Westerner Conformation

Promising Pair Complete Double For Westerner

Welsh Charger (5g Westerner - Answer Ur Phone, by Flemensfirth) completed the first leg of a double for Westerner on Thursday when justifying favouritism in the Novices’ Hurdle at Ludlow.

The Alastair Ralph-trained bay had finished in the first two on all of his previous starts over hurdles, including a course and distance win last month. Reunited with Jonathan Burke on Thursday, he raced prominently throughout the two mile contest and was asked to quicken from three out. Ridden after the second last, he ran on well to lead by half a length on the line.

Owned by Jones, Spiers and Hartwell, Welsh Charger was bred by S Shanahan out of point-to-point winner Answer Ur Phone (Flemensfirth).

At Chepstow later that afternoon, the Harry Fry-trained Queen Annie (5m Westerner - Ben’s Turn, by Saddlers’ Hall) got off the mark in the mares’ bumper.

The daughter of Westerner joined Fry after finishing second to Ooh Betty (Westerner) in a four-year-old mares’ maiden and finished a promising fourth on her rules debut in December.

Sent off favourite at Chepstow, she made most of the running under Ben Bromley and was ridden as they entered the final furlong. Headed inside the final 110 yards, she ran on gamely to regain the advantage in the shadow of the post.

Speaking after the race, the winning rider said, “Queen Annie is a lovely mare and we know she likes soft ground. I wanted to make it a strong-run race and ideally would have wanted to sit third, but she's kept up a nice gallop and picked up when I asked her.”

Owned by John McGeady and bred by Pat Connell, Queen Annie is a full-sister to Listed bumper winner Bonttay (Westerner).