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Track Talk From Our Executive Director Phil Bell

Racing
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31 August 2022

Bank Holiday Monday’s Family Race Day at Chepstow was one of the most popular I have seen in my ten years at the course. It was just fantastic to see 6000 customers in blazing sunshine enjoying six races as well as all the free children’s entertainment which included fun fair rides, face painters, bungee trampolines, go karts and bouncy castles. 

We deliberately kept the advance ticket price for adults to a competitive £20 and with children going free of charge, it made for a great value afternoon out in what are becoming financially challenging times for all of us. 

Our VIP guest on the day was 16-year-old Noah Herniman from Chepstow who, as I am sure many readers are aware, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. He is a remarkable young man who is raising money for children and parents who are in a similar situation to his own. His aim is to create a retreat when affected families can go for some rest and relaxation. 

We raised around £6000 for his cause with various fund-raising activities on the race day including a raffle and a bucket collection. We also receive several significant anonymous donations and I can only thank those people for their generosity. He was interviewed on Sky Sports Racing by presenter Luke Harvey (photographed) so that would have helped spread the word to a wider audience.

A big thank you too to jockey Hollie Doyle who after riding three winners agreed to sign autographs and have photos taken with many of our racegoers. Hollie is one the stars of horse racing and was 3rd in the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Local trainer Chris Mason was in the winners’ enclosure when Hagia Sophia scored under jockey Gina Mangan. The four-year-old was successful at Windsor earlier in the month. Chris then had two winners at our meeting on Tuesday with Jax Edge and On Edge.

The sole success for Wales on the first two days of the holiday weekend was that of David Probert on Savvy Victory in a ten-furlong handicap at Goodwood on Sunday. It was a Class 2 and he won very easily. Probert is 3-6 for the horse’s trainer Sean Woods this year.

John Flint’s Glorious Goodwood winner Lyndon B tried to follow up over the same course and distance on Saturday.  The good to soft going was against him – his four victories have all been on good to firm – and although he finished eighth, he was only beaten two lengths.

Two fixtures due to be run at Bath Racecourse next month are being transferred to Chepstow and Ffos Las due to issues with the ground conditions at the Somerset course. The meeting on Saturday 10th September goes to Ffos Las with the fixture on Sunday 11th September taking place at Chepstow. Tickets are £10 in advance and £15 on the day.

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