Here we go again!
It was a sense of déjà vu at Dunraven Stud on Sunday as the weather, which had already done for the East Devon fixture at Bishop's Court the previous day, took its toll on the Llangeinor. This was no reward for the speculative fixture switch from early April to launch the season. There were shades of the wet winter that preceded our first Covid lockdown in the inter of 2019-20: Soft with heavy patches resonates more of mid December than balmy late October.
The sense of déjà vu also extended to the results. Welshman Bradley Gibbs, back on his stomping ground in South Wales, although now an honorary Hertfordshireman, was king of the castle, training one winner and riding three.
If you own the land on which the racing takes place, then it's only good manners for the rest to cede you at least one winner. And now that son Connor has graduated to the professional ranks, it was to Gibbs that David Brace turned to get even money favourite Patch Me Up home in the opening young horse maiden. The race always looked likely to stay at home, as Brace had engaged the services of James King to ride his other horse River Llynfi, a length second.
The Restricted produced what amounted to an exhibition round for the Gibbs trained and ridden Post No Bills. The only other runner Sergeant Brody pulled up.
And in truth, Gibbs' third winner wasn't much more competitive. Eight year old Chimes of Dylan, trained by Robert Llewellyn, was a 25l winner over Harriet Tudor's High Hatton in the Conditions race.
Nevertheless, despite the travails of the weather, it was good to be back. 150 fixtures to come, weather permitting!
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