Uno Mas means ‘once more’ in Spanish and Christian Williams’ seven-year-old won once more at Aintree on Sunday. He’d bolted up by 13 lengths at Ffos Las eight days earlier under ten-pound claimer Ellis Collier. Raised in the handicap, but competing in a better race at Aintree, he was set to carry ten stone minus Collier’s ten-pound claim. With the feather weight of nine stone four on his back, he won by eight lengths, his nearest pursuer burdened with 34 pounds more. It was Uno Mas’s tenth win, an excellent bit of placing by Williams.
Three Welsh jockeys were in the money at Wincanton on Sunday. James Davies scored for the third time in four outings aboard Fat Sam. The horse’s best form comes on good ground and connections will be praying for more of the same.
Ben Jones resumed his successful association with Emma Lavelle’s Irish Prophecy. The horse’s last win was almost a year ago, the last time Jones rode him. Lavelle is the trainer who has supplied the young Welshman with the most winners (18) and their record together this season is 2-2.
The odds-on Mon Frere defied a penalty to take a novice hurdle for Paul Nicholls under Lorcan Williams. His task was helped by the jockey still being able to claim a three-pound allowance, not having accumulated 75 career wins yet.
Cheltenham’s meeting at the weekend yielded mixed results for Welsh trainers.
Before Midnight won the two mile chase in great style for Sam Thomas, who trains him and several other horses for owner Dai Walters. Winning the Gold Cup on Denman was the highlight of his career as a jockey and last season’s 26 successes as a trainer represented a breakthrough for him in that sphere. Thomas reported that Saturday’s race had been the target for this horse, and that he was so impressive that the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival is the new long-term aim.
Sheila Lewis was unfortunate not to get her first ever Cheltenham winner when Straw Fan Jack failed by only a head to carry top weight to victory in the conditional jockeys’ two mile hurdle. A better jump at the final flight could have made the difference.
Evan Williams’ Blacko was well supported but bolted on the way to the start of that race, jumped a hurdle and crashed through the plastic rails. Inevitably, he was withdrawn. When captured he appeared to be all right and the incident at least showed he was full of vitality.
Tobefair was pulled up in the long distance hurdle and after three sound beatings in a row retirement for the eleven-year-old must be in connections’ minds. He has been the horse of a lifetime for the Down The Quay Club, with nine wins since joining Debra Hamer.
Connor Brace steered Bonntay to win the bumper for Fergal O’Brien. At 22/1 he was expected to be the second string of the season’s leading trainer; his other runner, a 100/30 shot ridden by Paddy Brennan, was only sixth.
The three mile novices chase on Chepstow’s card this Tuesday has thrown up some good winners over the years, notably Thistlecrack. This year’s contest has runners from the Nicholls and Skelton yards, faced by three runners from Welsh stables.
Everyone going racing in Wales will need to produce a ‘Covid Pass’ on entering. This is an official letter of proof that you’ve been double vaccinated or a negative Covid lateral flow test. The next meeting at Ffos Las is this Sunday 7th November starting at 1.20pm – tickets are just £15 in advance.