Wales & The West and Saffie Osborne lead the way in the William Hill Racing League, after a dramatic evening that saw fire engines called to Chepstow on night two of the competition.
London & The South took maximum points in the first race as Eve Johnson Houghton’s Cabinet Of Clowns (15-2) was steered by Charlie Bishop to a half-length success.
But the action then came to an abrupt halt when an electrical fault caused a fire in a kitchen at the track, with some water also coming through the ceiling in the weighing-room area resulting in the complex having to be evacuated.
A number of fire engines arrived at the scene and the track was eventually deemed safe, creating a near 40-minute delay to the contest scheduled for 6.00pm.
“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 told Sky Sports Racing 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.”
The delayed race was won by Rod Millman’s Chinese Knot, the 7-4 favourite being steered to victory by last year’s leading rider as Osborne bagged the first leg of a double.
The same jockey then crossed line first in the next, with Executive Decision (5-2 favourite) prevailing after a photo finish to get even more points on the board for the Wales & The West outfit.
Scotland were triumphant in the fourth contest on the card when Totnes (4-1) struck for Paul Mulrennan and Andrew Balding, with Ireland enjoying their first success of the series when Star Harbour (12-1) was a winner for Adrian McGuinness and Dylan Browne McMonagle.
In both of those races Wales & The West had placed runners and when Tim Easterby’s Manila Scouse took the penultimate race as the 8-11 favourite for David Allan and Yorkshire, the third- and fourth-placed horses gained even more points for the leaders.
The final event went the way of the North, with the 9-2 favourite Ramazan winning for Richard Fahey and Oisin Orr in a race worth £100,000.
The evening left Wales & The West with a significant advantage in front on 319 points, whereas Ireland sit in second with 242 and London & The South third on 231.
Osborne is the leading riding so far as she sits at the top of the jockey leader board on 161 points.
Jamie Osborne, trainer of Executive Decision and father of Saffie, said: “We’ve got a good spread of horses, we don’t have the biggest trainers in the world but I think in a way that’s a help.
“Some of the bigger trainers have other fish to fry, this kind of prize-money is very important to our owners.
“We’re well positioned, but we’re not yet a third of the way through the competition so we’re not home and hosed yet. But I’d say it will take a good one to beat Saff!”