Families arrived at Bangor-on-Dee in the thousands to attend the annual family evening on Monday 19 August. They were greeting by glorious sunshine as well as a wealth of free fun activities including face painting, a climbing wall, crazy golf and an inflatable play zone. Racing to School were also in attendance, along with their equicisor for young racegoers to have a go and Great British Racing paid the course a visit to highlight the fantastic racing-wide ‘Kids go Free’ initiative, which enables children aged 17 and under to get in free at all racing fixtures.
All of the fabulous activities were just a side note to an exhilarating six races, showcasing thrilling jump racing action.
The evening kicked off in style for Donald McCain who trained Carry On to take the SportPesa Maiden Hurdle in impressive fashion. The former bumper winner raced keenly, but showed his class to run on well in the final stages and claim victory by an easy two and a half lengths to the staying on favourite, The Blues Master.
A tactically astute ride from Ben Poste saw Dragon Khan take the Rachel Jones Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase for trainer Rosemary Gasson. Royal Road took up the running but was inconvenienced by the loose Pinot Noir approaching the second last. In comparison the winner was held up before making headway in the closing stages to finish powerfully nudging Admiral’s Sunset into second.
See the Sea brought up a double on the evening for Donald McCain and Brian Hughes in the SportPesa Handicap Hurdle. The five-year-old also recorded her second success at Bangor-on-Dee in 17 days after winning with similar authority on Ladies Day. Brian Hughes adopted proven race tactics and the pair never saw a rival to rout the field by 9 lengths.
The SportPesa Handicap Chase was run only two seconds slower than the course record over the 3-mile 5-yard trip. Marble Moon took the spoils under 12 stone for Adam Wedge and Evan Williams, with Day Of Roses unable to get to the winner after being held up for most of the contest.
It was a treble on the night for Brian Hughes as he steered Murphy’s Law to victory in the Gap Personnel Head Office Handicap Hurdle. The Keith Dagleish trained runner defied a four-pound rise in the weights to go one better than when just pipped on his last run at Perth 19 days ago.
Aweeminit landed the Yorton Goffs NH Sale Mares’ Handicap Hurdle in another taking performance to justify her favouritism as the sun set over the North Wales countryside. Ridden by Bridget Andrews for her soon-to-be brother in law Dan Skelton, the mare seemed to improve for wearing a tongue tie for the first time.
The next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee is the Crichton Bespoke Gentleman’s Day on 30 August. In addition to a six-race card, there will be a competition for gents to get involved, with some fantastic prizes up for grabs for those who are suited and booted. Ticket prices start from £7 in advance for adult racegoers, with children under the age of 18 and accompanied by a responsible adult admitted free of charge. For more information please visit the website at www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk or call the box office on 01978 780 323.