BANGOR-ON-DEE Racecourse's latest meeting may prove to have been a watershed day for this National Hunt season.
The racecourse's leading jockey, Tony McCoy, had struggled to peg back Richard Johnson in the national jockeys' championship despite having returned to action two months ago following a broken arm.
At Bangor-on-Dee, where the battle to be top dog is much more competitive for both trainers and jockeys than it is across the country, the leading duo in the saddle drew a blank.
Then, the picture was transformed. McCoy has produced winner after winner since leaving the weighing room at Bangor-on-Dee, and now Johnson's advantage is in single figures.
There was also a huge event, too, in the same period as Martin Pipe was temporarily toppled from his perch in the trainers' championship in which he has cleaned up for the last 13 years.
West Country rival Philip Hobbs' moment in the sun lasted a mere 48 hours, though - with the empire striking back by last weekend. Normal service has been resumed.
Locally at Bangor-on-Dee, Jonjo O'Neill maintained his superiority over Martin Pipe at the last meeting, including a third victory in a row at the racecourse for the enigmatic Prokofiev who will have plenty of backers should he reappear in the near future.
Meanwhile, tickets for all of Chester Racecourse's 12 meetings in 2004 have gone on sale. Ticket prices range from £5 and £6 for the Open Course on all days to £35 for the County Stand concourse and up to £47 for the Long Room during the May Festival.
Annual badges, which are sold on a first come, first served basis, cost £300. As well as via the website - www.chester-races.co.uk - badges can be bought on the racecourse's credit card hotline on 01244 304610. The next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse is on Friday, November 28. A free bus service runs from and to Wrexham Station. Admission to the Course Enclosure is £6 while the Paddock Enclosure is £12. Accompanied children enter free.
More information is available on www.BangorOnDeeRaces.co.uk or by contacting the racecourse on 01978 780323.
The final fixture of 2003 takes place on Wednesday, December 1.