Chepstow doesn’t disappoint
The first quality meeting of the jumps season is traditionally the two-day meeting at Chepstow at the beginning of October. I decided to go on the Saturday and here is what I found.
The racecourse is about two miles north of the town and is set in some of South Wales’s most beautiful scenery. This also meant that the courtesy bus from the station went up and down some alarmingly steep hills so that it was a minor miracle that we arrived. There was also a courtesy bus from Newport but there was only one back to Newport station but about five to Chepstow station after racing.
The course is undulating to say the least and you want to back a horse that genuinely stays. In soft ground, this course is tough and the fences are also a true test.
Facilities were fine for the day including a students tent which was separate from the rest of the enclosures. Drink seemed to flow very freely and there was an oompah band as part of an Oktoberfest theme which was playing favourites such as Roll Out the Barrel and Sospan Fach. I wonder how crowded it would be for the big Welsh Grand National day though!
On the day I managed to back only one winner. That was ridden by Bryony Frost who is an excellent judge of pace and is Dettori like in her ability to stack them up behind. The card was competitive and there were some big priced winners including a 16/1 winner for the Skeltons in the feature handicap hurdle.
As a Grade 1 jumps track, Chepstow does not disappoint.
The viewing is as good as anywhere and the track attracts top trainers, jockeys and horses which all contributes to an excellent day’s racing. I will look forward to going back for the National.