SIMON NOTT: Chepstow Friday On Course Report

I was just pulling into Chepstow when I got a call from an in-running ‘twitcher’ who wasn’t happy about the article in today’s Racing Post. Luckily, he wasn’t adverse to anything I’d written in these blogs in recent weeks. He wasn’t the beneficiary of a drone’s eye view but did admit to seeking a vantage point on course wherever possible to get that edge which he sees as legitimate and that they were being given an unjustified bad name. He was on the back straight today, whereas I and fellow press attendees were in the salubrious surroundings of the Gin and Fizz bar, which wasn’t open of course.

12:15 – NB Civils & Surfacing 10th Anniversary Handicap (Class 6) (3YO plus) 5f

The first heat of the day went to David’s Beauty, Michael Mullineaux’s charge was backed from 3/1 into 9/4 favourite under Harry Bentley (pictured below) who said the mare enjoyed running at the course, her fifth win and said that the blinkers really helped. Luckily, the office reported no bets of note which was probably quite handy.

12:45 – NB Builders Merchants Novice Median Auction Stakes (Class 5) (2YO only) 6f

Run Forrest Run at 11/1 was a more bookie-friendly result, winning for George Baker under Jack Mitchell. The favourite in the race, 11/4 chance Simply Amazing, had been weak in the market – ultimately finishing fourth. Today’s win made it 48 winners this season for the jockey who was one away from a career total of 500. Jack said that he was enjoying the meetings with plenty of races, especially when the top jockeys were elsewhere. The only bet of any note in the office was a bet of £1800 – £200 Lady Rosetta which finished down the field. She did end up 6/1 so the punter had the value, but of course, you can’t eat that.

1:20 – NB Civils Handicap (Class 6) (3YO plus) 6f

Elisha Wittington landed her 10th winner of the season getting home by a hard fought short-head on 7/2 joint-favourite Our Man In Havana. Despite the gelding’s form figures of 222 the outspoken young lady from Bath, who made disparaging remarks about a winner with similar form figures, kept tight lipped about this one, lesson learned methinks. Speaking after the race, Elisha said that the horse was really consistent and always gives his all but had just kept running into one. She added it was nice for the horse to get its head in front. Despite having only ridden him once before competitively, finishing runner up at Wolverhampton but she actually broke him in as a two-year-old.

The winner wasn’t so good for the office though, one punter had a £2800 – £800 and took the precaution of betting each-way, not so clever after the event though. The other bet of note was a bet of £3500 – £1000 Peachey Carnehan which stayed in the metaphorical hod.

1:50 – NB Surfacing Handicap (Class 6) (4YO plus) 7f

Punters came out of the woodwork proper when they smashed into Richard Hannon’s In The Cove including an even monkey twice £5000 and £2000 at 10/11. Another bet of note was £13,750 – £1250 each-way Rivas Rob Roy. All those bets stayed with the good guys, that’s Star Sports, both horses out of the frame behind 28/1 winner Man Of The Sea under George Rooke. The winner got trainer Neil Mulholland off a 66 runner 140 day cold list and provided the jockey with his 25th winner of the season.

2:20 – NB Utilities Fillies’ Handicap (Class 5) (3YO plus) 1m

5/2f Sparkling Olly won nicely for Ralph Beckett under Rob Hornby. The pilot explained post-race that the filly was a nice type who had benefitted from the change of scenery. She’d come here in good shape, hoping that this race was a good opportunity today. He added she was a bit awkward coming out of the stalls, so he let her take her time getting into the race. Despite being jolly, the office reported only light business with the biggest bet on the heat a monkey on third placed Mayfair Pompette.

2:50 – NB Builders Merchants Handicap (Class 5) (3YO only) 1m 2f

The race before the penultimate featured hat-trick seeking filly Rosa Gold trained by Rae Guest and ridden by Stefano Cherchi claiming 5lb. The jockey had to keep his cool as the door kept closing on him during the race before the jolly eventually won with some relish. When asked about the race the jockey said he’d just kept riding hands and heels waiting for a gap to come. He added that she’s still improving and despite winning well she’d not had an easy race, especially given the heat. The punter that called the office and bet a £3000 – £2000 would have been relieved the pilot displayed such maturity. The only other bet of note was a £4000 – £400 each-way eventual 7/1 chance Flashing Approach a neck away from the money back in fourth.

3:20 – Mr And Mrs Berbillion Handicap (Class 5) (4YO plus) 1m 2f

Songkran completed a quick-fire treble for George Boughey winning under David Probert. The jockey commented that he wasn’t sure his mount was going to like the ground which he described as riding a lot quicker than his last victory at Bath on Friday. Those fears were allayed though during the race in which he felt he’d always pick the leaders up and that the gelding would stay 12f. The winner was returned 15/8 favourite which was bad news for the office who’d laid bets of £1500 – £1000 and £1875-£1000 but got a fair bit of that back from a £1500 each-way bet on fourth placed Ocean Reach.

3:50 – NB Civils & Surfacing Ltd Maiden Stakes (Class 5) (3YO plus) 1m 4f

The ‘Lucky Last’ gamble was on Andrew Balding’s Coltrane, available at 11/4 around lunchtime, but was lumped on in style returning 5/4. That confidence was well placed winning easily. But not before Richard Holies told everyone that also-ran Hydraulic was ‘under the pump’, always a great for quips our Richard. The winner provided jockey Rob Hornby with a double, he said that the race looked like a good opportunity but was the first time the horse had run on grass. He went on to say that it’s a difficult course for a big horse, but he handled it well. He added that the horse had learned from every race and could be a very nice horse going forward. I feared the worst from the office but the only bet of note was Guardia Top £3250 – £500 each-way and the winner actually a small cop in the book. Happy days.

Simon Nott


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.


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