DAVID Evans came away from Wolverhampton on Saturday night with another winner, but it wasn’t one of his familiar stable stalwarts.

It was a six-year-old mare having her first start for the Pandy-based maestro. Sunshineandbubbles had won six races in her time, but lost her form badly this year. She’d shown little sign of improvement in three outings after a wind operation. Blinkers were tried for the first time when she next raced, only for her to trail in last.

That was in July, and last month her owners decided a change of scene was worth trying. There was optimism before the race that the Evans magic had worked and, supported from 11/1 to 8/1, she won by almost two lengths.

Sunshineandbubbles was 16 pounds below her last winning mark, so there is scope for her to score again if completely restored to that level of performance.

Milton Bradley’s Muraaqeb, the winner of six races this year, was coming back from a break and finished well in third, and he could well achieve a seventh success before the end of 2019.

At Chepstow on Saturday Gavin Sheehan rode a treble and Jack Tudor, one of a thriving group of young Welsh jockeys, rode his first double under National Hunt rules. Prior to partnering a 50/1 winner, Nightboattoclyro, he was on board Christian Williams’ Potters Corner, who took the Midlands Grand National in March. The horse was returning to form in a handicap hurdle, where his official handicap mark was 16 pounds lower than over fences. In an exciting finish of necks and short heads he rallied gamely to take the lead on the run-in, and this confirmed mudlark now goes for the Welsh Grand National.

The strangely-named Acting Lass (despite the name, the horse is a gelding) won the Welsh National Trial, but neither he nor the runner-up are entered in the big race itself on 27 December. The third, Captain Cattistock, is one of four Paul Nicholls entries. That is Chepstow’s next fixture, and the long-range weather forecast indicates there are no big freezes or monsoons in the interim.

There were three Welsh-trained winners at Sandown on Saturday – one from the Tim Vaughan stable and two from Evan Williams, including a Grade 1 with Esprit Du Large in the Henry VIII Novices Chase. This prompted the question of when was the last time Wales had three winners in a day at a top track.

Brian Lee, the doyen of Welsh racing writers, points to a day in November 1937 at Cheltenham when three horses won that were owned or trained (or both) by Welsh folk. All three were ridden by David Lewis Jones, who came from Llanelli. Brian’s most recent book, Racing Rogues: The Scams, Scandals and Gambles of Horseracing in Wales, would be an excellent Christmas present for the racing fan.