HORSE RACING: WARWICK Racecourse was the venue for thousands of punters on Saturday night as the venue hosted its annual Ladies’ Night race evening in seasonal conditions.
The rain stayed away as a seven-race card entertained crowds, while live music and a fashion parade provided the off-course attractions.
As part of the May Racing Carnival, the racecourse welcomed another strong crowd through its gates.
The evening started well for favourite backers as Alcester-based trainer Dan Skelton saddled Blairs Cove to win the opening race at short odds of 2/7.
Skelton – whose horses are ridden by brother Harry – has experienced ongoing success at the Warwick track this season, and his latest winner cruised to victory by nine lengths.
Harry Fry teamed up with jockey Noel Fehily for the first of two winners’ on the night as 15/8 chance Black Mischief won the second race on the card – a two mile maiden hurdle race.
Black Mischief raced away in near isolation up the run as a closest pursuer Get Rhythm – the 6/4 favourite – found himself 11 lengths behind.
Fry was back in the winners’ enclosure just three races later when Golden Birthday won the middle distance handicap hurdle.
Completed fractionally slower than Blairs Cove’s win over the same trip earlier in the card, Golden Birthday had to fight off the late challenge of Red Indian who challenged late when the pair jumped the last flight of hurdles together.
There was also joy on the card for former champion trainer Paul Nicholls who cheered home long odds-on fancy Bagad Bihoue to win the middle distance novices’ chase over 2m 4f.
Bagad Bihoue made all and won by a comfortable 29 lengths after jockey Sam Twiston-Davies quickly had all rivals off the bridle down the back straight – a smooth round of jumping helped his cause.
Bendomingo was the evening’s largest priced winner at 8/1 when beating 50/1 chance Mr McGuiness by seven lengths in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The Last Bridge was in the winners’ enclosure once again on ground which provided a test of complete contrast to when he won at Warwick weeks earlier.
Charlie Deutsch guided The Last Bridge home despite a late challenge from King’s Cross – who jumped the last fence almost in line with the Susan Johnson trained runner.
Lastly Paddy Ross won the national hunt flat race for Wayne Hutchinson and Alan King following a close finish with Jersey Bean and Supakalanistic.