THE local flat racing fraternity has the news to itself in this edition, due to the ten-day gap between National Hunt fixtures in the calendar that ends today.

The honours this week go to Bargoed’s David Probert, who rode a treble at Leicester on Sunday, two of which were for his old ally Ron Harris.

Probert’s first Leicester victory was in a seller on a filly called Zoraya, who trotted up at odds of 1/4. He had ridden her last time out, when she finished second in a better race at Epsom, and kept the ride.

His second success came aboard Harris’ Eye Of The Water. He made most of the running and stayed on stoutly at the finish, despite sweating up on what was a cool, wet day. Probert dropped his whip a furlong out, but that made no difference to the outcome. This three-year-old has now won four times, all when the word “soft” was in the going description.

In contrast, the jockey’s third winner, Secret Potion, came from last to first. He didn’t hit the front until the final hundred yards, and quickly shot clear.

Probert has been having plenty of rides, but relatively few winners. In July he only had seven out of 119 rides, but 17 seconds, 17 thirds and 19 fourths in that period imply that was just one of those things. Ordinarily most jockeys ride roughly the same number of firsts, seconds, thirds and fourths. He’s now amassed 71 wins this year; only seven other jockeys have ridden more.

Harris nearly had a treble of his own, for We’re Reunited built on the promise shown on his debut by finishing second at 33/1 in a novices race behind an odds-on William Haggas runner.

Milton Bradley made the long journey east to Chelmsford on Friday evening pay, thanks to Creek Harbour’s 16/1 victory. As a yearling, the horse changed hands for 200,000 guineas. Two years later Richard Hughes bought him for £4,000 and won two races in six months with him. The latter was a seller, and although there was no bid for him, one of Bradley’s owners snapped him up soon afterwards. A close third first time out at Wolverhampton was followed by a disappointing seventh there when slowly away, but it was a case of third time lucky tried on the different artificial surface at Chelmsford. He had a course specialist back in second place. He’s versatile enough to have won over six and seven furlongs.

Last Wednesday Chris Mason’s three-year-old filly Gilt Edge broke her duck over the extended five furlongs at Bath. It was his fifth winner of the year, which is a personal best. He has just nine horses in his yard, most of which are quite modest, and to get five wins out of them is a highly creditable achievement.

The best two horses in the yard are Glamorous Anna and Glamorous Rocket, owned by Robert and Nina Bailey. The former is entered in a Listed race at Newbury on Friday. The Rocket was a close second at Windsor on Sunday and could run again at Chepstow tomorrow evening.

At this meeting’s two mile race, So Near So Farhh has a good chance of gaining his third course and distance win of the year.

Ron Harris’ Fantasy Justifier is a sporting choice for the 6.40. He’s on his lowest handicap mark since a course and distance win a year ago. He’s best in a big field coming from behind, but he needs a strong pace and luck in running.