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Welsh Horse Racing Preview

By James Steven

Lorcan Williams is one of the rising stars of the Welsh racing ranks and, after his best season yet, he could be set to feature in some of the sport’s biggest races with regular mount Golden Ace.

The brilliant Mares’ Novice Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival followed up at the track on Thursday with a dominant performance. She won at odds of 1-3 but proved her victory in March was no fluke as her West Country-based team got excited about next season.

She is among the leading fancies for the Mares Hurdle at next year’s Cheltenham Festival or could be backed at 50-1 for the Champion Hurdle with DragonBet.

Williams, who with 27 winners has enjoyed his finest campaign on record, told the Racing Post after the race: “I think she’s ten times better on softer ground but she did it well and she’s got one hell of an engine. Her jumping still needs to improve a little bit and that’s something we can improve. I’m very lucky and fortunate to ride her and hopefully we can nick a Grade 1 somewhere.”

New visitor at Ffos Las

Willie Mullins has achieved almost all there is in jump racing but he has never trained a winner in Wales.

Ireland’s leading jumps trainer though will bid to break that duck on Monday when sending 

Rath Gaul Boy to the Dragonbet Best Odds On Welsh Sport Novices’ Hurdle (1.42) on Monday. 

Rath Gaul Boy is 4-11 with Dragonbet to win and help his chances of being named champion jumps trainer in Britain when the season concludes at Sandown on Saturday.

Bowen gives it one final push

There is still a jockeys’ championship to decide with Sean Bowen trailing Harry Cobden by nine going into the final few days of the campaign.

It would take something phenomenal for Bowen to turn around the scores but he has enjoyed a fine week, riding five winners.

His pursuit will take him to the Dragonbet-sponsored card at Ffos Las on Monday and Southwell on Tuesday while he has a variety of options for the rest of the week.

Flying form

There were 20 other jockeys taking him on but Welsh jockey David Probert came out on top in the week’s big betting handicap – the Spring Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

He flew home on the Jack Channon-trained Metal Merchant to scoop the £70,000 pot and continue a brilliant start to the Flat season.

The Welsh wonder has already notched up 38 winners in 2024 and is well on track to reach the century for a sixth time in the last seven years.

He has already got some big rides to look forward to next week including the exciting Metallo in the Esher Cup at Sandown on Friday. The runner represents the same team behind Metal Merchant.

Brace in running for O’Brien job

News of Paddy Brennan’s retirement could open the door for a huge opportunity for Welsh jockey Connor Brace.

Brace has long been number two at the growing force which is the Fergal O’Brien stable and is in the running to replace him at the top job at the Gloucestershire stable.

Since Brennan’s retirement at Cheltenham on Wednesday he has taken four of the 14 rides the stable have sent out and is set to be busy in the run-up to the season finale at Sandown on Saturday.

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