Extra meeting added to Stratford’s season

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Templehills beats favourite Francky Du Berlais to land the feature Pragnell Gold Cup at Stratford's previous meeting. Photo: Steve Davies / www.sdphotos.co.uk

HORSE RACING

THIS Thursday’s eight-race card featuring the Charlie Longsdon Racing Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles was the last of Stratford’s planned fixtures for the year, but the course has been allocated an extra meeting on Sunday, 8th November to end the season, writes David Hucker.

It was back on the 9th March that the season got under way, the last time that a crowd was at the track to see the action live.

Covid-19 was to bring racing to a halt just a week later and, although jumping resumed at the beginning of July, all meetings since have been behind closed doors.

Even with the extra meeting, just nine will have been held this year compared to the 17 originally scheduled.

The card kicks off at 12.35pm with the 25 Club Mares’ Maiden Hurdle over two-and-three-quarter miles.

Go Millie Go ran well after a long absence to finish runner-up to Wynn House at Bangor-on-Dee at the end of last month and should be in with a chance of breaking her duck here.

Olly Murphy’s A Perfect Gift has not been seen out since finishing third at Exeter in February, but won a bumper on soft ground at Uttoxeter at the end of 2018 and has been lightly raced since.

The classy Black Op took last year’s running of the Charlotte Cole Memorial Beginners’ Chase although, interestingly, he didn’t start favourite for the race as Lisnagar Oscar, who was later to spring a 50-1 surprise in the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, was sent off at 4-6, finishing a well-beaten third.

Templehills is looking to post back-to-back course wins in the feature Charlie Longsdon Racing Handicap Chase, but will have to cope with softer ground this time.

He did win on heavy going at Warwick when beating the useful Vibrato Voltat back in February 2017, so should handle the conditions.

The consistent Aintree My Dream was beaten just a neck by Imperial Presence on his last run with Romain De Senam, having his first outing for Dan Skelton, 62 lengths in arrears.

He will be 7lb better off at the weights this time, but still has a lot to make up.

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