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More opportunities to watch racing at Stratford Racecourse

AFTER the lifting of lockdown restrictions, racegoers were out in force at Stratford for the last two meetings in May, writes David Hucker.

And there will be more opportunities to come as the course hosts seven meetings over the next three months, starting tomorrow, Tuesday, with a six-race card that kicks off at 1.20pm.

Stratford Racecourse. Photo: Mark Williamson S82/8/20/1954
Stratford Racecourse. Photo: Mark Williamson S82/8/20/1954

The meeting, which is sponsored by MansionBet, opens with the Betstival Season At MansionBet Mares' Novices' Hurdle over two miles and two-and-a-half furlongs.

All Clenched Up is trainer Fergal O'Brien's selection from two entries in the race and this Kelso bumper winner, which he also owns, makes her jumping debut here.

Lingfield bumper winner Pop The Champagne is another jumping hurdles in public for the first time and they both look to have the potential to do well in this.

The trip is the same for the following MansionBet's Season Of Love-ly Offers Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle in which dual winner Nye Bevan carries top weight, although regular rider Jamie Neild reduces his burden by 10lbs.

There are two races over the bigger obstacles, the first of which is the MansionBet's Betstival Beaten By A Head Novices' Handicap Chase over two miles and a furlong for horses rated 0-105.

Phil Middleton's Mawlood looks to follow up his Fontwell Park win with Tabitha Worsley, having been raised 5lbs for his two lengths success to a new rating of 86, and is now switched from hurdles to fences.

Tidal Watch pulled up behind Jemima P at Worcester and, although still a maiden over fences after 15 attempts, is now 30lbs below his best rating of 132.

Feature race of the day is the Class 3 MansionBet's Betstival Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap Hurdle worth £10,500 and run over two miles and half a furlong.

Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson runs course winner Hooper rather than Fix Sun, who would have carried top weight, from his two entries. Another with two entries was Donald McCain, who saddles Dear Sire, a winner here back in September 2017, who will be ridden by conditional jockey Theo Gillard.

Jamacho, owned jointly by Stratford Racecourse and Robert Aplin, has been dropping down the weights and is now back to a rating of 123 from which he beat Highly Prized over the course last September and has former champion jockey Brian Hughes back in the saddle.

Next up is the MansionBet #Betstival Handicap Chase over the longer trip of two-and-three-quarter miles.

Although open to horses with a rating of up 105, the weights are topped by 95-rated Mackie Dee, who beat another of the runners Franz Klammer at Huntingdon in November, although the latter is now 10lbs better off.

In an open-looking contest, the best bet could be Auld Sod, out to score his third win over fences.

Alcester trainer Dan Skelton is operating at a 21 per cent strike rate and Gregor, his only runner of the day, could get off the mark over hurdles at the second attempt in the closing Follow @mansionbet This Betstival Season Novices' Hurdle over the minimum trip of two miles.

Newton Abbot winner Trailboss failed to follow up at Kelso but, even with his penalty, looks the one they all have to beat.

There are a limited number of tickets available in the grandstand and plenty of space for viewing from the centre of the course which costs £15 including a racecard.

All tickets must be booked in advance at www.stratfordracecourse.net.

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