, donkey rides, an Easter Egg Hunt, jockeys autograph session and a DJ. The gates open at 12 noon and the first race is at 2pm. Adult tickets are £20 in advance and £25 on the day – children aged 17 and under go free. All the details are on the website.
Not for the first time this year, Christian Williams-trained horses dominated the finish of the weekend’s big race on ITV, as Win My Wings and Kitty’s Light finished first and second in the Scottish Grand National. Their form was there for all to see, and they were returned as two of the 13/2 co-favourites.
The nine-year-old mare Win My Wings travelled easily and was 5/2 in running fully six furlongs out. “It was all straightforward really,” said the Irish amateur jockey Rob James afterwards. His seven pound claim wasn’t necessary given the horse’s facile seven length victory. That allowance suggested an inexperienced rider was on board, but though he had only had 12 winners under National Hunt Rules, he has ridden 264 in point-to-points in Ireland.
It was the first time since 1995 that the two four-mile races, the Eider Chase and the Scottish National, had been won by the same horse in the same year. But although Win My Wings is a confirmed stayer, and enjoyed the good ground, she is versatile enough to have won over two and a quarter miles on heavy going in France last May.
Kitty’s Light, so often the bridesmaid, made a bad mistake at the second fence yet ran on valiantly under Jack Tudor to finish as the runner-up.
Even if you set aside the Scottish National result, it was a great day for the Welsh.
Sean Bowen rode the winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle aboard Anna Bunina and Richard Patrick rode Do Your Job to take the Champion Novices Chase. It was the jockey’s second Grade 2 winner of the season – Hillcrest being the other.
At Newbury Mot A Mot won on his first start for Sam Thomas. This ex-Henderson horse, owner by Dai Walters, had been thought good enough to take part in last year’s Aintree bumper. Now having his first run in a handicap, with the benefit of a wind op, and a first-time tongue tie, it seemed that all the stars were aligned. Pricewise tipped him and he was returned at 11/4.
Two Chepstow races went to the home team. In the three mile chase Wayfinder scored for Rebecca Curtis and Ben Jones, taking his record to four wins from 12 starts. Now proven on good as well as soft, he should be able to score again. The runner-up, Tim Vaughan’s Clemencia, has form figures of 3332 and deserves a change of luck.
Ballinsker won the two and a half mile chase for Evan and Isabel Williams easily, but his opponents suffered various mishaps and he may be flattered by the twelve-length margin of victory.
On to Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. Pope Gregory, a five-year-old having his first start for David Evans, was running in the seller over a mile. Visored for the first time, and with Jamie Spencer on board, he got up in the last stride to win by a short head and a neck. There was no bid for the horse afterwards.
At the same course later, Ron Harris was in the winner’s enclosure for only the second time this year – but the yard cannot be said to be out of form, having had 13 placed runners in that time. His five-year-old mare Sarah’s Verse hardly ever runs a bad race (her form since July is 322220251) and is a great yardstick for the official handicapper. She’s best of all at Bath and will doubtless be seen there before long.
Christian Williams and Jack Tudor made the 461 mile journey from Ayr to Plumpton on Sunday with four runners. Their Loup De Maulde was favourite for the penultimate race, but had to give best to Evan Williams’ Balkardy. It was the trainer’s birthday, and Fergus Gillard made his first ride for him a very satisfactory present.
Lorcan Williams was on the scoresheet the same day at Hereford aboard Striking Out for trainer Henry Oliver. That was his 21st winner of the season.