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Track Talk From ED Phil Bell


14 September 2022

Horse racing resumed on Sunday following the sad passing of Her Majesty The Queen last Thursday and Chepstow was one of two courses to host a fixture, the other being Doncaster where the St Leger took place. There was no racing on Friday and Saturday.  

We gathered jockeys, trainers, stable staff, officials and racecourse management in the Parade Ring to pay our respects with a series of videos about Her Majesty’s life in racing. We also held a two minute silence and played the National Anthem.  

The Queen’s interest in racing dates back to 1942, when she accompanied her father King George VI to see his horses exercising at Lambourn.  Her final winner as an owner was Love Affairs on Tuesday but her last at Chepstow was Kiteflyer (photographed) on May 10th this year.  She had 8 winners at Chepstow since 1988. 

Presumably backward as a two-year-old, but highly regarded by his trainer Sir Michael Stoute, Kiteflyer’s debut came in the Wood Ditton Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting.  He finished third there and was unextended to win that Chepstow novice stakes by four lengths.   

Her Majesty’s previous Chepstow winner was Natural History, who in August 2018 won a mile and a half handicap by eight lengths under David Probert.  He won two races at Chester and Goodwood the following autumn before finishing second in the Group 3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury.   

The belated conclusion of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster resulted in David Probert’s third Group 2 victory of the year.  The Doncaster Cup – founded in 1766, and therefore even older than the Leger – went to his mount, Coltrane.  The slow pace didn’t favour the 2/9 favourite Trueshan, and Coltrane capitalised on it.    

However, a Group 1 remains frustratingly elusive for Wales’s leading flat jockey.  Hoo Ya Mal, his ride in the world’s oldest classic, finished unplaced. 

Our meeting on Sunday got under way with a winner for local trainer Deborah Faulkner in the shape of Fossos . He was having his tenth run over the five furlong course this year and has won three times. 

Our final race of the flat season went to John Flint’s Lilandra, who bolted up.  She’s not a frequent winner, but the result was in no doubt from half a mile out, when she galloped clear of the field and stayed there.   

Our next meeting is the Unibet Jump Season Opener on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October. This fixture represents to start of the winter jumping campaign across the UK and there is almost £400,000 of prize money of offer. After racing on the Saturday, we have Bruce Foxton’s band From The Jam playing live. All the ticket information is on our website. 

On Sunday 9th October it’s the £50,000 Dragon Bet Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.  

Chepstow Racecourse

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