We’re getting ready for our final fixture of the year this Thursday 16th December. It’s Christmas Jumper Day with seven races starting at 12.10pm. Our opening meeting of 2022 is Wednesday 5th January. Covid passes or negative lateral flow tests are required for entry.
The Evan Williams trained Coole Cody, an unlucky loser of last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, made amends with a battling victory when returning to Cheltenham for Saturday’s Racing Post Gold Cup.
The ten-year-old, ridden by Adam Wedge, fell at the penultimate fence in the earlier race when leading and holding every chance. Five pounds better off this time, Coole Cody bowled along in front at a good pace. At that fateful second last fence he had a narrow lead over the Paddy Power winner Midnight Shadow, and held it to the final obstacle. There he jumped slightly to the right, and on the run-in continued to drift towards the stands side. That didn’t help Midnight Shadow, but it didn’t affect the outcome. Coole Cody wasn’t going to be passed. He won by two lengths. Immediately after the race Wedge said, “He is hard as nails. He’s got his own way of jumping, but he knows what he’s doing.”
The horse’s record at Cheltenham is now 3-10 and Williams will doubtless have the two and a half mile handicap chase at the Festival in mind, in which he was fourth last season. He said, “He’s a good tough horse. Adam was convinced he had plenty of petrol left last time. I had no worries about what happened then. He’s tough as teak, and wouldn’t be bothered about what happened before.
Powerstown Park rattled up a hat-trick for Sam Thomas within the space of eight days in March, all of them in two mile hurdles. Three uninspiring runs since, and eleven pounds above his last winning mark, meant he started at 18/1 for a three mile chase at Hereford on Saturday. In spite of the different obstacles and distance, he won easily. It was a conditional jockeys’ race, and Lorcan Williams rode him, which the rules allow even though he lost his claim recently. Seeing as Powerstown Park has shown he can win when turned out again quickly, Thomas may try and find another race for him before the handicapper reassesses him.
On Friday the 2019 Coral Welsh Grand National winner, Potters Corner returned to form with a fine second in the cross country race at Cheltenham under Jack Tudor. He looked like winning in the final quarter of a mile of the 3m6f contest, only to be run out of it in the very last stride. Christian Williams has 17 days to decide whether to take his chance in this year’s Welsh National. Some 20/1 is still available for that race.