If you missed Saturday’s ITV Racing programme, you missed a great afternoon of action in which all the high drama, thrills and spills of jump racing were present; Frodon’s gallant front-running performance, the unexpected tumble of Shan Blue when about to win the Charlie Hall Chase by a street, the eclipse of Cyrname and other last-to-first triumphs and exciting finishes.
Lorcan Williams was at Ascot to ride five horses for Paul Nicholls and was involved in one of those finishes, a neck and neck duel from the second last fence aboard Solo. Approaching the winning post, Solo appeared to have mastered Jamie Moore’s mount Nassalam, only to falter at the very last moment and go down by a nose. To add insult to injury, Williams was suspended for two days for using his whip above the permitted level after the last fence and two more for careless riding, bumping Nassalam in the shadow of the post.
Williams gained some compensation later in the day when he came with a late run to win on Kandoo Kid, pinching the race from – of all people – Jamie Moore. However, he received two further days’ suspension for excessive whip use. The individual bans were small because he was only one or two strokes over the limit in each case and does not have a history of this sort of offence.
Williams has ridden 71 winners since 2016, 42 of them for Nicholls, and needs four more to lose his claim. He was praised for last week’s Chepstow victory on Henri The Second (photographed) trained by his governor.
Christian Williams’ prolific winner Uno Mas, going for a hat-trick on successive weekends, was odds-on for the finale at Huntingdon on Sunday. Running off the same mark as his latest Aintree success, and with Ellis Collier again claiming ten pounds, he led all the way to land the odds comfortably. That made it four wins from his last five outings, all over three miles or more. Can the trainer keep him fresh and find another race before the handicapper catches up?
Also on Sunday, James Bowen rode My Last Oscar to a facile victory at Lingfield, and later on that card Alan Johns steered Black Jack Magic to victory in a maiden hurdle. Johns had a quiet summer with not many rides, but this was his second winner in less than a week;
Tim Vaughan’s grey Eva’s Oskar came back to form in a decent novice chase at Chepstow’s last meeting. Last week the trainer declared himself “the proudest dad in the world” when his thirteen-year-old son Edward won a pony race at Wincanton to regain the riding championship in the 148cm and under category. Notable graduates from the world of pony racing include Harry Cobden and Hollie Doyle.
Connor Brace has had a truncated season with a couple of injuries restricting his days in the saddle but he’s back in great form and had a double at Plumpton on Monday with Blue Bikini and Champagne Well.
One thing that’s not in short supply at the moment is runners at Chepstow. We have 89 horses declared for our meeting this Wednesday 3rd November. Following the recent heavy rain, the ground is soft and therefore more suitable for the vast majority of jump horses. We have one more fixture this month on Friday 19th November when racing gets underway at 12.35pm. This is a charity race day for SSAFA, the armed forces charity.
There’s a meeting at Ffos Las is this Sunday 7th November. We have six races from 1.20pm – the gates open at 11.20am. Tickets are £15 in advance and are also available on the day.