HORSE RACING: Ackerman confirms Towcester chasing more jump meetings

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Towcester will step up its bid to increase jumping cards in the wake of Thursday’s additional meeting, switched across from Taunton.

The advent of greyhound racing plus a lucrative offer for some fixtures means the Northants track began 2016/17 with only 10 definite dates, but the latest initiative after Taunton’s abandonment, suggests more will soon be in the offing.

Chief executive Kevin Ackerman said: “Leicester has called off next Monday’s meeting and while that was a little too close, being four days after this meeting, we would have applied for it with another three days to prepare.”

Inevitably, given the short notice of the card, the attendance and bookings were dramatically down on normal, but the positive signal of staging the extra meeting should resonate with race goers.

Ackerman added: “We put up a substantial bid to stage this fixture with excellent prize money. The fact we only have 10 meetings, puts us in a perfect position to stage more.”

One jockey happy that Towcester had gone the extra mile was Chester Williams, the son of Devon trainer Nick Williams.

For the starsportsbet.co.uk handicap hurdle gave him the chance to ride his first winner under Rules, despite success in the point to point field.

Williams partnered Peruvien Bleu (5/1) for his father and said: “It is good to get one on the board as that was my 20 th ride under Rules. I had Tom Scudamore (on Tobacco Road) in my sights as I thought he was my biggest danger.”

Local trainer Ben Case did not make an entry for Graceful Legend original Taunton card but was happy to come up the road with his tough five year-old daughter of Midnight Legend who was steered to a length and a quarter success from Bella by Kielan Woods at odds of 7/2.

Case said: “We are hoping to get some black type into her at some point but she would be much happier on softer ground.”

Trainer David Dennis went to Ludlow where he was out of luck but was represented by his Head Lad, the former jump jockey Billy Worthington for the success of Fled Or Pled who followed up his recent course win, beating Song Of The Night who had looked unlucky in October when coming down at the second last.

However, there was no 40/1 on offer about Fled Or Pled this time, as he was returned the 3/1 joint favourite!

Worthington remarked: “To say he is quirky is about right. We had to be very careful with him in his first season. If we had trained him like a proper racehorse we would have ended up with no horse at all.”

Towcester’s next scheduled fixture is Thursday ,November 24.