JUMP racing proved a popular alternative Christmas attraction last Saturday when the Bangor-on-Dee meeting was attended by 2,700 people.
General manager Jeannie Chantler said: 'We didn't know what to expect. There are a lot of other attractions going on. The ground staff made the whole meeting possible. Their efforts are appreciated and there's been a Christmas feel to the meeting.'
Three flights from home in the opening race, the £100 Bonus@betdirectuk.com Maiden Hurdle, there were four horses in contention after a steady early pace.
Maintaining his advantage, Shrewd Investor - sent off at 13-2 - lived up to his name by staying on well at the end of a three-mile trip for jockey David O'Meara. The sustained challenge from Secret Ploy resulted in a photo finish to confirm the winning margin of a neck at the winning post.
L'Antartique justified market support in the New betdirectpoker.com Beginners' Chase with a smooth victory. The 3-1 on favourite was the paddock pick with a spring-like shine to his coat and the six-year-old was always in contention for Graham Lee, pulling clear of Regal Heights by one-length after the last. Trainer Ferdy Murphy said: 'This fellow is learning the job right. He's improving for the long-term.'
Front running tactics paid dividends in the New betdirectcasino.com Mares' Only Maiden Hurdle Race. Jodie Mog-ford allowed his mount, Dandygrey Russett, to bowl along at the head of the 12-runner field. The 9-2 chance kept galloping past to the finish and recorded a one and a quarter length win over High Life.
Winning trainer Barry Leavy said: 'She likes soft ground and she's taken some time to mature. She doesn't settle and pulls hard in her races so she has to make all. It's a nice Christmas present.'
Jockey Adam Hawkins kept his mount Eastern Dagger up to his work to defy the prolonged efforts of the favourite Norton Sapphire and win the Bet Now@betdirectuk.com Handicap Hurdle Race by a neck. The winner was returned at 11-1 and was the first training success for Louise Davis, who said: 'We were going to rough him off but decided to give him one more run. He stuck his neck out today and we'll keep him going now.'
The betdirectuk.com Handicap Hurdle race saw Magnifico and Just Beth jumping the last flight together at the end of a stamina testing three miles. Derek Laverty, aboard the 7-1 shot Just Beth, encouraged a final effort from the game mare to score by one and a half lengths.
Racing came to a close with the bet-direct 0800 211222 Novices' Handicap Steeplechase and a one-and-three-quarter length victory for 9-2 shot Ice Melted, ridden by Richard McGrath, with Predestine occupying second place.