A sunny day saw an excellent meeting take place on soft ground at Bangor-on-Dee, with some really close finishes. Lucy Wheeler enjoyed her first double whilst Claire Hart and Will Biddick each had a winner to keep their title hopes going.
Lucy Wheeler rode the first of her winners in the Restricted on Flan The Man just getting the better of Don't Be Fooled and Belton Red Fox on the long run in, with the last fence having been omitted as was the case at the previous meeting here three weeks ago. The winner had to survive a lengthy stewards' enquiry but their decision was that the interference caused by the winner to the runner-up was accidental. The 10 year old who had missed the 2015 season is owned by Peter Whittaker from Tarporley and Sally Randell representing Gerald Burton who trains him in her second yard near Marlborough felt that a Novice Hunter Chase may be in order for this excellent jumper.
Wheeler's other winner was a much easier one with Emperor Concerto taking up the running about a mile from home and steadily going clear to win as he liked from Presenting Paddy. Jo Messenger trains the ex-chase winner for Sarah Pestell in her Northamptonshire yard.
Claire Hart came here for a solitary ride and turned the Mixed Open into a procession with All Great N Theory winning by a distance from Puyol and Verano. The owner David Renney suggested the winner trained by Julie Marles would remain pointing.
Will Biddick had one winner from his four rides in the opening Maiden on Happy Ring House, coming home four lengths clear of the front-running favourite Minellaforlunch whom he collared on the run in. The winner is owned by Richard Hewitt and gave Stacey Whitehead her second winner, training at Gary Hanmer's second yard.
The shorter two and a half mile Maiden saw some really promising horses make their debut. However, it was won from the front by Late Romantic who had looked very unlucky in previous outings last season. The six year old was ridden by Ed Glassonbury for Oliver Greenall who bought him at the Doncaster June 2014 sales from the Goldford Stud for owners Grant and Darren Mercer. The winner won by three lengths from Roysta's Spirit with Only A Tipple twelve lengths back in third.
Our Mick followed up with another Confined win having won at the previous meeting here. Rob Jarrett had to work really hard to prevail by half a length from Saphir Des Bois with Tobougg Welcome finishing well to be a neck further back.
The Intermediate saw another close finish with David O'Brien taking it up on his own Danners at the last to collar Mattara but Lorna Brooke made up significant ground on the mare Diamond Dolly to just get up in the dying strides. The nine year old winner is trained in Brecon country by Jane Price for her mother Dorothy Lloyd.