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Two wrongs make things very right for up-and-coming chaser

Richard Hobson: hoping for a big payday at Auteuil
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It was the wrong race and the wrong ground but that did not stop Valadom from giving Richard Hobson his biggest success as a trainer.

Rain overnight and again during the day turned conditions softer than ideal for a chaser who had done all his winning on good ground. 

And he was tackling the £26,000 Anne Duchess Of Westminster Handicap Chase, feature event on Bangor's richest-ever raceday, only because the cross-country race at Cheltenham had been abandoned.

Results and analysis

But the 7-1 shot won like a horse who had been laid out for the three-mile race for months, making all under Jamie Bargary to score by a length and a quarter.

"That is nice compensation!" joked Hobson, a second-season trainer with a dozen horses in his care at Stow-on-the-Wold.  

"I was a bit concerned about the ground as he is at his best on good, but he did it nicely. He jumps for fun and loves the game. He will go for the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree now."

Potters' pot of gold

Don't you love the British weather? Where else would a race start in a downpour and end with racegoers shielding their eyes from the sun and a rainbow arcing across the back straight?

The mythical pot of gold belonged to James and Jean Potter, whose Stephanie Frances coped with the various weather conditions to land the mares' chase, scoring her second Listed success in 11 days.

That is a big boost to the eight-year-old's breeding value and trainer Dan Skelton said: "I'm mindful she'll have babies at some stage and we'll not overrace her with that in mind. She's been a good servant for us, winning seven races."

Only four mares went to post for the first Listed race to be staged at Bangor but clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "Races always take time to bed in and this gives us something to build on in the future."

Skelton added: "This new mares' chase series will take three, four or five years to come to fruition – it will take time for these races to become fully competitive."

Lovely prospect

Alan King's gamble on declaring Messire Des Obeaux for the £22,500 handicap hurdle paid off as the rain came overnight and his four-year-old scored by a ready ten lengths under Daryl Jacob.

The winner had finished seventh in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham and his trainer said: "He's a gorgeous horse, a lovely prospect.

"He'd never won a race before and will have learned so much today."

Sam Quek: gold medallist supports the initiative to offer a big development prize for women jockeys

Jungle jinks

The racing public in this part of the world have someone to cheer for on ITV as Olympic gold medallist Sam Quek is venturing into the jungle on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

She is a member at Bangor's sister track Chester and had a race named after her there in September to mark her contribution to Team GB's hockey success in Rio.

Andrew Morris, clerk of the course at both venues, said: "I am sure she will have plenty of admirers but I wouldn't have a clue how she will get on." 


Thought for the day

You get what you pay for and Bangor's richest ever raceday was supported by many of the top trainers – although the soft ground certainly helped.

That is nice compensation! I was a bit concerned about the ground as he is at best on good but he did it nicely
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