THE potential of the winners at the latest meeting at Bangor-on-Dee is starting to pay dividends for punters who are following their progress.
Local racegoers were most impressed when Thisthatandtother made a scintillating winning debut in a beginners' chase.
And the horse trained by leading handler Paul Nicholls put in a breathtaking display to storm home in a high-class novices' chase at the first big meeting of the 2003/04 jumps season at Cheltenham at the weekend.
Now the aim for Thisthatandtother - which belongs to Graham Roach who owned the former Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Viking Flagship - is the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Bookmakers are already offering the horse at as little as 3-1 for that intended target.
Another Bangor-on-Dee victor worth keeping an eye on is Prokofiev, which enjoyed a third victory in a row at the last meeting.
Cold Encounter was another winner at the same fixture in a handicap chase. Trainer Robert Stronge has sent out the horse twice since - at Kempton and Fontwell - and two more victories have resulted.
Bangor-on-Dee racegoers looking for a horse with local form that could run well the weekend after next in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury might look no further than Joss Naylor.
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained horse won a novices' chase at Bangor-on-Dee a few days before last Christmas and could run a big race if confirmed for Newbury's National Hunt showpiece event.
The next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse is on Friday, November 28. Admission to the Course Enclosure is £6 while the Paddock Enclosure is £12. Accompanied children enter free. More information is available on the website www.BangorOnDeeRaces.co.uk or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323. Final fixture of 2003 is Wednesday, December 17.
The next racing at Chester Races is the May Festival in 2004.