Valadom book Aintree ticket
A review of Wednesday's action at Bangor as Valadom left connections dreaming of a shot at Aintree's Grand Sefton Chase next month.
Generic shot of the action from Bangor
Valadom made every post a winning one when storming to victory in the Anne Duchess Of Westminster Memorial Handicap Chase at Bangor.
Trained by Richard Hobson, the grey had obviously benefited from his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow over hurdles and he set himself up for a tilt at the Grand Sefton at Aintree next month.
Hobson had been targeting the cross country chase at Cheltenham which was originally scheduled for Friday but due to hard ground that has now been abandoned so the connections of Seventh Sky, who chased him home, could feel a little hard done by.
"I'm over the moon with him," said Hobson of the Jamie Bargary-ridden winner.
"We had wanted to run him in the cross country but when we heard there might be a problem with that, we swiftly came up with this as Plan B.
"We weren't expecting as much rain as they got at Bangor and he is better on nicer ground really, but he just had enough.
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"We ran him in the Grade Two over hurdles in the hope he'd pick up a little bit of prize money and it would put him spot on for the cross country.
"He's improved no end since he joined us from France. Like many French horses he'd gone a bit sour, but my partner Shirley has worked wonders on him and all he wants to do is please you now.
"I've always wanted a crack at the National fences with him and I think the Grand Sefton will suit. The other alternative is the cross country at Cheltenham in December. He's a super jumper normally but he wasn't quite at his best today because the rain had got into the ground."
Dan Skelton's Stephanie Frances won Bangor's first ever Listed race, the Yorton Stallions Mares' Novices' Chase.
Only four went to post and when Bantam unseated Jake Greenall, the others knew they just had to complete to pick up some black type.
A winner at this level over hurdles at Wetherby last time out, Stephanie Frances was sent off the 4/6 favourite and outclassed Presenting Lisa, with Ha/rry Skelton unmoved in winning by nine lengths.
Alan King's unexposed Messire Des Obeaux ran out a comfortable winner of the Bathgate Group Handicap Hurdle.
Sent off the 64 favourite, the four-year-old was having just his third run for King since moving from France, while his second outing had been in the Fred Winter at the Festival in March where he was not disgraced in seventh.
Daryl Jacob never moved a muscle on his mount, who jumped to the front two out and was not asked a question in beating Tornado In Milan by 10 lengths.
Harry Fry won the Billington Novices' Hurdle but not with 8/11 favourite Drumcliff as might have been expected.
While that one toiled, it was stablemate Dashing Oscar under Noel Fehily (3/1) who cruised to a 13-length success.
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