Lucinda gets off to a flier at Hexham
Published at 07:37, Wednesday, 16 October 2013
UNDETERRED by the inclement weather, enthusiastic racegoers were rewarded with seven exciting races as National Hunt racing returned to Hexham.
Most of the drama was saved until last, the front two runners separated by a nose in the penultimate, while the winning margin was just a neck in the final race.
Favourite backers got off to a positive start in the first race, the Kintail Luxury Holiday Cottage Novices Steeplechase, as Hexham stalwart trainer Lucinda Russell opened her Hexham autumn account when Rudemeister, ridden by Wilson Renwick, duly obliged at 13/8fav.
The horse beat Balding Banker who gave new trainer Rebecca Menzies her first second placed finish.
Sponsors of the richest race of the day with prize money of £10,000, and long time supporters at Hexham, Varlian and Elizabeth Vyner-Brooks presented mementoes to the winning connections.
Surprisingly, there were no bids in the subsequent auction for the impressive winner of the second race, the BHEST Racing to School Selling Hurdle, which was won by Moufatango from Nicky Richards Greystoke yard.
Going off at 9/2 and ridden from the front throughout by Brian Harding, the seven-year-old scored easily by 13 lengths.
The poignant Campbell Gillies Memorial Handicap Steeplechase run in memory of the talented young jockey who lost his life in a swimming accident in 2012 was appropriately won by a popular Hexham duo.
Riskier, at 2/1 second favourite, owned by John Wade and ridden by Campbell’s friend Brian Hughes, ran out a very easy winner by nine lengths.
A second memorial race was run in honour of another very popular character, not just at Hexham, but at racecourses throughout the North, Ray Hawkey.
The race was another triumph for Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell when her five-year-old Revocation, ridden by Peter Buchanan at odds of 7/1, was an impressive winner beating 10 opponents.
The rose and primrose hoops of the 5th Earl of Roseberry, Prime Minister in 1894 and 1895, when he won the Derby with Ladas and Sir Visto made a successful and long awaited racecourse reappearance as Revocation, owned by Michael and Lady Jane Kaplan, stayed on strongly.
Another regular and loyal sponsor at Hexham, Youngs RPS sponsored the third race, a handicap hurdle run over two-and-a-half miles.
The race developed into an exciting three horse finish with Cheltenham’s Kim Bailey’s Up for an Oscar, ridden by Ed Cookson at 6/1, finishing ahead of Somerset’s Decoy and Irish raider Call Box, from Stuart Crawford's stable.
Only four runners went to post for the penultimate race, the TDR Apprenticeships Novices Hurdle.
Despite the small field an exciting race ensued culminating in a photo finish with the Donald McCain trained Bill From The Bar (7/2), ridden by Nick Slatter, crossed the finishing line just a nose in front of Simarthur, the 15/8 second favourite trained by Lucinda Russell ridden by Peter Buchanan.
The narrowest of margins also separated first and second in the last race of the afternoon, the Welcome To Hexham Racecourse Handicap Steeplechase run over three miles and one furlong in increasingly testing conditions.
The winner was a success for Alnwick trainer Rose Dobbin when seven-year-old Pyjama Game, ridden by Wilson Renwick, went off at 4/1 and beat Sue Smith trained Baltic Pathfinder (9/1) ridden by Jonathan England by just a neck.
Racing returns at Yarridge Heights tomorow when it hosts one of the most important meetings of the year, the Intu Eldon Square and Intu Metrocentre Shopping Centres Day.
The centres are two of the most loyal sponsors of National Hunt Racing at Hexham and this will be their 18th consecutive annual visit.
First race on the seven race card goes to post at 2.15 pm with the final race at 5.30pm.
Feature races include the Intu Eldon Square Alive After Five Mares Novices Hurdle over an extended two miles due off at 2.45pm, and the Intu Metrocentre Just Keeps Getting Better Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles at 3.20pm.
Courtesy buses will leave Hexham Bus Station at 1.30pm and the Railway Station at 1.38pm. The meeting will also give punters using the Totepool three chances to win a £100 voucher when they place bets on the first, third and fifth races.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1950Friday, December 15, 1950....
THREE watercolour paintings donated by Queen Mary were auctioned off to raise money for a new Darby and Joan club in Hexham.
A site had already been bought, but a further £6,000 was needed to run the club for the elderly.
The auction, opened by Viscountess Allendale, saw the paintings raise over £8 for the fund.