With the jumps season now firmly on the horizon, Richard Mann is looking forward to a decent card at Bangor where plenty of the top stables are represented.
Bangor whets the jumping appetite
It might only be early October but social media is buzzing with excitement ahead of the National Hunt season while the stable tours are reappearing and some Cheltenham quotes are already being banded about.
Bangor's card on Thursday offers a taste of what's to come with the likes of Nicky Henderson, Alan King and Philip Hobbs all sending runners to the track.
Irish trainer Gordon Elliott is also well represented with a strong team sent across from County Meath while Donald McCain has plenty of chances at a track where he tends to enjoy plenty of success.
McCain has actually saddled 150 winners at Bangor during a fine training career and a strike-rate of close to 20 per cent here tells you that his runners at this venue always merit the utmost respect.
Five horses make up McCain's raiding party on Thursday with plenty of attention worth paying to point-to-point and bumper winner Shantaluze as he goes hurdling for the first time in the starsports.bet Maiden Hurdle.
Chelmsford lead the way again
Despite having Lingfield and Kempton in reasonably close proximity, Chelmsford has been a welcome addition to the British all-weather racing scene and must be applauded for the valuable prize money it continues to put up and the quality of racing it hosts.
On Thursday evening the track offers another reasonable pot for the Bet totetrifecta At totesport.com Conditions Stakes and high-quality field has been assembled.
The admirable Big Country has enjoyed another fine season, winning the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar and then a Listed race at Pontefract. He returns to these shores on Thursday following a trip to Sweden last month.
He'll need to be at his best, though, with former Winter Derby winner Convey switching back to an artificial surface and the smart Archetype having his sights lowered slightly having kept decent company all summer.
One-time classic hope Glendevon is back in the fold following three months off the track and remains a horse of some potential, as does Big Challenge, a twice-raced son of Sea The Stars who looked very smart when making a winning debut at Nottingham back in November 2016.
He has only been sighted once since, when second to Monarchs Glen in early 2017, and is a fascinating Godolphin project, particularly as Saeed bin Suroor tends to do well with these late-developing types.
The Flat season might be drawing to a close but rest assured, Chelmsford will do its best to keep us entertained in the coming months.
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