COURSES 4 Horses, the first national fundraiser to help working horses in the developing world, began last Saturday and among the launch venues was Bangor-on-Dee racecourse, where a crowd of 6,628 attended the last meeting before an extended two-month break in the fixture list.
Opening the card, Romany Prince jumped away and set the pace in the Courses 4 Horses Novices' Hurdle Race before tipping up two flights from home when Adjami was challenging. Robert Thornton was left in front aboard Adjami, who galloped clear from the field by nine lengths and was returned at 7-2.
Tony McCoy dominated the North West Racing Club Novices' Steeplechase from the off on Tigers Lair, and the only challenger was Croix De Guerre who faded rapidly after the last. Sent off the 4-5 favourite, Tigers Lair pricked his ears on the run-in and won effortlessly by 11 lengths.
Barton Sun, trained at Threapwood by Richard Bevis, led in the Red Dragon Novices' Handicap Hurdle before a fall in the closing stages presented Brooklyn Brownie, ridden by Graham Lee, with an unopposed lead. The partnership galloped clear to record an impressive winning margin of 24 lengths over the second-placed horse Lord Jay Jay.
The Gallaghers Mitsubishi Handicap Steeplechase resulted in a 12-length victory for Idealko. Winning jockey David Dennis said: 'They went quite quick early and then steadied when he started to travel on the bridle, and we got into a rhythm. He's been hard to win with.'
Xaipete, now a 13-year-old, doesn't know when to give in and passed Oso Magic to finish second.
Trainer Mark Sheppard was delighted with Forzacurity, who won the Bangor Races Support Brooke Hospital Handicap Hurdle Race by five lengths from Blue Leader when making virtually all the running.
Sheppard explained: 'He's been off for a long time and was very stuffy. On Sunday he'll go for a £15,000 hurdle race at Hereford where he's a course and distance winner. I'm delighted.'
The winner was ridden by 5lbs claimer Lee Stephens and returned a starting price of 7-2.
No Retreat was crowned the North Western Area Point-to-Point champion with a smooth nine-length win for jockey William Hill in the Hunters' Steeplechase.
And the action came to a close with the Patrick Burling Developments Mares' Only Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. Camden Bella put up a game performance to leave her field toiling by seven lengths in the closing stages.
Winning jockey Tony Dobbin said: 'She was brave. She'll stay all day and kept galloping.'
Bangor-on-Dee general manager Jeannie Chantler said: 'We had a busy build-up and we've been extremely well supported by top trainers and an enthusiastic crowd. As attendance increases, we need to keep to a level where our meetings remain an enjoyable afternoon.'