Racegoers of all ages enjoyed an afternoon at Bangor on Dee Racecourse on Tuesday 30th October with Halloween themed activities held throughout the day, offering a twist on usual race day proceedings. Cauldrons were filled with sweets on the entrances and a race card Trick or Treat competition with the chance to win a range of prizes. Plenty of children got into the spooky spirit with a display of fancy dress, all captured at the Halloween photo booth.
The family spirit continued throughout the afternoon with three of the seven thrilling races won by family combinations. The sun also made an appearance, with the ground conditions being changed to Good just before the start of the card.
The first race, the Lindop Toyota Novice’s Hurdle was won by the Dan Skelton trained Anytime Will Do. Ridden by brother Harry, he was one of four runners for the in form trainer, who is now unbeaten in his last three races. “He’s going the right way and I do think he’s smart” said Skelton of the 5-year-old.
Cnoc Sion was the shock surprise winner of the starsports.bet Novice’s Handicap Chase (Division1) at the massive price of 66/1, subsequently pipping the favourite Boy In A Bentley (5/2) into second. Division 2 was won by another combination of brothers in the Michael Scudamore trained and Tom Scudamore ridden Some Chaos. "He couldn't have done it any better coming back off a long layoff and there should be more improvement to come." Said the trainer after the seven-year-old gelding ran up a 7-length success after a 613-day absence to Cuddles McGraw.
The starsports.bet Handicap Hurdle saw victory from Flying Verse, trained by David Dennis and Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, with the favourite Captain Simon well beaten. There was drama in the Oliver Greenhall Racing Handicap Chase, as Centreofexcellence lived up to his name, managing to avoid trouble on route to winning under a positive ride from Max Kendrick.
Another family affair in the penultimate race, as Erick Le Rouge crossed the line in front for the mother and son combination of Jane Williams and Chester Williams. One of the more popular successes of the day, receiving a great reception when entering the winner’s enclosure from The Culverills Syndicate. Also, a great landmark for former amateur jockey Chester, this being his first winner since turning professional only three weeks ago!
The afternoon was rounded up perfectly by the Ben Pauling trained Tel’Art, winning the concluding race of the day the starsports.bet Open National Hunt Flat Race under a great front running ride from Daryl Jacob.
The seven-race card boasted plenty of runners, perhaps the highest number for recent years. "I've been here six years and don't remember a bigger total field size than 80 as we only have 85 stables," said Clerk of the Course Andrew Morris.
The field sizes were not the only thing attracting large numbers; the attendance of 2,049 visitors was up 34% from the same meeting last year.
The next meeting at Bangor on Dee is the much-anticipated Anne Duchess of Westminster's Charity Day for Maggie's Clatterbridge, on Wednesday 14th November. This fixture hosts the only Listed race in the racecourse’s calendar and will be helping to raise money for a fantastic course. Ticket prices starting from £7.
For more information on future fixtures and tickets at Bangor on Dee Racecourse please visit the fixtures page on the website or call the box office on 01978 780 323