Our penultimate fixture of 2021 is this Wednesday 17th November when we have seven races from 12.20pm. Gates open at 10.20am and the tickets in advance are just £15. On the day it is £17. Our Christmas Jumper Race Day is Thursday 16th December.
Between them Welsh owners, trainers and jockeys clocked up nine winners on Saturday.
However, one that missed out was the Evan Williams-trained Coole Cody, who made a bold bid to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham for the second year in a row. Jumping much better than twelve months ago, he set a good pace and was still in front at the second last fence, where he made his only error and came down. Would he have won if he stayed upright? Paint The Dream, last month’s Chepstow winner owned by David Brace, ran well for a long way too, in second place coming down the hill before fading.
Earlier that afternoon Christian Williams trained the 9/4 winner of the three mile chase for amateur riders, Strictlyadancer. He’d won over course and distance in October. It was the first time Mr Ben Bromley had been booked to ride for the yard. He’s not a well known name yet, but his record of 5-7 for Paul Nicholls is telling. Bromley’s five pound allowance enabled the horse to carry just nine stone ten, which was 19 pounds less than the second and third. Not many horses win two Cheltenham handicaps within a month.
Ben Jones (photographed) rode a treble at Uttoxeter, including two for Philip Hobbs. His record riding the first, Sandy Boy, is now 1223631421. Jones had won on the other, Little River Bay, last time out and is benefiting from his association with the resurgent Hobbs stable. He completed his red-letter day by making most of the running on Akkapenko for Dai Burchell, who has had quite a few winners at the Staffordshire track over the years.
The Skelton yard had runners all over the country and employed Lorcan Williams to ride four horses at Wetherby. Lakota Warrior, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, made it worthwhile by taking the two mile hurdle. It was his second run after a wind operation, an angle some punters favour.
Though the jumps season is in full swing, there were two all-weather racing on the flat. At Lingfield the Welsh-owned Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver was entitled to outclass his opponents in the Churchill Stakes. It was over a mile and a quarter, a distance short of his best, and he hung on to win by half a length. He will go for a big prize in Hong Kong next, but needs to show much better form than he did here.
David Probert had a welcome double earlier on the card. The first winner, Sea Grey, is trained by Andrew Balding. The stable’s two-year-olds are not usually fully wound up on their debuts, as this one’s 25/1 odds suggested. He won a ten furlong race going away. An hour later Valentinka won even more easily for him. It was only a Class 6 race, but they all count.
Wales’s Magnificent Nine was sealed at Wolverhampton that evening, when Ron Harris’s Glamorous Force won for the second time in a month. The four-year-old sprinter is a model of consistency, rarely running a bad race. He shouldn’t go up much for this narrow victory, achieved despite being slowly away and not getting a clear run.
On Sunday, Timeforatune sold for £175,000 after winning a bumper at Ffos Las in May for Brecon trainer Brian Eckley, recorded his second victory for this new trainer Paul Nicholls when he was successful at Cheltenham.
This Friday it’s the ROA Welsh Horse Racing Awards taking place at Chepstow Racecourse.
The awards are designed to recognise both equine and human talent and success across Wales including owners, trainers, horses, jockeys, stable staff and breeders.