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Track Talk - 08/02/22


08 February 2022

Our next fixture at Chepstow is the Six Nations Race Day on Saturday 26th February with seven races and the Wales v England game live on the big screen from 4.45pm. Tickets are just £10 in advance. Racing starts at 1.08pm and the gates open at 11am. 

Tim Vaughan and Alan Johns led the way for the Welsh on Saturday, taking the 3m chase at Sandown, worth £26,164 to the winner.  Their front-runner Le Milos stayed on determinedly to make a successful step up in grade.  He jumped well, but slightly to the left, implying he could improve a bit going the other way round.  However, Johns observed after the race that it “will probably have been his Gold Cup”.   

It was Vaughan’s eighth winner of the season, a stark contrast to the 102 he rattled up ten years ago. But, given the ammunition, he can still produce the goods.  Johns added, “This horse shows what Tim can do.” 

James Bowen was also on the mark at Sandown, riding the favourite Peejaybee to land the finale.  He has now ridden a winner at every British jumps track – all 40 of them, plus the currently-closed Towcester.  That’s an excellent achievement bearing in mind he only started riding in the spring of 2017, and he isn’t yet 21.  His brother Sean has already completed the clean sweep.   

James made the long trek up to Musselburgh the next day, where he enjoyed another easy win, this time on Nicky Henderson’s Impulsive One.  Adam Wedge (photographed) was there on Saturday for one mount, Socialist Agenda, which duly won the Scottish County Hurdle.  The horse’s trainer, Laura Morgan, has a small yard in Leicestershire but a long connection with the jockey, who used to be based in the Midlands.  This was the 24th winner for the combination.  Wedge now needs to score at Kelso and Hexham to emulate the Bowens’ feat of riding winners at all of the British tracks. 

He was back at Musselburgh on Sunday to ride the favourite in the last race for Morgan, but it finished unplaced.  He had also been booked to ride The Big Galloper in the Pertemps Qualifier there that day for the canny Irish trainer Charles Byrnes.  The horse had little recent form, yet was the subject of some support.  Wedge made no mistake and The Big Galloper won with something in hand.  Thanks to his Grade 1 wins for Evan Williams in the last year or so he is getting more rides from other trainers when the money is down and they want a top jockey on board.   

Lorcan Williams also made a profitable trip to Scotland, steering Glen Forsa to victory in a Veterans Chase for Charlie Longsdon. 

On the flat, the David Probert winning machine rumbles on remorselessly.  On Saturday at Kempton he rode Sleeping Lion to win a two mile contest for the new partnership of Harry and Roger Charlton.  At seven, he is one of the oldest horses in the Beckhampton yard and should be a contender for one of the All-Weather Finals in April.  Probert retains his leads in both the flat jockeys’ table for 2022 and this winter’s all-weather championships. 

He was out of luck at Kempton on Sunday, where Old Port completed a hat-trick for David Evans.  The four-year-old joined the stable in the autumn, not having run before, and has been making up for lost time quickly.  After three outings at six and seven furlongs his first win was in a handicap over an extended mile.  His next start was over a furlong further and Sunday’s was a mile and three.  They haven’t got to the bottom of this Old Port yet. 

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