Whiskey Chaser returned to the parade ring victorious for the second time in five days.
Following a 30 length win at Leicester on Friday Frodo (Whiskey Chaser) doubled his season tally with a win at Bangor on the following Wednesday. He also doubled his winning margin too, romping home a whopping 60 lengths ahead of the second placed horse (Wishing In A Well).
In a week where the majority of racing fans focused on Cheltenham, our syndicate headed across the Welsh border to Bangor On Dee. Whiskey Chaser entered the race under a penalty due to his win five days earlier. James Cowley was booked to partner Frodo and his conditional jockeys allowance helped to lighten the load.
No one really knew how well Whiskey Chaser would cope with two races within a week but I arrived at Bangor in confident mood. I enjoyed a quick pint and steak pie in the owners and trainers area with the other syndicate members. It was a great turn out from the gang and it certainly helped that the course is local to many syndicate members.
Trainer Donald McCain was on hand to give us a pre-race briefing in the parade area. Not surprising Whiskey Chaser won best turned out, he looked great and credit to the McCain team for that. However, he wasn’t the only impressive looking horse in the race. The bookies had Whiskey Chaser as the 7/4 favourite with the rest of the field at 6/1.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining when the runners headed down the start. Despite the good weather we were enjoying on the day the course going was officially rated as soft.
The race started and Whiskey Chaser took up his usual position near the front of the pack. Almost immediately James had him in a good rhythm and he was jumping for fun. The runners quickly disappeared to the far side of the course where it was difficult for me to get a clear picture of the race. As the runners came back into focus it appeared that Miss Oscarose was having problems and shortly after jockey Liam Treadwell pulled her up.
As the horses whizzed past us for the second circuit Whiskey Chaser was only just behind race leader Over My Head with a group of three a length behind them. It’s at this point in a race when you wonder if your horse will have enough left to pass the leader and hold off any challenges. There was still a long way to go and if Frodo was feeling tired from his previous run it would no doubt start to show here.
No sooner had that thought entered my head when horses all around ours started to get pulled up. Whiskey Chaser was now in a two horse race, from the seven that started, and was pulling away from the remaining challenger. When James and Whiskey Chaser jumped the second to last fence Wishing In A Well was still a long way off. All we needed was a clear jump on the last fence and Frodo was guaranteed his second win in a week. Waiting for that last fence was probably the most nervous I’ve been watching our horse run. It wasn’t until Whiskey cleared it that I allowed myself to get excited. James had done a superb job getting our boy home and the syndicate was celebrating for the second time in a week – a double measure of joy for all involved.
Below you can see some photos I captured on the day.