Track Talk - 22/02/23


22 February 2023

Our next race meeting at Chepstow is the Six Nations Race Day this Saturday 25th February and advance tickets are just £10 (until midnight this Thursday). It’s then £19.50p for a ticket. 

This is exceptional value for a Saturday race meeting in the UK and we are hoping for an attendance in excess of 3500 spectators. The Wales v England rugby will be shown on a big screen in our Fans Zone from 4.45pm. We have two fixtures next month – Mothering Sunday 19th March and then Thursday 23rd March. 

Out of five Welsh winners on Saturday, the biggest was in Ascot’s £100,000 Swinley Handicap Chase over three miles.  Cap Du Nord, for Christian Williams (photographed) and Jack Tudor, made up for an unlucky second place in Doncaster’s Sky Bet Chase three weeks ago, with a seven-length victory.  It’s been a quiet time for trainer and jockey; for both this was just their 9th winner this season.  It was also a first success at Ascot for them. 

Cap Du Nord’s delighted owner Ian Marmion, part of the Can’t Say No Partnership, said there was a chance the horse could try for a quick follow-up at Kempton next weekend.  He said of his eight-race winner, “If you could have a hundred of him you’d have a hundred horses.  He's just brilliant. We paid £30,000 for him and he's won us about £300,000 now. He's the biggest winner in Christian’s yard now, and we're not finished yet.”

Paul Nicholls had runners at three courses on Saturday, and while Bryony Frost rode three winners at Wincanton and Harry Cobden one at Ascot, Lorcan Williams was at Haydock riding Makin’yourmindup to victory in a three-mile Grade 2 novice hurdle.  He came out on top by a short head. 

David Probert rode a treble at Lingfield, two of them for Andrew Balding. The Kingsclere trainer is operating with a 43% strike rate.  In a one mile novices event his three-year-old filly Floating Spirit made it two wins from two starts, each time with Probert in the saddle. It was similarly easy for stablemate Berkshire Breeze, who took nine attempts to break his duck but has now won twice in a row. 

Probert’s third winner was for owner-trainer Emma Owen, who only has a couple of horses, about 200 less than Balding.  Her nine-year-old Divine Messenger won at 11/1.

Tim Vaughan and Alan Johns had the easiest win of their careers at Newbury on Sunday, when their Dalamoi walked over for a novice chase.  On good to firm going he was one of only two declared, and his opponent was withdrawn an hour or so before racing. All that was required was for the horse to be saddled up and Johns to weigh out as usual.  He then rode Dalamoi down to the final obstacle, where he turned and cantered back past the judge’s box.  After the formality of weighing in connections were £14,000 richer, scooping the prize money for both first and second place.

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