Six competitive races set the perfect stage for this year’s edition of Wrexham Day (in partnership with Wrexham Lager) at Bangor-On-Dee. The feature race of the afternoon came at 5:40pm in the competitive Wrexham Lager Celebrates Wrexham AFC Promotion Handicap Chase (Class 2), on a day where sunny spells ensured ground conditions remained between Good and Good To Soft.


Race 1 – Wrexham Lager Proudly Back In Cans “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 4, 4yo+, 2m ½f)

Proving herself to be yet another smart purchase by the Greenall/Guerriero stable, Crystal Glance (9/2) bravely saw off her rivals by ½ a length under Henry Brooke in the first race of the afternoon. Setting off in mid-division, Crystal Glance maintained a fairly prominent position down the inside rail for much of the opening race, keeping company with recent Hexham runner-up Dapper Gent (8/1) as big outsider Auntie Maggie (40/1) brought the field along at a steady gallop. Travelling ominously well from the back of the third-last, Crystal Glance moved with menace around the outside of market leader Ted’s Gift with two to jump, the majority of her rivals now firmly under pressure. Negotiating both remaining obstacles in tidy enough fashion, Crystal Glance ran on well for pressure in the final furlong, eventually holding off Dapper Gent who flew home to finish second once again. A first Bangor winner of the new season, Greenall & Guerriero trained six winners here last season!


Race 2 – Remembering Kitty Warburton Handicap Chase (Class 5, 5yo+, 3m)

Adding a second victory to his name both under rules and at Bangor-On-Dee, On The Platform (7/1) saw out the three-mile trip in determined fashion in Race 2, driven out to score by ½ a length under Lee Edwards. Setting off towards the rear of midfield, On The Platform settled nicely in amongst runners through the first couple of miles, never too far away from joint market leader Iron Heart (100/30 JF) as the well-fancied Getaway Glory (100/30 JF) led the field along at a modest gallop. Making smooth headway over the third-last obstacle, On The Platform quickly bridged the gap on the leaders around the home turn, travelling strongly on the outside of course winner Stony Man (8/1) as the final two obstacles loomed. Neatly negotiating the final two fences, On The Platform responded well for pressure in the closing stages, readily seeing off Iron Heart and Getaway Glory in a cracking finish to Belinda Clarke with her first winner as a trainer since way back in May 2010!


Race 3 – Wrexham Lager Draught At Fat Boar Handicap Hurdle (Class 4, 4yo+, 2m ½f)

Following a double at Aintree the evening prior, the fine form of the Mel Rowley stable continued at Bangor-On-Dee when progressive hurdler Commanding View (3/1F) stormed clear by 1 ¼ lengths to claim the third race. With the very capable Charlie Deutsch in the saddle, Commanding View raced prominently in the early stages of the two-mile contest, the field bookended by previous course and distance winners Nelson River (66/1) at the head of affairs and Feel The Pinch (12/1) bringing up the rear under newly crowned Champion Jockey Harry Cobden. Moving into the lead with purpose around the home turn and into the straight, Commanding View quickly has hid rivals under firm pressure, nudged along in front as Feel The Pinch made strong late headway down the outside. Game out in front, Commanding View sealed the contest with a slick leap at the last, eventually holding off the rallying Feel The Pinch a shade cosily. Already successful together this year, Deutsch and Rowley recently teamed up at Cheltenham to take a Grade 2 Novices’ Handicap with Malaita!


Race 4 – Wrexham Lager Celebrates Wrexham AFC Promotion Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2, 5yo+, 2m 1 ½f)

A result never in much doubt, the feature race of the afternoon was taken in emphatic style by up-and-coming chaser Fringill Dike (8/1), tearing apart a competitive affair to scoot home by 6 ½ lengths under Charlie Hammond. Racing widest of all for much of the race, Fringill Dike remained fairly prominent through the opening mile, the field taken along by habitual front-runner Sacre Coeur (8/1) and previous course winner Sir Tivo (40/1) as market leader Somespring Special (7/2F) bided her time towards the rear of midfield. Jumping slightly to his right, Fringill Dike kept out of harm’s way down the far side of the track before circling the field to lead on the turn into the straight. Travelling strongly with his rivals under the pump, Fringill Dike negotiated the final two obstacles with the minimum of fuss down the home straight, rapidly coming clear of a staying-on Inedit Star (14/1) in second, and Prince Escalus (9/1) in third. A valuable victory for Caron & Paul Chapman, the winning owners have also enjoyed plenty of success with Grade 1 winning hurdler Sam Spinner!


Race 5 – Bangor-On-Dee Handicap Chase (Class 5, 5yo+, 2m 1 ½f)

Having to wait until the fifth race to claim his first Bangor winner of the new jumps season, Donald McCain was soon smiling again at the Welsh track when Malpas (13/2) ended a two-year losing streak to score by 3 ¾ lengths in the hands of Theo Gillard. Settling into a nice rhythm in the chasing vanguard, Malpas seemed content to race in third place for the majority of the first mile and a half, the leading pair of Abaya Du Mathan (11/2) and Limetree Boy (100/30) setting a modest tempo out in front. Despite an untidy leap at the fourth-last fence, Malpas made rapid headway on the tiring leaders over three-out, soon finding himself alone out in front as he led the field into the home straight. Ridden along to maintain his lead, Malpas fiddled his way over the final two obstacles without a bother, always in command down the straight and comfortably holding off the gallant Limetree Boy in the closing stages. A familiar sight on the winner’s podium, owner Neil Hartley has also had success here with Ofcourseiwill and Hart Of Steel – both also trained by Donald McCain!


Race 6 – Bangor Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 5, 4yo+, 2m 3 ½f)

Showing marked improvement on handicap debut, Regal And Royal (11/1) proved to be a tough nut to crack in the final race of the afternoon, ridden clear by 2 lengths under Sean Quinlan to claim a first victory under rules. Always towards the back, Regal And Royal was given a patient ride by Sean Quinlan from minute one of the final race, racing at the opposite end of the field to early leader Westbrook Lad (11/1) through the opening two miles, with market principals Marty McFly (7/2F) and Shandancer (9/2) also racing prominently. Ridden along between horses over three-out, Regal And Royal began to make stealthy headway around the home turn, latching onto Shandancer approaching the second-last. Hopping over nicely and switching to the inside, Regal And Royal joined the leaders over the final flight before staying on stoutly to extend the advantage to 2 lengths at the line, seeing off Shandancer and a staying-on Trick Of The Tail (13/2) to score impressively. A winner of this race last year, Jennie Candlish’s has now trained 14 winners here since the start of 2019!

Race report by Adam Perkins