Delay to racing proves no barrier to march of Wales & The West

Wales & The West extended their lead at the head of the Racing League leaderboard after the meeting resumed following a 40-minute delay to the action at Chepstow following a fire alarm.

Last year’s leading rider Saffie Osborne guided Rod Millman’s 7-4 favourite Chinese Knot to success in the delayed second race to increase her team’s lead over The North.

“I hit the front way too soon, I thought the (team) Ireland horse would take me into the race a bit longer,” Osborne told Sky Sports Racing. “She was still running round a bit late on, but she was always doing enough.”

Osborne and the Wales & The West team then struck again in the third race, as her father Jamie’s Executive Decision (5-2 favourite) came out on top in a photo finish to leave them on 220 points.

The trainer said: “Saffie’s ridden her very well but the filly has got away with it, she only ran last week and I think she probably a bit better a bit fresher.

“I’m relieved, she looked like she was going to get beat there in the last furlong. Thank God she just got up.

“I think my filly has done well, we’ll freshen her up now and have a think about what we do next.”

After the first race fire alarms sounded and there were reports of water coming through a roof near the jockeys’ area. All jockeys and personnel were evacuated safely and four fire engines arrived soon after.

“There’s been an electrical fault upstairs in the weighing-room complex and it’s turned off all the power in the weighing room,” clerk of the course Libby O’Flaherty said during the delay.

“We’re waiting for the fire engine to get here so we can deem it safe to carry on.

“It’s (the water) just by the door when you go in (to the weighing room), the water came through and that’s all been cleaned up.

“We’re just waiting for the fire brigade to tell us everything is fine.”

Prior to that Cabinet Of Clowns launched the second fixture of this year’s Racing League with a determined success for Eve Johnson Houghton and London & The South.

Contesting the William Hill Keep Your Raceday Positive Racing League Race 8 Handicap under Charlie Bishop, the 15-2 shot held on to defeat team Ireland’s Arcadian Nights and The North’s Hartswood in third.

Race four saw a first winner of this year’s competition for Scotland, with Paul Mulrennan guiding Andrew Balding’s 4-1 joint-favourite Totnes to an impressive success from Wales & The West’s Miss Dolly Rocker, another solid result for the leaders who moved to 244 points.

Team Ireland enjoyed their first winner of the series when Star Harbour landed the William Hill Enhanced Odds Every Day Racing League Race 12 Handicap, the fifth race of the night.

Trained by Adrian McGuinness and ridden by Dylan Browne McMonagle, the 12-1 chance defeated the 15-8 favourite, Dancing In Paris, and the third-placed Fantasy Believer – both part of the dominant Wales & The West outfit.

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