THE recent rain brought more than a hundred runners to Chepstow last Wednesday and 80 to Ffos Las on Sunday.

It seems incredible that Leicester has abandoned its race meeting next Monday because of hard ground and with little rain forecast between now and then.

The softer ground attracted the big stables to the Welsh tracks and didn’t leave much for local trainers.

At Chepstow, Richard Johnson hit the deck in consecutive races before resuming winning ways on Awake At Midnight in a 16-runner novice chase.

This was over two miles, but the champion jockey intimated on his blog on the racecourse website that the horse is likely to get further in time.

The wet and windy weather cleared later in the afternoon, and a splendid rainbow towered over the course during one race.

Possibly the best prospects were the winners of the final couple of events on the card.

Kateson’s high head carriage is off-putting, but he won the two and a half mile maiden hurdle resolutely enough.

An attractive grey filly, Silver Forever, was impressive in the bumper.

The Penhow stable of Robert Stephens can be satisfied with Mere Anarchy’s close third in the two mile hurdle, for it was only his second outing after a year off.

Their lightly-raced six-year-old Comeonthebull could run at Taunton on Thursday.

He ran a good second in a bumper a month ago – the winner has won again since – only to disappoint when tried over hurdles, jumping sketchily.

He’s also entered at Clonmel in Ireland on that day.

Grace Harris is hopeful that her stable star, the fifteen-year-old Paddy The Oscar, is as good as ever.

He hasn’t run since March, but she reported: “He is in great form.

"He is slightly behind on fitness this year due to the firm ground.

"There’s nothing at Chepstow races for him in the next few weeks, so he heads to Warwick on 13 December.”

Local trainers are considering the cross-country trek to Southwell for the 1.40 on Thursday.

Ron Harris’ Glamorous Rocket has won twice out of four runs on the all weather, and Just Glamorous has run four times without success on such tracks.

Neither of them have run on the testing Southwell fibresand surface before.

David Evans has Joegogo entered. He’s never won on turf but is 4-14 on artificial surfaces.

Only one of those outings was at Southwell, when he finished a head second.

Based on that, Joegogo would be the safest bet of the three. Evans is still on a long losing run (69 days, 51 runs as at Monday) but there’s a feeling that a change can’t be far away.

Five of his runners in the last week have been beaten two and a half lengths or less.

The next Chepstow meeting is on Wednesday the 21st, and the evening after that the course hosts the inaugural Welsh Horse Racing Awards, which have been created to celebrate the best Welsh-based horses and humans involved with the sport.

A panel of judges has been giving careful consideration to a number of contenders in each category.

Tables for this very special event are still available.