2019 marks the ‘Year of Discovery’ for Visit Wales, so Discovery Day at Bangor-on-Dee on Saturday 13 April celebrated what makes the course uniquely Wales. Representatives from Go North Wales and This is Wrexham were in attendance to showcase what North Wales has to offer as well as an exit charity collection hosted in aid of NEWCIS (North East Wales Care in Support). The theme of the day continued into the racecard with feature pages including Welsh racing phrases, for those racegoers who were not Welsh speaking to give it a go!
Bangor Bet also introduced a new bet on Discovery Day; The “Big Six Jackpot” has a guaranteed pool of £10,000 and Bangor Bet offered racecard purchasers a special offer to enter on its first day in circulation.
Discovery Day saw a maximum number of entries meaning racegoers were treated to eight races during the afternoon instead of the six originally scheduled.
There was a fitting start to the racing on the Discovery Day for North Wales as the Excel Signs Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase was taken by previous course and distance winner Gone Platinum. Trained and owned by Wales based David Rees, the 10-year-old was held up and made steady progress throughout the race to eventually lead in the final 150 yards under Welsh jockey Lorcan Williams.
A thrilling finish in the Alfa Aggregate Products Maiden Hurdle saw Carrick Roads claim victory for Colin Tizzard and Brocade Racing, the colours lifted to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory by Native River in 2018. The five-year-old stayed on gamely to deny the favourite Financial Outcome and 28/1 Carlita Moriviere; the three horses only separated by a length and a short head at the winning post. This success marked the start of a fabulous day for both the trainer and young jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr.
Solar Impulse ran up a ten-length winning margin for trainer Ian Williams in the Weatherbys TBA Handicap Chase. This was the horse’s first success since taking the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2016 when trained by Paul Nicholls. His opposition finishing at large intervals in behind.
The first of the divided races, The Weatherbys Stallion Book Handicap Hurdle (Division 1) saw the locally trained Wazowski make all to win under a positive ride by Theo Gillard. Aptly named, the one eyed Wazowski retains Donald McCain’s fantastic form at Bangor-on-Dee, keeping him well ahead in the Leading Trainers title.
Division 2 of the Weatherbys Stallion Book Handicap Hurdle saw an extremely comfortable success for the David Pipe trained Malangen. The grey Danceintothelight led for most of the contest, sticking to the task gamely, but was eventually brushed aside by the four-year-old under jockey Nick Scholfield.
The Gaskells Waste Services Novice's Handicap Steeple Chase saw Change Ur Tune lead from pillar to post to run up a welcome success for Wales based trainer Sheila Lewis. With patchy form in his previous runs, jockey Adam Wedge grabbed the bull by the horns and didn’t see another rival during the 3-mile contest.
Father and son combination of Jonjo O’Neill Snr and Jonjo O’Neill Jnr took the penultimate race of the afternoon, the Controlled Solutions Group Standard National Hunt Flat Race (Division 1) with Orrisdale. After a promising debut in Feburary the 5-year-old carried the famous Trevor Hemmings colours to victory maybe a little cosier than the winning distance suggested, providing Jonjo O’Neill Snr with a birthday winner!
A notable success in the concluding race of the day saw young jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr ride his first career treble as L’air Du Vent was an impressive winner of division 2 of the Controlled Solutions Group National Hunt Flat Race. The odds-on favourite was always travelling comfortably, and after being shaken up turning in, ran away from his rivals in exciting fashion. The horse, who fell on his debut in an Irish point to point, is now trained by Colin Tizzard and owned by Brocade Racing who had two winners during Discovery Day after the success of Carrick Roads earlier in the afternoon.
Our next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee is the Additional Fixture added to the 2019 calendar on Friday 26 April. This is an evening meeting with the first race off at 4:40pm.
There is a special offer for this fixture with tickets priced at £15 for all enclosures. For more information and to purchase tickets online, please visit the website www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk or call the box office on 01978 780 323.