The final meeting of 2018 produced an action-packed afternoon of racing as well as an opportunity for racegoers to get into the Christmas spirit. Santa hats were given to the first 200 people through the turnstiles and everyone who purchased a racecard was in with the chance of winning a ‘Festive Freebie’. Mulled wine and mince pies were a delicious addition to the raceday menu, and with many seen sporting Christmas Jumpers in aid of Save the Children, Friday 14 December was a true winter warmer.
Glance Back took the Wrexham Lager Handicap Chase under Jamie Bargary. The 5/2 favourite virtually made all in the opener, apart from being briefly challenged by Lickpenny Larry on the run in, was a comfortable winner for trainer Emma-Jane Bishop.
The ROA/Racing Post Owners’ Jackpot Handicap Chase was won by Nobel Leader, who after taking up the running three out kept on well to keep himself and Ben Poste in front crossing the line. Last year’s victor Knocknamona ran on in the closing stages to finish second, only beaten a length and three quarters by the James Evans trained winner.
The third race of the day saw the first leg of a treble for local trainer Donald McCain and Brian Hughes, as Same Circus won the battle with Achille up the home straight. The front pair eventually pulled 12 lengths clear of the favourite Samuel Jackson in the Alfa Aggregate Products Golden Spurs Handicap Chase who failed to make an impression in the closing stages.
The Crazed Moon looked to be outpaced turning for home in the Garla Services Ltd Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle before staying on strongly to take the race under young jockey Jason Dixon for trainer Henry Oliver.
The feature race of the day, covered by ITV4, saw a second winner on the day for McCain and Hughes in the Racebets Handicap Hurdle (Challenger Staying Hurdle Series Qualifier). The 9-year-old Knock House, who was running for the first time after a wind operation, was ridden positively by Brian Hughes. The pair didn’t see another rival during the 2-mile 7-furlong contest, eventually running up a 10-length winning margin.
The Cliftons Of Wrexham Novices' Hurdle saw the largest field of the day with 18 runners heading down to post. The Some Dance Kid, a previous winner at the track, employed similar tactics to Knock House and made all to produce a blemish-free performance, bar a mistake at the last. His success made it three winners on the day for Donald McCain and Brian Hughes. Also bringing the top-class jockey to the 100-winner mark for the season.
The final race on the 2018 calendar at Bangor-on-Dee was won in impressive style by Calum Gilhooley. The 33/1 shot unexpectedly took the Bangor Bet Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race under jockey Kielan Woods, beating some big names in the process. The well-bred, Nicky Henderson trained, evens favourite, Welsh Saint remained one-paced in the closing stages, only managing to hold 4th place.
As racing rounds up in 2018 at Bangor-on-Dee, and with fourteen fixtures to host next year, Jeannie Chantler, General Manager commented “We are delighted with the 30% uplift in attendance on our last day in 2018. It has been a great year, not losing any fixtures to weather is always beneficial! The ground staff have had a very busy year, with the amazing summer we had they have had to work particularly hard to maintain the track in a raceable state. They have done a sterling job as always and we are very proud of the team here, including the two housekeepers who keep the place in order on a day to day basis.”
Our next meeting is the New Year Meeting on Tuesday 8 January. Take advantage of our special January offer of £15 for admittance in all enclosures, available in advance or on the gate.
A full list of 2019 fixtures are available to view on the website. Tickets and hospitality packages are now on sale for all of these dates.
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.