Another fantastic crowd of racegoers joined us on Monday 4th November for a six-race card which saw 72 runners go to post, for the inaugural Hereford FC Academy Raceday. Young Welsh jockey Ben Jones continued his rich vein of form landing another winner at the track.
Jones, who enjoyed Listed success at Ascot on Saturday as well as a treble at last month’s season-opener, made it 4 wins in the first 8 races of the season and 4 wins from 5 rides, as he steered Layerthorpe to victory in the 3m 2f Dawleys Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Much like his win on the Philip Hobbs-trained Gumball, he made all the running holding off the late charge from Master Tradesman to win by a neck. In an all-Welsh affair, winning Carmarthenshire trainer Debra Hamer - who enjoyed a winner at Cheltenham last month bagged her 3rd winner in 5 races, with the 7/2-shot.
Brothers Dan and Harry Skelton are enjoying a great start to the season with Dan sending out his 61st winner and Harry riding his 52nd of the current campaign. They took the 2m Cotswold Hereford Mini Novices’ Hurdle in good fashion with the improving even-money favourite Olly The Brave, beating Alan King’s Perfect Predator by 4 ½ Lengths. Dan was pleased with the performance, feeling his horse had taken a step forward from his effort at Worcester and is hopeful he will build on that.
Hereford-based trainer Venetia Williams’ horses are perhaps not best-known for their form on good ground and Williams herself admitted that it was a slight concern but Cuban Pete picked up where he left off 8 months ago, winning again, at his local track. Charlie Deutsch guided the winner to a 2 ¼-length success in the 2m 5f MSC Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Wisecracker began the afternoon with a 22race maiden tag to shed, but having finished runner-up on his last two outings was not without support on the day, returning the 9/2F. Despite his mark having risen by 7lb, Bryony Frost steered him to a comfortable 7-length victory in the 2m David Lloyd Memorial Handicap Chase for trainer Ben Case. Again second and third place was decided by a photo – with Thomas Blossom beating Champion Chase into 3rd, by a neck.
June Et Parti started the afternoon as another maiden over hurdles, despite having put in some good runs in defeat but Brodie Hampson was on hand to guide the Archie Watson-trained 6-year-old to a comfortable 4 ½-length win in the 2m 3 1/2f CF Roberts Electrical Contractors National Hunt Auction Maiden Hurdle. Hampson’s mount raced prominently throughout and jumped into the lead two from home, staying on strongly, to beat the well-held Go Millie Go.
Tom George’s horses have been in great form with some of his big-guns returning to action in winning ways, and Darling Du Large, who took the 2m Compare Bookmaker Sites At Bonuscodebets.co.uk Mares’ Handicap Hurdle by a comfortable 6-lengths under Jonathan Burke, was in fine form too.
A new initiative to showcase Hereford trainers was introduced, Welsh National and Grade 1-winning trainer Kerry Lee parading her 7-year-old gelding Magic Dancer. Lee, who has already earned some impressive accolades during her 5-year training career to date, has a yard of 31 horses. The gorgeous-looking Magic Dancer was paraded after the first race with the trainer providing racegoers with information on how to get involved with a horse that has 3 wins and 10 places to his name, amassing over £85,000 in prize-money to date. Last year, he finished second to the mightily-impressive Al Dancer, and 5% shares are currently available – to become part of The Magic Partnership. Visit www.kerrylee.co.uk for more information.
Continuing with the community theme that is right at the very heart of Hereford Racecourse, as well as filling a card with local sponsorship, the raceday helped raise awareness and funds for Hereford FC Academy – which will help to support the growth of future footballing talent in the local area. The Herefordshire Poppy Appeal were on hand to collect very generous donations from racegoers, joined by Wellington WI & Friends, who supplied us with a stunning hand-knitted veil of Poppies to decorate our winners podium.
We do not have to wait long for the next meeting – as racing returns here on Tuesday 12th November. The Racehorse Owners Association Industry Ownership Day aims to celebrate and provide more information on the industry and supply plenty of information to anybody thinking of stepping into the wonderful world of racehorse ownership. Tickets start at £15 in advanced and can be purchased at www.hereford-racecourse.co.uk.
The whole team here at Hereford look forward to welcoming you all to the racecourse.