Raceday Report - 16th September 2018


17 September 2018

There was a bumper eight-race programme for the final flat meeting of the year. The going was soft, and mist and rain reduced visibility for most of the afternoon.

The first race was a 6f nursery. Chitra and Sybil Grand were up with the pace throughout, but the bright orange colours of Eye Of The Water (16/1) loomed alongside them a furlong out. Before long Liam Jones had driven him a length and three quarters ahead to win for Chepstow trainer Ron Harris.

The one mile novice stakes for two-year-olds went to one of the day’s big gambles. Available at 9/2 in the morning, the newcomer Nivaldo was returned as the 5/4 favourite and won impressively. He didn’t get the clearest of passages, and when he did he had to come between the two leaders. Passing them at the furlong pole, he scooted away under Harry Bentley to score by almost three lengths from Aspire Tower. A bright future beckons for this Ralph Beckett colt. Another debutant, Craster, finished well in fourth place after missing the break and is sure to improve.

County Wexford trainer W J Martin brought his four-year-old maiden Time Stands Still to run at Bath yesterday, and though she was made favourite she finished next to last. Stopping off at Ffos Las on the way home to take in the 7f handicap, she was punted from 16/1 into 8/1 and this time she showed her true colours, winning by three lengths. Robert Havlin took her to the front going into the far bend, and with a quarter of a mile left nothing else was able to get in a blow. The distance of the race and the going were very different today. Champagne Bob was the runner-up.

Another Irish raider entered the winner’s enclosure after the fillies handicap over a mile. John James Feane trains on The Curragh and he sent Ana Lichious (9/2 fav) across for her seventh career win, with David Egan taking the mount. Kyllachys Tale tried to make all the running and appeared to have an unassailable lead two out, only for Ana to run on gamely and snatch victory in the last 50 yards. There was a neck between them at the line, and six lengths back to the rest.

Feane completed a quick double with Syndicate (11/1), ridden by Luke Morris, in the ten furlong fillies handicap. Visibility was very poor for this race, but we could see that she took the lead with a furlong to go and was able to coast home, a length and three quarters ahead of Fannie By Gaslight.

The weather relented for the sixth race, a two-miler. This was the Sir Gordon Richards Handicap, and it was appropriate that it was won by another Sir, Mark Prescott. Despite winning four of her five starts this season his filly Altra Vita (9/4) wasn’t the favourite, but she made all the running to win by a length and a quarter. She and Alfredo shot clear of the others turning into the straight and she gamely repelled his persistent challenges, with plenty of encouragement from Luke Morris in the saddle.

Two divisions of the Grace Harris Racing Handicap, over a mile and a half, ended the action on track. In the first of them, Luke Morris completed a treble, riding Jonathan Portman’s Homing Star (10/1). He and Poucor drew clear of their opponents two out and fought out a terrific duel. Poucor had a fractional advantage until the very last stride, when he lost out by a nose to Morris’s mount.

The finale went to Bernard Llewellyn’s Ascot Day (14/1), who hit the front half a mile out and galloped on resolutely to hold off Livingstones Quest, his nearest challenger for most of the way up the straight. Once he reached the final half furlong the others accepted the situation and Martin Harley brought him home with three lengths to spare over the plugging-on Rolanna.

Ffos Las Racecourse

Racecourse logo

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news, events and special offers direct to your inbox.