HER Majesty The Queen came away with a winner from Hereford Racecourse in the last meeting of 2019.

Heavy rain throughout the afternoon didn’t dampen the spirits of the racegoers attending and watched a rare royal runner in the form of Steal a March.

Partnered by jockey Nico de Boinville for trainer Nicky Henderson, the royal runner had displayed some promising form last time out when finishing fourth at Newbury and on the strength of that was sent off the 10/11 favourite in the two mile five and a half furlong novices hurdle against nine opponents.

Steal a March didn’t jump with any fluency in the early stages of the contest and after displaying shades of inexperience his chance seemed to have gone when Frisson Collonges went two lengths clear approaching the final hurdle.

However, responding well to pressure Steal a March challenged again and won a by nose.

Bridgnorth trainer Alastair Ralph was in form at the track scoring a double with his two runners Encounter A Giant in the extended three mile Beginners Chase and then Billingsley in the two mile novices chase.

Encounter A Giant had opposition from the well fancied Dan Skelton trained Supremely Lucky, but in the testing ground conditions it was the Ralph trained runner, partnered by top amateur ride Alex Edwards who stayed on the stronger to record a eight length win.

The double for Ralph was completed later in the afternoon when his Billingsley, ridden by Liam Treadwell, gained recompense for unseating his rider last time out at Bangor with a positive round of jumping and determinedly staying on for a two and a half length win over the Tom Symonds trained Saint de Vassy.

The Tom Lacey trained Outlaw Jesse James was a well supported runner in the meetings concluding bumper race, but was out of luck on the heavy ground and finished down the field as the 11/10 favourite Hollymount Holly was a convincing winner.

Ridden by David Bass for trainer Kim Bailey, the winner led from the start and the £62,000 purchase following an Irish point to point win stayed on strongly and the five-year-old son of Doyoun should score again.