DESPITE a disappointing turnout of runners at Hereford Racecourse due to the unseasonal dry spell of weather affecting the ground on Sunday racegoers were treated to a success from the popular veteran chaser Innisfree ridden by Theo Gillard for trainer David Dennis, writes Graham Saveker.

Now 11 years old he had not won since January 2022 however 12 months ago Innisfree had finished a creditable third in the valuable Eider Chase, and with Gillard in the saddle he produced another fine display to win the three-mile one furlong veterans’ handicap chase for conditional jockeys.

Always travelling smoothly in the lead for Gillard and scored by eight and a half lengths.

Dennis remarked afterwards: “It was a big drop in class for him and I think field size is important, a small field suited him. Theo got him in a nice rhythm and he jumped impeccably. It never looked in doubt to be honest.

“He’s been a great horse to train and I’m delighted for his owners Lorna Hardwick and Bob Allum.”

Trainer Joe Tizzard and stable jockey Brendan Powell are continuing to score winners regularly and Le Ligerien followed up a winning stable debut last time with success in the two-mile three furlong handicap chase.

Disputing the lead early on Le Ligerian steadily applied the pressure over the final three fences before drawing away steadily to score by seventeen lengths from runner-up Jobesgreen Lad.

The concluding Bumper race saw a promising success for the Henry Daly trained and Richard Patrick owned Mikimoto.

Patrick was content to make ground slowly throughout the race but his mount picked up nicely over the final two furlongs passing his rivals to score comfortably by two and a quarter lengths from Redbridge rambler. With the favourite Dasher a further two and three-quarter lengths back in third place.

With Daly also owning the winner, he was quick to promote that the winner would be available for sale.