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Track Talk With Executive Director Phil Bell - 18th August


18 August 2021

This week’s column has to start with Welsh jockey David Probert’s amazing achievement at Ffos Las last week when he rode eight winners at our two-day fixture including six victories in a row (he won the last five races on Wednesday and the first race on Thursday).

David, who was born in Bargoed, is enjoying his best ever season and currently lies in 4th place in the jockeys’ championship with only Tom Marquand, William Buick and Oisin Murphy above him. 

The 32-year-old’s Ffos Las winning spree came just a day after he’d secured his 100th winner of the calendar year with a success aboard Typewriter at Nottingham. 

We’ve been looking through racing’s history books and we can’t find another jockey who has ridden six winners in a row since Frankie Dettori’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ at Ascot 25 years ago. If any reader has better information, please let me know! 

At the time of writing, he’s reached 110 winners for the year which is just two short of his personal best.

This week David will be in action at York’s prestigious Ebor meeting where his rides include the unbeaten Sandrine in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes. He’s ridden the two-year-old filly to all three of her career victories including the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

Jump racing resumed last weekend after a two-week summer break. Sean Bowen is currently in 3rd place in the jockeys’ championship with 29 winners. James Bowen has 21 successes under his belt and is in 6th position. Both riders are doing a great job flying the flag for Wales across the UK.

It was great to see Carol Vorderman visit Ffos Las last week for a race named in her honour. 

The ‘Carol Vorderman Loves West Wales Nursery Handicap’ was one of our seven races on Thursday – and was won rather appropriately by David Probert to keep the Welsh theme going! Carol is a big horse racing fan and has shares on horses with trainer Kim Bailey and Christian Williams. 

Subway Surf the horse Carol has with Kim Bailey won at Chepstow in March 2019 and has been very consistent since finishing second on four occasions. 

As we all know, she is a very popular TV and radio presenter and the publicity of her Ffos Las race reached The Sun, The Express, The Daily Mail and Hello magazine among other publications – which was positive news for Ffos Las.

Our next meeting at Chepstow is this Thursday 19th August with six races from 1.10pm. 

We then race on Monday 23rd August followed by our traditional Family Day theme on Bank Holiday Monday 30th August. The attractions include a dance zone, dodgems, monster trucks, bungee trampolines, mini chair-o-planes, face painters, our resident DJ, go karts and a bouncy slide. Adult tickets are £25 in advance with children aged 17 and under going free of charge. Wristbands for all the fun fair attractions are £6 in advance and £8 on the day.

Finally, the Chepstow Stampede – a 10k and 5k obstacle mud run around the racecourse and Piercefield Park will be back later this year. The date is Saturday 6th November. Further details will be posted on the Stampede Facebook page and the racecourse website in the near future.

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