16th March 2017 report
Hexham Racecourse held the first meeting of 2017 on Thursday 16th March known as Cheltenham Day, 188BET who are new sponsors to Hexham were responsible for sponsoring the whole card and are also kindly sponsoring the next meeting which is due to take place Tuesday 28th March.
A fine but blustery day greeted racegoers when they arrived at the course for the 7 race card and those attending were treated to some exciting racing.
2016 leading trainer Lucinda Russell started the 2017 campaign well with a double on the card. Her first winner on the day came in the 3 mile 188BET Handicap Hurdle with "Bescot Springs" ridden by Alexander Thorne prevailing by ¾ length from Nick Alexander’s "The Bishop" and "Darsi Dancer" in third place. The 12-year-old was held up in touch for most of the race before making steady headway to chase the leader before the last, overhauling "The Bishop" on the run in. "Settledoutofcourt" took the next race for Lucinda the 188BET Premier League Darts Handicap Chase run over 4 miles. Ridden by Stephen Mulqueen. Jumped out in front from the off "Settledoutofcourt" made all over the long trip and just held on beating "Lakefield Rebel" trained by Harry Hogarth by a neck, with Ian Jardine’s "Sevenballs of Fire" a further 4 ¼ lengths back in third.
First race of the day, the 188BET Conditional Jockeys’ Mares Handicap Hurdle run over 2 miles went to "My Little Cracker" ridden by Ross Chapman. Taking up the running before the last, the winner stayed on well to score by 2 ¼ lengths from "Hurricane Rita" with "Miss Joeking" 15 lengths back in third. The winner was trained by Ian Jardine for Paul and Claire Rooney who were celebrating a winner at Cheltenham the previous day.
The 188BET Novices Handicap Chase run over 3 miles was won by "Hattons Hill" ridden by Jamie Hamilton for Harry Hogarth. Going into the lead just before the winning post overhauling "Kanturk Bank" the long-time leader and scoring by 1 ¾ length’s, the first two finished 13 lengths ahead of third placed "Smuggler’s Stash" trained by Rose Dobbin.
Last year’s leading jockey Brian Hughes got on to the scoresheet when guiding home "ACDC" for Chris Grant in the 2 ½ mile 188BET "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle. The favourite in the race was always going well and went into the lead before the last and went clear on the run in to win by 3 ¼ length’s from "Floramoss" trained by Gillian Boanas and "Haul Us In" ridden by Blair Campbell in third.
After riding two second’s and a third Sam Coltherd finally got on the scoresheet when riding "Achill Road Boy" for his father to take the last race, the 188BET Novices Handicap hurdle run over 2 miles 4 furlongs.
The winner dug in deep to get the better of "Knocknamona" who went off the 5/4 favourite by 4 lengths.
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