TRAINERS and jockeys regularly comment on the high standard of ground provided at Bangor-on-Dee racecourse.
This widely held view is a credit to head groundsman, Andrew Malam, and reflects the number of entries attracted to the track during the summer jumping season that continues tomorrow afternoon.
The feature race on the card is the competitive £21,000 betterbetcorbett Dee Hurdle run over two miles and one furlong.
Ellerslie Tom made all over this course and distance earlier this month in a novice hurdle.
There is a good form line for several of the entries who ran against each other at Market Rasen last time out on July 22 when Portavadie put up the best performance to finish third. A day earlier, Kanpai galloped home 10 lengths clear of his field and, while this is a step up in class, the four-year-old has won on his last three appearances and has the ability to score at the weights.
Racing begins at 2.20pm with the Home Sale Network Juvenile Novices' Hurdle.
Gentian improved on her hurdling debut when finishing second here two weeks ago and has more experience than many of the other entries. She will be a popular choice for local trainer Donald McCain who has made a successful start to his career since taking over the training licence from his father, Ginger.
McCain is also represented in the Genesis Wealth Management Novices' Handicap Hurdle with Moorlaw who won a Selling Hurdle at Uttoxeter last month. Earl of Spectrum, also trained locally at Saighton by Lisa Williamson, has been allocated top weight and looks rather harshly treated having finished 24 lengths behind Ellerslie Tom at the last meeting. Positano moves up from selling company following a good 14-length success at Worcester last week and represents place claims.
Stamina is required to see out the extended three-mile Maple Leaf Financial Services Group Handicap Chase. Mr Fluffy put up a good performance to finish third behind the highly regarded Yes Sir in a Class 1 race at Market Rasen on July 22 and will find this less competitive.
With a return to form over three miles at Perth earlier this month, connections will be hopeful that the journey from Tayside with Catch The Perk provides a further success.
Mandingo Chief unseated his jockey at the first fence at the last Bangor-on-Dee meeting. The gelding has subsequently finished second, giving the winner five pounds and despite carrying 12 stone two pounds he is the form horse in the racinguk.tv Handicap Chase. Royal China, trained at Alpraham by Mick Mullineaux, jumped impressively at Uttoxeter last month and led throughout the final circuit to beat a field of 14. While this is a stronger race the eight-year-old is well-treated at the weights and could provide value in the race.
The card closes at 4.55pm with a tricky two-and-a-half-mile Maiden Hurdle.
Longueville Manor is the likely favourite, to go one better than his second place at Stratford earlier this month. Satchelman showed resolution to win his bumper at Worcester in June and he should put in a good performance over hurdles and Whistle Blowing has place claims on his previous form. Just touched off by the odds on favourite over this course and distance is Langdon Lane. The mare will have come on for that race and this is an opportunity to lose her maiden tag.
Two pony races take place after racing.