The sun came out as Spring was in the air here at Stratford for a six race card which despite not being the classiest days jumping of the season was still one that had winners be found.
It was Bookmakers Day here and all of the card was supported by the on course bookmakers who regularly stand here in Shakespeare county.
2.05 Bet With Course Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle,Class 4,2m3f,9 flights,4yo+
A race that was about one horse,Gold Present from Nicky Henderson who had nothing more than a gentle hack under David Bass, taking over from halfway he soon put the race to bed and handed Summer Sounds a 22 length beating,second favourite Eco Warrior was third.
Gold Present is a big imposing sort and was entitled to win this,previously a runner up to the Fred Winter winner Qualando at Ascot,he will be even better when going chasing,Eco Warrior was never a factor but will be improved when sent handicapping.
Below,Gold Present in the pre parade and having a well earned drink
2.40 Support Your On Course Bookmkaer Selling Handicap Hurdle,Class 5,2m110yds,8 flights,4-7yo (0-100)
A really poor race with the whole field having won one race from fifty six races between them.
Some good riding here by Gemma Gracey-Davison (5) on Jumeirah Liberty trained by her mother Zoe, held up early doors he overtook a few down the back and turning for home was gathering up Symphony Of Pearls under Miss Jodie Hughes (7) before taking up the lead at the last hurdle to record a 4.5 length win and a 1-2 for the lady riders in this contest.
This was a deserved win,he was gambled on at Wincanton on his last run but didn’t show,The easier Good ground helped and although he wasn’t sold he should find another race somewhere, Runner up Symphony Of Pears ran a PB for the season.
Below,The shadowy figure of Jumeriah Liberty and Gemma Gracey-Davison coming back in
3.15 Stratford Bookmakers Day Handicap Chase,Class 4,3m4f,20 fences,5yo+ (0-120)
A one-two for the elder horses in this five runner contest as Qulinton under Richie McLernon jumped out and made all the running to scoop up the £4812 first prize, formerly trained by David Pipe when he won the 2011 Summer Plate he is happy with his advancing years by a longer trip and being allowed to dominate, hard to know what will be next for this Johnny Farrelly trained horse,possibly a crack at the Tim Molony at Haydock or the Highland National at Perth could be feasible.
Runner up was Musical Wedge,despite being 5lb out of the handicap he ran well being seven lengths behind the winner,all his four wins have been on right handed courses.
Below,Over the water and Qulinton having a cool down
3.50 Get Value On Course At Stratford Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m6f110yds,4yo+ (0-120)
Not a bad race for the grade which had a fair few improving sorts in it.
It was a case of bottom weight beat top weight here, Mawaqeet has had a disappointing winter but the spring looks to have made him happy and under Killian Moore (3) he got the lead at the second last which was over half a mile from home and never looked back recording a 4.5 length win from Atlantic a Gold in second place,He’s A Bully was third.
Mawaqeet was rated 86 on the flat he took this off a mark of 105 so it’s possible that Micahel Appleby may try him on the level again,Atlantic Gold ran well on his first handicap run,he has a bit more to offer.
4.25 Bet With Rails Bookmakers Novices’ Handicap Chase,Class 4,2m5f110yds,15 fences,5yo+ (0-105)
All eyes were on top weight Jay Are from Gary Moore’s yard,coming here to try for a third win on the bounce and bidding to follow up a win at Exeter on Tursday meant she had to carry 12-8 but conditional George Gorman was put on with his 10lb claim.
Jay Are could only finish third here, the win went to the Ian Williams trained and Tom O’Brien ridden mare Etania as she recorded her first win over fences at the sixth attempt, In all fairness this was a good ride by Tom O’Brien has he kept her wide down the back on the second circuit due to the loose horse The Pier who fell at the third fence, coming into the straight she took dead aim at Thoresby and led over the last to go on and win by 1.25 lengths.
Jay Are looks like he needs a break now,he made an erro at the third open ditch which all but cost him any chance of victory
Below,Etania coming back in
5.00 Bet With Tattersalls Bookmakers Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle,Class 5,2m3f,9 flights,4yo+ (0-100)
Jamie Bagary has a good season for Nigel Twiston-Davies and that continued as he made all on the favourite I Am Colin, dropped into this much easier company did his confidence a world of good,he was always in command and despite easing up in the last furlong he held runner up Hi Bronco in second by four lengths although it could easily have been more.
Native Explorer who was well supported on her handicap debut was over twenty lengths back on third but has got improvement in her and maybe a drop back to 2m will help
As for I Am Colin it’s hard to assess him,possibly a race at the Perth Festival may be in the pipeline plus a Conditionals race at Ayr on Scottish National Day.
The David Pipe trained Alezanna pulled up having lost her action but she was walked back safely.
A nice afternoon then at the Grassroots level of jumping,Not the classiest days racing but the one to take out has to be Gold Present, he is an embryonic Chaser in the making and will be one to put on your Horses To Follow list for next season.
The next racing will be Easter Saturday at Haydock before the first two days of the Grand National meeting.
Till then thank you for reading.