The old football cliche says ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ although the phrase could equally apply to horseracing. WHISKEY CHASER was in great form before his run in the 15:55 Wrexham Lager Handicap Chase at Bangor, but we’d have to wait and see how he would handle this step up in class.
It was only a month since WHISKEY CHASER won by 60 lengths at Bangor which came only a week after his 30 length win at Leicester. The syndicate was out in force and myself and seven friends (Many thanks to our racing manager Mike Foster for securing additional badges) headed out to Bangor on a cold but sunny day.
We arrived at the course early and headed into the owners and trainers where we found the other members of the syndicate. The school holidays ensured we had a gaggle of kids in tow and they where given the task of tipping up horses in every race. Points would be awarded for picking horses who finished in the places and a prize (chocolate bar) would be awarded to the best tipster at the end of the day. This is a great way to keep young kids entertained and engaged in the whole day. Unsurprisingly the kids picked the horses who’s jockeys wore the ‘prettiest’ silks but to be fair they enjoyed a better success rate using this method to find a winner than the grown ups studying the form guide!
We didn’t have to wait long until it was our boys turn to race. Trainer Donald McCain, Jockey Will Kennedy and our Deva Racing manager Mike Foster were on hand in the parade ring to give us the lowdown before the off. The general consensus from the team was due to the horrendous ground and the the step up in class (4) nothing was a given. However, everyone was optimistic for a good run.
The race started and WHISKEY CHASER found himself towards the rear of the field. He’s normally found sitting patiently behind the leading two horses at this stage of a race. I wondered if the ground was proving too much for him or the step up in class was a step too far. Although he was never out of the running, it was five fences from home when the race started to heat up. The run-in would be contested by WOOD YER, WHISKEY CHASER and BEAUBOREEN. Our boy did briefly go into second place but was unable to hold on and eventually finished 3rd. The race winner BEAUBOREEN finished four lengths clear of the chasing pair.
Overall it was great performance in testing ground. We had finished third behind two very good horses. After the race I decided to take a closer look at the form of both WOOD YER and BEAUBOREEN. I was mildly surprised to see the class these two horses had been keeping. WOOD YER, a horse we had finished three lengths behind, started his racing career in a bumper at Ascot where he finished 4th in a race that was won by SPRINTER SACRE! Whilst BEAUBOREEN has beaten Scottish Grand National winner GODSMEJUDGE and two time Scottish Borders National winner NEPTUNE EQUESTER.
I don’t want the previous paragraph to sound like the old music hall song “I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales.” but it was nice to know that our boy is starting to rub shoulders with the upper classes.