Track Talk - 26/04/22


26 April 2022

Our next fixture is on Monday 16th May when we have seven races from 1.10pm. Tickets are just £12 in advance and £17 on the day. The restaurant has a great value package for £49 which includes admission and a two-course carvery lunch. To book please go the website.  

We are also just over one month until the Kaiser Chiefs play live after racing on Thursday 2nd June. It’s the first day of the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend. Tickets are still available priced at £37.50p. The first race is 5.15pm. The band is on stage around 8.45pm.  

Looking back at the jump season that ended on Saturday, the leading Welsh jockeys were Sean Bowen 95 (who finished 5th in the jockeys’ table), James Bowen 74 (10th) and Adam Wedge 70 (13th). Lorcan Williams also registered his personal best number of winners with 23 – he also won £455,000 of prize money. Lorcan is photographed here in the centre with Sean and James Bowen.  

Evan Williams was the leading trainer, winning 53 races and earning £888,252 to finish 16th in the national league table.  Christian Williams was 24th, with 34 wins and £659,025.  Sam Thomas’s 20 winners helped him earn £486,226 and Peter Bowen’s 35 yielded £437,288.   

Among the leading owners, Walters Plant Hire & Potter Group were 7th, with prize money of £289,504, but their percentages excelled.  15 out of 49 (31%) of their runners were winners.  Even more remarkable was the fact that out of the eleven horses they ran, nine of them won.  That 82% success rate is far and away the best in the top owners list, ignoring those with just a few horses.   

Similarly efficient was the training of David Brace’s horses.  Six of the twelve thar ran in his ownership won.  From 61 runners he had ten winners, nine seconds, seven thirds and eigh8 fourths out of 61 runners.      

Harry Cobden’s four-timer for champion trainer Paul Nicholls at Sandown on Saturday left him on the 99-winner mark for the campaign.  Lorcan Williams was also on the scoresheet riding McFabulous to victory for the Nicholls yard in the Grade 2 Select Hurdle. The trainer said the horse likes good ground and going right-handed, but he already has a novice chase at Chepstow’s Unibet Jump Season Opener in mind for his fencing debut.  This would be a stepping stone to the Kauto Star Novice Chase at Kempton’s King George meeting.  Stablemate Knappers Hill, who won the first race at Sandown, began this season at that Chepstow meeting in 2021. 

James Davies rode Up The Straight to win the Josh Gifford Chase for Richard Rowe, a very appropriate result.  Rowe was Gifford’s stable jockey for many years and James’s father Hywel also rode winners for the much-loved Findon maestro, who passed away ten years ago.  Nobody who saw it will ever forget Gifford’s last runner, Skycab, coming from miles behind to win the equivalent of this race in 2003.   

Between the Sandown races David Probert was seen by ITV viewers winning at Leicester.  It was big race in terms of prize money - £40,000 – but only three ran.  Happy Power, owned by the Leicester-based King Power organisation, has won in better class races and this task turned out to be easily achievable. 

At Bath on Sunday David Probert had – according to the form book – an easy task in the 1m4f maiden on the 1/3 favourite Little Hustle, but the horse needed every yard of the trip to get its nose in front.  It was only his second outing, and firm going and the turning track wouldn’t have been ideal for him.  Probert is still the winningmost flat jockey this year, with 61 successes to his name. 

Grace Harris’s well-supported Symbol Of Hope rewarded his hopeful backers with a victory in the opening sprint.  He was walked to the start and arrived there nice and calm.  Jockey Ray Dawson was hoping for a lead, but the horse was quickly away and made all the running to score by two and a half lengths.   It was the stable’s first flat winner of the year. 

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