The weather failed to dampen any spirits at Bangor-on-Dee for the third fixture Behind Closed Doors on Tuesday 25th August. After substantial rainfall overnight, the going was officially changed to Soft before racing commenced.
The Join D McCain Racing Club Novices’ Hurdle kicked off the afternoon’s action, and it was Cool Destination who got the better of the more experienced, four-time chase winner Some Chaos in a brilliant battle up the home straight. The Irish Point to Point winner had to dig deep but kept his head in front to record his first win under rules after 307-day break under Paddy Brennan for the in form Fergal O’Brien.
A pillar to post victory for another Irish Point to Point winner came in the Happy Birthday Sian McCain Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. Timetoroe, never saw a rival under her jockey Brodie Hampson who gave the six-year old mare a lovely front running ride. Get In Robin, who stalked the leader for the majority of the two mile contest, and Misstree Song looked to challenge turning in, but the Archie Watson trained runner always held the advantage and went clear to win by 3 and a half lengths at a price of 18/1.
The locally trained Oscar Nomination was a dominant winner of the Ginger McCain Novices’ Handicap chase. After The Vollan unshipped Paul O’Brien three from home, it was up to Haul Away and Nico de Boinville to reel in the long-time leader. However, they failed to make any impression, leaving Oscar Nomination and Sean Bowen in suspended isolation passing the post to win impressively for Tattenhall based Gary Hanmer.
The green and gold colours of JP McManus have been in the winner’s enclosure at Bangor-on-Dee on plenty of occasions, and the first of his two winners on the day came as Chirico Vallis flew through the rain to take the Donald McCain Racing Handicap Hurdle for trainer Neill Mullholland. Making the running seemed to be the trend of the day, as Richie McLernon settled the eight-year-old in front. They were hard pressed by the favourite, Garo De Juilley two out, but the gelding responded well under pressure and ran on well to win comfortably.
Bangor-on-Dee regular Wazowski landed the Betsafe Proud To Sponsor Donald McCain Racing Handicap Hurdle for leading course trainer and raceday sponsor Donald McCain. Ridden off the pace by Theo Gillard, he travelled smoothly throughout before joining stable mate Gray Day turning in. After locking horns over the last two flights, only three quarters of a length separated them at the line, but the pair pulled a mile clear of Milan Of Crystal in third. The relatively lightly raced eleven-year old’s record at the North Wales venue now reads 22121.
Joly Maker made it a double on the day for JP McManus in the Red Rum Racing Boutique Syndicates Handicap Chase (Division 1). Towards the rear for the first circuit, Joly Maker and Jonjo O’Neill Jnr settled into a lovely rhythm and made smart progress to smoothly join long-time leader Enforcement in the closing stages. The combination asserted quickly after the last fence to win going away. The second division went the way of Vocaliser who made up for the early departure of Oscar McGuire in the first division for Richard Johnson and Olly Murphy. Vocaliser also jumped awkwardly early on, but when shaken up by Johnson, rallied well to deny the late challenge of Do You Know What by a short head in the closest finish of the day on his first run for Murphy.
The Bangor Leading Trainer For 15 Years Handicap Chase was won by Secret Melody. Second after a bad jumping error on his last start at Bangor-on-Dee, behind Tim Rocco, the gelding came to lead three out and won going away to record his first career success, under Jamie Bargary for trainer Sarah-Jayne Davies after a much cleaner round of jumping.
Wellntyne made a winning debut in the Future Winners For Sale At donaldmccain.co.uk Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race for trainer Warren Greatrex. Settled behind the leaders on the rail by Gavin Sheehan, Wellntyne had a blemish free introduction to racing, and after sneaking up the inner three furlongs from home, showed clear promise when keeping on well in the closing stages to win by almost four lengths for Owner/Breeders Mr & Mrs Tilley.
The next racing behind closed doors fixture at Bangor-on-Dee is on Tuesday 29th September. All the action will be covered live on Sky Sports Racing.