BERNARD Llewellyn nearly pulled off the training performance of the season with Ginjo at Newton Abbot on Saturday.

The mare hadn’t run since winning twice in a row 1,007 days ago, but looked like she would complete a long-range hat-trick when she took the lead turning into the straight. Unfortunately she tired over the last two obstacles and was picked off by an in-form David Pipe horse, and then lost second place in the final 50 yards. If Ginjo comes out of the race in one piece and avoids the bounce factor, she should be able to resume winning ways.

Ron Harris targeted Bath’s Good Friday meeting with three of his horses and it was The Daley Express, who had gone down to a narrow defeat at Windsor four days earlier, who came out on top. It was his third win at Bath, and he showed he could cope with good to firm going even though he’s won previously on soft and heavy. Stable companions Powerful Dream and Union Rose finished sixth and seventh in the same contest; their turns will come on other days. In fourth place, Bungee Jump ran her best race for Grace Harris for some time and she’s now back on a winning mark.

Takbeer ran a fair race to finish second for Nikki Evans in a Huntingdon novice hurdle on Monday. Admittedly he was beaten 30 lengths, but that was after trying to make all the running against a vastly superior rival. He kept on gallantly to retain the runner-up position. He’d won on his very first attempt over hurdles a year ago and can make his mark in handicap company this summer, or back on the flat.

Tudors Treasure won a 2m3f chase for Robert Stephens at Exeter a week ago, repeating his course and distance win there in March. He didn’t take to fences this time last year, falling on his two attempts. After a spell over hurdles, Stephens decided to try him over the larger obstacles again. His home schooling has obviously paid off, now that he has won two in a row, and looks capable of going in again.

David Evans’ two-year-old filly Hypochondriac was hopelessly outpaced for the first half of her race at Brighton on Saturday, but ran on nicely up the hill to finish third. The ground was lightning fast that day, and she might do better on a flatter track.

Chepstow’s meeting on Bank Holiday Monday drew a big crowd but, as at other tracks around the country, the lack of rain meant the ground was good to firm, and fewer horses took part than would normally be expected.

There was drama prior to racing because 20 minutes before the first race three of the nine runners were stuck in a traffic jam a mile from the course. The stewards gave special permission for them to be declared in their absence, hoping they would arrive in time. Only one of them did, and he had to be withdrawn on veterinary advice.

One of the best finishes of the day came in the mares’ hurdle, when the wonderfully named Stephanie Sunshine just failed to hold off Forget Me Knot, from the Paisley Park stable of Emma Lavelle.

Rain is due to arrive in time to soften the ground for Chepstow’s next meeting, on Friday evening, and there should be more runners. The Dunraven Bowl, for novice hunter chasers, is the main event.