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Track Talk - 26/04/23


26 April 2023

Our final jump meeting until October takes place this Friday 28th April. There are seven races from 4.45pm with the feature event, the Dunraven Bowl. Our first flat fixture of the season is on Tuesday 16th May followed by four meetings in June on the 2nd, 10th, 16th and 28th . 

Christian Williams won Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National with Kitty’s Light, a year after his popular stayer finished second to stablemate Win My Wings. Ayr usually produces good ground in April and that, plus the four miles of Scotland’s premier jump race, meant that conditions were perfect for the horse. He won by three lengths. 

Jockey Jack Tudor will be praying that his retainer with David Pipe does not prevent him from losing the ride on Kitty’s Light next season. It was a poignant moment for Williams, whose five-year-old daughter Betsy has been diagnosed with leukaemia and is undergoing treatment. 

Evan Williams and Adam Wedge (photographed) went to Bangor-on-Dee on Saturday and returned with a winner, Sabbathical. His last two runs were over hurdles and those mediocre efforts caused him to be sent off at 16/1 for this return to chasing. Wedge was back on board and this success took Sabbathical’s record over fences to 5-15. In hurdles it’s only 2-19. It was Wedge’s 50th winner of the season.

At Stratford on Sunday, Williams’ Kym Eyre was an unlikely winner of the 3m4f chase. Although she was the 4/1 favourite, she was never going or jumping particularly well, and was about ten lengths behind the leader turning into the short Stratford straight. He wilted whereas the mare galloped on steadily to take the lead 50 yards out. After the race her jockey Isabel Williams admitted Kym Eyre was quirky.

Shantou Sunset emerged from a spell in the doldrums to win the 3m2f hurdle for Tim Vaughan and Charlie Price. Vaughan and his stable jockey Alan Johns won a decent prize at Cheltenham last Wednesday with the 102-rated mare Madera Mist in an ultra-competitive 20- runner 3m4f chase. 

That same day, after running in a 2m4f handicap chase at Cheltenham for the 15th time, the Evan Williams-trained twelve-year-old Coole Cody was retired. It’s easy to forget that he won four times over hurdles in 2017 for Michael Blake, and was second in a Grade 3 in that discipline. Switched to Evan Williams at the age of nine, he started novice chasing at Newton Abbot in August 2020 and within three months had won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham’s November meeting. 

That began his love affair with the track, where he would go off in front and defy anything else to pass him. He excelled in 2021/22 by winning the big race at the December meeting and the Plate at the Festival, reaching a peak rating of 152 at the age of eleven. He won nine of his 42 races and earned £345,000 in prize money for his owner Wayne Clifford. To say he was a great credit to the stable is an understatemen

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