Top class National Hunt racing wasn’t the only thing on offer for racegoers on the 14 November, as Bangor on Dee held their annual Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Charity Day. This year the fixture was run in aid of Maggie’s Merseyside. Based in Clatterbridge, Maggie’s offer practical advice and support to patients with cancer, as well as their close family and friends. In addition to bucket collections, a silent auction took place throughout the afternoon with a variety of lots including, a guided tour of Jonjo O’Neill’s famous Jackdaws Castle Stables and a week’s holiday at an idyllic ski apartment in La Clusaz.
Speaking on behalf of the charity, Kathy Wright Centre Head at Maggie’s Merseyside stated “We were thrilled to be invited to co-host the annual Anne Duchess of Westminster Charity Day. A huge thank you to the trustees of Anne Duchess of Westminster Charity, our guests, our fabulous sponsors, everyone who donated such wonderful prizes, our hosts at Bangor, and all our wonderful volunteers. We’re just adding up the final amount but we anticipate it to be around the £35,000 mark – which is such a huge contribution to our centre. The money raised will allow us to be there for people affected by cancer when they need it most.”
Some of the UK’s top trainers made the journey to North Wales for the most valuable racing in the Bangor-on-Dee calendar, with £96,000 in prize money on offer over the seven-race card.
The day kicked off in great style with a hair-raising finish in the Friends of Maggie’s Sir John Hamner Trophy Handicap Steeple Chase. Leading Bangor combination Donald McCain and Will Kennedy held onto victory with Thyne For Gold, who battled his way up the home straight to deny Steps And Stairs by a neck.
For the third consecutive year the Canter Carpet Mares’ Novices’ Steeple Chase held Listed status, attracting some classy runners. Maria’s Benefit triumphed in style for Stuart Edmunds and Ciaran Gethings, who had Jester Jet hot on her heels for most of the 2-mile contest. A graded winner over hurdles, the winning mare is now 2 from 2 over the bigger obstacles.
A photo finish in the 13th running of The Anne Duchess Of Westminster Memorial Handicap Steeple Chase announced Yala Enki the winner; the judge only able to split him and Sir Mangan by a nose. The Venetia Williams trained 8-year-old provided jockey Charlie Deutsch with a comeback win under top weight.
Will Kennedy kicked home The Some Dance Kid to bring up a double for himself and local trainer Donald McCain in The SP Energy Networks National Hunt Auction Maiden Hurdle. Odds on favourite and £270,000 purchase Phoenix Way was never on terms, only managing 5th place.
Whatmore provided the Henry Daly team with an easy victory under Andrew Tinkler in The Hays Travel Handicap Hurdle. The 6-year-old gelding was comfortably pushed out, with Ballyhill failing to make any impression in second.
Another impressive success followed in The Scottish Power Energy Retail Novices Hurdle, when Trio For Rio scored by 17 lengths. Trained by Warren Greatrex and positively ridden by jockey Gavin Sheehan, the dual Irish point to point winner’s advantage was more than doubled when the chasing Ardlethen fell at the last.
The Connahs Quay Nomads FC Juvenile Maiden Hurdle Race rounded up the day’s action with Nelson River and Harry Bannister snatching success from the odds-on favourite Nebuchadnezzar. The Tony Carroll trained 3-year-old was one of two representatives from the Cropthorne based yard, who was tackling hurdles for the first time.
General Manager, Jeannie Chantler was delighted with how the day went. “A day’s racing with our highest value races made for exciting finishes and good quality. The charitable recipient of the day courtesy of Anne Duchess Westminster’s Charity being Maggie’s Merseyside, raised close to £35,000 - a fantastic result.”
The next meeting at Bangor-on-Dee is the Early December meeting on Saturday 1 December.
Ticket prices start from £7, with children under 17 going free.
For more information on future fixtures and tickets at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse please visit the website www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk or call the box office on 01978 780 323.