Meeting Report - Battle Won, War Lost

Belle Vue win the battle, but not the war as the ATPI Aces bow out of the Knockout Cup 82-74 on aggregate
18 May 2023 by
Hayley Bromley

BELLE Vue win the battle, but not the war in the Premiership Knockout Cup as the ATPI Aces bow out of the competition despite winning 54-36 against Wolverhampton on Thursday [May 18]. 

Their resolve to recover the 26-point deficit was admirable and in the latter half of the meeting still appeared mathematically possible, but it was a case of “close, but not close enough”.

The damage was done at Monmore Green back in April after the reigning Premiership league champions slumped to a 46-20 defeat, from which they have since bounced back flawlessly. 

And though they were missing two key players, with both Tom Brennan and Norick Blodorn on FIME Under 23 European Team duties in Germany, they still put in a strong offensive. 

Guest No.6 Paco Castagna, who hadn’t ridden the NSS since 2018, was kept busy by Aces team boss Mark Lemon and, by the end of the evening, had won the hearts of the Manchester crowd.

And Jaimon Lidsey raced to his first full 15-point maximum of the season with an impressive display of skill at the home of the ATPI Aces, with Dan Bewley dropping just one point from his five rides. 

Rising Star Jake Mulford also made his way onto the score charts after a slow start to his season and insists there’s still much more to come from him and the Belle Vue team this year.

He said: “Tonight was a great result for the team, at least at home, but I think the damage was done at Wolverhampton last month. It was a tough ask and we came very close to making it happen. 

“We didn’t come into this believing anything other than we could potentially pull it back and I think we came very close to doing that, so we are disappointed not to be going through.

“But on the night, we proved that we can cope without some key riders. Obviously it would’ve been great to have Tom [Brennan] and Norick [Blodorn] with us but we adapted. 

“Paco did an amazing job and I feel much more comfortable on the bike. I think with the lack of meetings recently and that layoff with concussion early season has gone against me a bit. 

“But I was happy with my performance. I got a couple of good points on the board, I felt quick and I’m starting to get to grips with the track and I feel things will only continue to improve going forward.” 

The next action in Manchester sees the Cool Running Colts take on the Mildenhall Fen Tigers on Friday, May 26 at 7:30pm in National Development League action. 

Then, the ATPI Aces again find themselves up against the Wolverhampton Wolves, this time in Premiership competition on bank holiday Monday, March 29 at 12:00pm. 

Meeting tickets, race day programmes, south stand parking and hospitality are now available to pre-book online at


Belle Vue 'ATPI' Aces 54: Jaimon Lidsey 15, Dan Bewley 12+2, Brady Kurtz 11, Charles Wright 9+2, Paco Castagna 5+1, Jake Mulford 2+2, Tom Brennan r/r.

Wolverhampton 'ParryS International' Wolves 36: Ryan Douglas 11, Steve Worrall 9, Zach Cook 7, Rory Schlein 4, Sam Masters 2+1, Justin Sedgmen 2+1, Kyle Bickley 1+1.

Wolverhampton win 82-74 on aggregate.

Image: Ian Charles

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