Track Talk - 3rd October


04 October 2023

The start of the jump racing season at Chepstow is less than two weeks away.

The two-day £400,000 Unibet Jump Season Opener takes place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th October – as well as the racing you’ll be able to play darts against legends Keith Deller and John Lowe and there’s also an Oasis tribute band playing live. With Wales looking 99.9% likely to win their group, the Rugby World Cup quarter final will also be shown live during the afternoon.

On Sunday 15th October it’s the Dragon Bet Welsh Champion Hurdle at Chepstow’s sister course Ffos Las near Llanelli.

There are tickets and hospitality available for all three fixtures.

David Evans’ Democracy Dilemma won his fourth race this year at Chester on Saturday. The horse has now run 21 times in his 18-month career, but as most of these are over five furlongs he probably doesn’t do much at home. He could hardly have done better here, for he revelled in the heavy going, leading all the way and winning by almost three lengths. That was in a Class 3 handicap off a mark of 92, so he’ll have to step up in grade next time.

Evans was back in the winners’ enclosure after the last race with King’s Code. He was a 43,000 guinea purchase out of the Richard Hannon stable in July and he’s beginning to look like an astute buy. This was his second win in three starts for his new connections, and he has now won on firm, good and heavy. Both Evans winners were partnered by Joe Fanning, who rode a four-timer on the day.

The trainer will be hoping that his old sprinter Rohaan, who showed a bit more dash last time out, will appreciate a return to Ascot, his favourite track, on Friday.

Market Rasen has for many years been a happy hunting ground for the Bowens, but despite the decent prize on offer for Saturday’s 2m5f chase it was relevant that Sean rode Found On for Martin Keighley rather than Francky Du Berlais for his father. Found On’s form figures of 11111PP- told a story, and punters let her start at 10/1 heedless of the possibility that eight months off the track might have allowed the trainer to solve whatever the problem was.

Bowen rode Found On as if there were no doubts about her, running prominently before making the running on the last circuit, where an exhibition round of jumping enabled her to see off all her opponents. His brother James was on Francky Du Berlais, who faded out of contention before the home straight.

The main event on the Market Rasen card, worth over £20,000 to the winner, was an extremely competitive 2m hurdle and it showed Sean at his best. He made all the running on Olly Murphy’s Liverpool Knight, on whom he’d won a couple of novice hurdles in July. One of the youngest horses in the race, he produced a great leap at the last and repelled a host of challengers in the straight with the help of Bowen’s strength in the saddle.

He completed a hat-trick in the final race of the day by urging the Ryan Potter-trained Fazayte into the lead on the run-in to win by a short head. Sean now leads Brian Hughes by 29 winners in the jockeys’ championship.

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