ONE of the most popular meetings on the annual fixture list at Bangor-on-Dee takes place tomorrow afternoon, when total prize money on the seven-race card amounts to £47,000 and point-to-point enthusiasts crown the North West Area Champion in the £6,000 extended three-mile Hunter Chase.
Donald McCain jnr, of Cholmondeley, has entered Cornish Gale and The Eens, both horses having earned their place in the championship contest.
The Eens was an easy winner at Eyton earlier this month and Cornish Gale scored in a hunter chase at Towcester. Any horse from the Crow's yard in Shropshire merits respect, as does the final selection of area champion jockey Richard Burton. A thrilling race will unfold.
The race meeting also features Courses for Horses, the biggest-ever national fundraising initiative aimed at helping relieve the suffering of horses toiling for the world's poorest communities by providing free veterinary care, training and education for their owners.
Coronation Street star William Roache, a supporter of the initiative, will present a trophy to the winning owner of the Novice Hurdle that gets racing under starter's orders at 1.55pm. Romany Prince looks the form horse of the 41 initial entries.
A number of horses with recent winning form are among the five-day entries for the North West Racing Club Novices' Chase. The market leaders may include Tigers Lair, a
winner at Ludlow earlier this month, and Croix De Guerre, a comfortable winner at Taunton last time out.
Preference goes to the consistent Tribal Dispute, who is looking for the third successive win of his chasing career.
The feature race on the card is the extended two-and-a-half-mile Gallaghers Mitsubishi Handicap Chase worth £9,000. Carrying 11 stone 6lbs to victory at Chepstow last month, The Extra Man steps up in class and should be thereabouts at the finish. Edmo Heights looks the danger.
Trainer Nicky Richards holds two entries in the Red Dragon Novices' Handicap Hurdle, Topanberry and
Muckle Flugga who both warrant a place on punters' shortlists if declared to run.
Conroy returned to winning form at Stratford last month when carrying top weight and looks capable of repeating that performance in the two-mile one-furlong CTM Wholesale Handicap Hurdle provided there is no significant rain before racing.
Racing ends at 5.30pm with the Patrick Burling Developments Mares' Only Standard Open Flat Race where the betting market may prove a valuable guide for making selections. nAttendances at Chester racecourse over the three-day festival last week continued the upward trend with an overall figure of 63,274, an increase of 4% on last year.
Chief executive Richard Thomas said: 'It's been a very good meeting, the support has been great from owners and trainers. I'm delighted.'