THE penultimate meeting of the season at Bath on Monday provided the opportunity for Ron Harris’ Union Rose to come good after a disappointing summer.

The six-year-old has shown very good form at times, and has been rated as high as 97. David Probert steered him to victory in a 20-runner handicap at York two years ago. He declined after that, and despite winning a couple of little races in 2017, running off marks in the low 80s, this year he’s struggled to finish in front of many other horses and at Bath he was off a lowest-ever rating of 64.

Union Rose has been expensive to follow, having accumulated just five wins from 51 starts, all over the minimum trip. Connections have kept faith with him commendably.

Harris also trained the third in that Bath race, Secret Potion. His best runs have been when forcing the pace, but this time he was slowly away and that put paid to his chance of winning. He was unlucky on his previous run when beaten only half a length despite his saddle slipping.

Both of these horses have won twice at Bath. They have one more opportunity there this season; their final meeting is on the 17th. Although there is no five furlong race scheduled, there is one over 5f 160 yards.

The Chepstow track is nearing readiness for its Jump Season Opener on the weekend of the 13th and 14th.

The Legends race, a charity event for former jump jockeys, gets proceedings under way. Andrew Thornton and Timmy Murphy are two recent retirees who are due to take part.

The meeting is increasingly a pointer to horses to follow. Cue Card, Native River, Altior and Sire De Grugy are four future champions to have won at Chepstow’s October fixtures.

Top trainers such as Paul Nicholls and Colin Tizzard are sure to be well represented, and many of the leading jockeys are likely to be on view. Richard Johnson is an ambassador for Chepstow racecourse – he writes a weekly blog for their website – and he has been in sparkling form lately, riding 41 winners from 142 rides in August and September and kicking off October with a Newton Abbot double. He’s almost caught up with Harry Skelton, the early front-runner in the race for the jockeys’ title.

Sam Morshead, the popular supremo at Perth racecourse for many years, died last week after a long illness. He rode over 400 winners in the 1970s and 80s and used to reminisce about his time in the saddle, when there was a more cavalier approach to the sport and rules were easier to bend.

One of his stories recalled a very foggy day at Chepstow, when the stewards allowed racing to go ahead even though he and the other jockeys thought visibility was so bad that conditions were unsafe. At the start of a two mile steeplechase, they decided to jump only three of the 12 fences. They took the first fence, near the stands, and missed out all the rest in the country before jumping the final two. Nobody else was any the wiser.