Wales’ leading Arabian horse racing jockey Charlie Price is equally comfortable over the sticks as he is on the Flat and at Chepstow he won the opening novice hurdle handicap (writes Brian Lee).
Price is attached to Vale of Glamorgan trainer Tim Vaughan’s yard.
Riding 11-year-old Flanagans Field for Bargoed’s Bernard Llewellyn, Price won by two-and-a-half lengths from Top Of The Rocks and was returned the 5-1 joint-favourite.
Llancarfan’s Evan Williams saw his top weighted five-year-old Treasure Dillon, ridden by 5lb claimer Mitchell Bastyan, take the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Novices Hurdle by five lengths from El Hager Rose.
Treasure Dillon, runner-up in three of his previous five races, was well backed and went off the 15-8 favourite.
The second day of the Chepstow meeting was run on ground that was good to soft, good in places. It began like day one, with a locally-trained winner who’d been given a chance by the handicapper after two years without success.
Connections of Llewellyn’s Flanagans Field apparently thought this was the case, for he was well backed late on to 5/1 joint favourite for the 2m hurdle.
He was impeded at one point on the far turn, but jockey Price soon had him on an even keel, worked his way through the field and touched down in front over the second last.
Top Of The Rocks, who lost a lot of ground by running wide on the bottom bend, plugged on to finish second, beaten two and a half lengths.
Carol Vorderman was present at Chepstow to see her horse Subway Surf take the bumper.
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Vorderman, who found fame as the maths genius on Channel 4’s Countdown, is part of the Surf On The Turf partnership that owns the five-year-old, who was ridden by Mikey Hamill and is trained by Kim Bailey.
Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, whose wife Mindy organised the syndicate, is also involved.
“That was marvellous, fantastic,” said Vorderman. “Hopefully we’re going to have a lot of fun with her.”
Vorderman, who has attended a Welsh Grand National fixture at Chepstow, added: “I do love it here. It’s such a beautiful, friendly, lovely course.”
Harry Fry has talked about using Sean Bowen more often and they combined to good effect with Deadringerforlove (13/8) in a 2m mares-only novice hurdle.
She showed a nice turn of foot to pass the two leaders on the run to the last. She was green at that obstacle, slowing down and jumping it with two feet to spare.
She lost momentum, but soon ran on again to come in three and a half lengths ahead of Fair Kate.
The Native River colours came out on top in the 3m novice hurdle. New Age Dawning (6/1), trained by David Pipe for Brocade Racing, led some way out and would have won much more easily, but for getting lonely on the run to the final flight, clattering through it and allowing Kingsplace to draw alongside.
However, Tom Scudamore got the leader going again and ran on well to win by half a length.
There was more Scudamore family success in the next, a 3m chase, which went to Newtown Lad (9/1), trained by Tom’s brother Michael.
Brendan Powell steered him to a six length win over Tzar De L’Elfe.
Treasure Dillon (15/8 fav) was heavily backed for the 2m4f hurdle on the basis of last week’s run at Sedgefield being his best effort so far.
Reunited with that day’s pilot, Mitchell Bastyan, he was always prominent and went for home on the final bend.
Colonel Keating kept him company for a while, but was shaken off after the penultimate flight.
The Evan Williams-trained winner was driven out to score by five lengths from the fast-finishing El Hageb Rose.
For a change, the bumper was the penultimate race on the card. It was a mares only contest. Kim Bailey’s Subway Surf was the 4/7 favourite as a result of winning a similar event and finishing third in a better race at Ascot.
She took the lead half a mile out, on the bridle, but had to fight to see off the challenges of Vienna Court and Golden Emblem before gaining clear superiority in the last furlong and securing a five length victory under Mikey Hamill.
Two formerly-smart handicappers headed the market for the hunter chase over 3m.
In this less testing environment Double Ross (11/8), for the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard, bowled along happily and made all the running with Kelvingrove in close attendance.
His chief rival Sausolito Sunrise joined in early in the straight, but the leader was going best of the trio. Jumping well for Zac Baker, he maintained his advantage and stretched three and a half lengths clear passing the winning post.
Six-year-old Adherence, racing in public for the first time in 361 days, was a 20-1 winner of the Cornish Rock Gin RNLI Handicap Hurdle at Taunton for Welsh trainer Vaughan.
Partnered by James Best, Adherence won by three parts of a length from the bottom weighted Menapian.