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Plenty of action in store at Stratford Racecourse





JUMP racing resumed at the weekend after its summer break and, as the pace picks up again, there is plenty of action to come locally at Stratford with meetings today, Thursday, and next Monday, writes David Hucker.

Espoir De Teillee, tops the weights in the feature Class 2 Brian And Sheila Vaughan Memorial Handicap Chase. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography
Espoir De Teillee, tops the weights in the feature Class 2 Brian And Sheila Vaughan Memorial Handicap Chase. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography

Former champion jockey Brian Hughes leads this year’s title race, followed by Paddy Brennan and Sean Bowen with reigning champion Harry Skelton down the field.

However, Hughes has had more than three times the number of rides of Alcester-based Skelton whose main stable, that of his brother Dan, has had a quiet time so far this summer.

Hughes has four rides at Stratford, starting with Persuer in the opening Stratford Racing Club Novices’ Handicap Hurdle in which Mi Laddo, winner of an open handicap at Taunton back in April, could run well off bottom weight.

Next up is the SD Photography Novices’ Handicap Chase in which Hughes rides Jamacho, part-owned by the Stratford Racing Club, who makes his debut over fences.

A winner of six hurdle races, including last time out at Les Landes in Jersey, he looks to have the closely-matched Darling Du Large and Admiral’s Sunset to beat.

Dual hurdles winner Ultimate Getaway sets the standard in the Claire Boskett 30th Birthday Novices’ Hurdle over two-and-three-quarter miles, although has to concede weight to Bangor-on-Dee winner Crystal Gazing who may try to make all the running again.

The lightly-raced Espoir De Teillee tops the weights in the feature Class 2 Brian And Sheila Vaughan Memorial Handicap Chase over a trip just short of two-and-a-half miles. A winner at Warwick and Newbury last season, he was last seen out over hurdles at Auteuil in April, weakening three flights from home, and is returning after a wind operation, his third in all.

Courtandbould, a dual course winner over hurdles, beat Beyond The Clouds at Uttoxeter last time and whilst Yccs Portocervo is better off at the weights with Mercian Prince compared to their meeting at Kempton Park last November, Amy Murphy’s runner should still come out on top.

Sixteen runners will line up for the Walls & Ceilings International Ltd Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in which Two Blondes could go well for Abbie McCain before Master Sunrise, having his third run since returning to Alastair Ralph after a successful point-to-point season, could take the longest race of the afternoon, the National Racehorse Week 12th-19th September Handicap Chase over three-and-a-half miles, in the hands of amateur James King.

The Avon Novices’ Chase over two miles and five furlongs sees a re-run of a similar race here three weeks ago when Some Day Soon beat Forecast, who lost any chance of winning with a bad blunder at the third-last fence. Although attracting just four runners in all, it has the makings of a cracking race with three-time chase winner Presentandcounting, the third mount of the afternoon for Hughes, and Worcester winner Eglantine Du Seuil making up the field.

The Like Racing TV On Facebook Open National Hunt Flat Race closes the card and Luke San, runner-up to Lady Excalibur over the course on his last run, may get off the mark this time, although the unraced Grazeon It could cap a good afternoon for Hughes.

Next Monday’s meeting, which gets under way at 4.30pm, sees the spotlight fall on horses setting out on their jumping careers with the Class 3 Billesley Juvenile Hurdle topping the seven-race card.



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