Three Welsh victories light up Chepstow
4:29pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in Sport
NATIONAL Hunt racing is full of endearing stories and Saturday’s meeting at Chepstow was no different, on a day when it paid to be Welsh.
Tijori was may only be small but he fought like a lion to see off the bigger yards in the 3.35.
Over the last, it looked like the huge Berkeley Baron was going to make it three in a row for favourite backers but the 3,500 guineas purchase would not be denied, with Potters Cross and McCoy a close third.
Leading the five-year-old into the winner’s enclosure to rapturous applause was Isabel Tompsett, the former champion female jockey who continues to recover from a fall two years ago which nearly claimed her life.
Many of the happy crowd of around 5,000 could see Isabel and the Llewellyn camp were overjoyed they had eclipsed their better fancied rivals.
Phil Doyle and Steve Thornton were too in the 5.15, making it a lucky first visit to Chepstow by cheering home Tim Vaughan’s Hidden Identity.
The pair and their wives enjoyed a tour around Vaughan’s yard in the morning, a Christmas present to Mr Doyle.
With the trainer too busy to attend, the happy team of four obliged and brought a slice of luck with them.
“Tim said go and cheer it on. We didn’t expect this at all. What we said to Aidan (jockey) was ‘do your best there is a round of drinks on this at the Celtic Manor tonight!” laughed Mr Thornton.
Al Co was Wales’ third winner of the day in race seven, where Argus selection Court By Surprise looked the winner everywhere bar the post.
Of the last gasp victory, trainer Peter Bowen said: “You have got to ride him like that. We knew if he got there too soon it wouldn’t help him.”
Alan King recorded a double courtesy of Handazan and Balder Success, who jumps fences a lot better than hurdles on this showing.
“He used to panic a bit but this might make a man of him,” revealed the trainer.
The clash of the old brigade, in the charity race for legends of the sport, went the way of Jimmy Frost, who said it “felt brilliant” to win on Court in Session.
“You’re not even blowing,” remarked a humorous observer after he unsaddled, as nowadays Frost leaves it to son Hadden to take over in the saddle while he trains.
Favourites Keltus, Killala Quay and Oscarteea landed the other three races on the card, which saw a leisurely return from champion stayer Big Buck’s.
He was not on the track however, just taking part in a parade of champions at 3.15 with other greats including his former stablemate, 2012 Grand National winner Neptune Collonges.
Trainer Paul Nicholls said Big Buck’s had his first canter this week as he prepares to return from injury.
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