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Unibet Jump Season Opener Starts with the Battle of the Welsh Jockeys

Kitty’s Light – and jockey Jack Tudor – have been made favourites to win a Friday test of the best among the top Welsh riders.

Wales’ leading jockeys will battle it out in their own Unibet Jump Jockeys’ Derby as part of the two-day season opener at Chepstow Racecourse this weekend.

Friday’s racing will start at 12.50pm with the charity Flat race, run at The Derby distance of 1m 4f, ahead of the seven-race card over the jumps.

Sean Bowen, who currently leads the jump jockey’s championship, will go head-to-head against brother James, Alan Johns – who helped organise the race – Lorcan Williams, Connor Brace, Tudor, Adam Wedge and Ellis Collier.

The race is raising funds for the children’s cancer charity, Latch, and is in support of the family of leading Welsh trainer, Christian Williams, whose daughter Betsy was diagnosed with leukemia back in March.

Johns has been a busy man since not only did he help organise the race, he also co-produced a light-hearted video to publicise the fund-raising, in which he and the other jockeys poke fun at themselves as well as each other.

You can watch the video here:

If that wasn’t enough, Johns also ran the Loch Ness Marathon – between two race days – a fortnight ago to raise more funds for Latch.

“Latch are a fantastic charity who provide financial support, social support, and day trips that try to help the process of cancer treatment go by a little bit more easily,” says John.

“I know that Christian’s family have found their support invaluable. You only need to speak to Betsy’s mum, Charlotte, for a few minutes and her positivity for the charity really flows.

“After speaking to her, I felt motivated to do as much as I could to help.”

Johns’ efforts in the marathon were rewarded when he got back in the saddle last week with a winner at Uttoxeter on Weaver’s Answer, trained by Tim Vaughan.

In the Jump Jockey’s Derby, Tudor will be on board Williams’ own chaser, Kitty’s Light who completed a brilliant double back in April when winning the Scottish National and Bet365 Gold Cup double inside seven days.

Williams says: “Kitty’s Light winning those nice races in the spring was a huge boost for us during tough times.

“Other families in similar situations might not have that sort of thing to look forward to – it was a great lift.”

Johns’ sponsors, DragonBet, will be taking bets on the Jump Jockeys Derby with all profits going to Latch.

The feature race at Chepstow on Friday is the £50,000 Grade 2 Unibet Persian War Novices’ Hurdle.

It’s been won by plenty of top class horses in the past, including Bonanza Boy, Blaklion and Silviniaco Conti.

The 13-times champion trainer Paul Nicholls has won the race eight times with his West Country counterpart Philip Hobbs successful on six occasions.

The other feature event on the day is the £30,000 Veterans’ Handicap Chase, for nine-year-olds and above, including another Williams’ entry, Cap Du Nord.

The Jump Season Opener at Chepstow starts with the Unibet Jump Jockeys’ Derby at 12.50pm, with gates opening at 11.35am.

Welsh Jump Jockey Derby @ Chepstow (All proceeds go to LATCH Wales)

Kitty’s Light – 1/2

Recoup – 2/1

Captain’s Pick – 9/2

Pride of Nepal – 6/1

Myunclecharlie – 7/1

Uno Mas – 8/1

Iron Heart – 10/1

Gavin – 16/1

Sisters in the Sky – 16/1

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