Racegoers were bathed in glorious sunshine for Bangor-on-Dee’s return to racing for the annual Ladies Day on Friday 2 August. The first meeting since June, saw fans of the course demonstrate their commitment to attending, with hospitality places across the course completely sold out for one of the most popular fixtures on the calendar.
The horses weren’t the only ones parading, with an array of fabulous fashion displayed during the afternoon. After a long deliberation by the judges, Jacqui Parker was named the Best Dressed, donning the perfect monochrome ensemble. She took home a collection of prizes including shopping vouchers to be redeemed at Golden Square Shopping Centre, Warrington, spa treatment vouchers for Old Port Spa, Chester and a Gin package courtesy of Halewood Wines and Spirits.
It was a royal success in the opener as Cut and Run drew clear to take the Bangor Bet Mares’ Maiden Hurdle under dual Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell for Martin Keighley. The 6-year-old is owned by Zara Tindall, who bred and also pre-trained the mare before sending her to Keighley’s Gloucestershire yard.
The Yorton Goffs National Hunt Sale Handicap Hurdle went the way of Something Brewing for trainer Iain Jardine. The favourite Black Key led the two-mile three-furlong contest, but had no more to give when making a mistake at the last. This left the door open for the eventual winner who kept on well all the way to the line. Ormesher and Todd filled second and third spots respectably with Black Key fading into fourth.
Gone Platinum recorded his third success at Bangor-on-Dee, and his sixth win this year in the feature race of the afternoon. The course specialist took up the running two from home and saw off the strong challenge of Diablo De Rouhet in a great battle all the way to the line; eventually prevailing by half a length. Steel Wave, another Bangor regular finished in third.
See the Sea didn’t see a rival in the Meade-King Robinson Novices’ Hurdle. A positive ride from the front by Brian Hughes saw the winner skip clear turning for home to win unchallenged by three lengths. Rarely a days racing at Bangor goes by without a winner from Donald McCain, who spoke well of the five-year-old mare who was far superior over her rivals, including the evens favourite Illustrissime who failed to make any impression.
A dead heat was called in the SG Estates Handicap Chase as the judge could not split Malangen and Salto Chisco under Tom Scudamore and Paige Fuller. The pair jumped the last virtually upsides and after brushing Starlight Court aside, locked heads in a hair-raising battle to cross the line in unison.
A photo was also needed in the Close Brothers Asset Finance Handicap Hurdle, as a blanket would have covered the first five home. This time however, a head separated the first two past the post with Thomas Dowson on Outcrop holding on from the fast finishing Prince Khurram and the Lucinda Russell trained Royal Reserve.
It was a double on the day for jockey Lorcan Williams as he landed the spoils in yet another photo finish after success on Gone Platinum earlier in the card. This time aboard Layerthorpe, Williams made all to fend off challenges from various angles in the closing stages to record his fourth winner of the season.
The next meeting at Bangor-on-Dee is Family Evening on Monday 19 August. Expect an exciting line up of racing alongside a wealth of free family fun activities including an inflatable play zone, face painting, crazy golf and more! Gates open at 4.30pm with the first of six races off at 5.40pm. 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. A Punters Package is also available for this fixture at just £25 per person when bought in advance. For more information please visit the website at www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk or call the box office on 01978 780 323.