enduring near Arctic conditions at Bonvilston on Saturday, it was more
than a little daunting to drive through hammering rain on the way to Tenby
on Monday morning. But optimism was rewarded and we arrived at the Lydstep
track to the sight of gate stewards wearing shirtsleeves and sunglasses.
race was thought to be a forgone conclusion for Never in Debt and Marc
Barber, but Celtic Friend, who was having one of his “going” days,
took off like the proverbial train for Hywel Evans and was never headed.
Never in Debt, whose jumping was less than fluent over the downhill
fences, managed to scrap his way back into second place.
sported two maiden races, one for all ages over three miles, and a
youngster’s maiden over two and a half. The first of these went to Tim
Vaughan, who was still getting his blood pressure back to normal after his
ride on Deep Dale at Bonvilston. Oscars Express, was always to the fore
and finally out pointed Mission Lord at the last. Having looked as though
he was weakening coming up the hill, the horse took Tim on a joy rode down
the hill before he could stop after the finish. Perhaps there is an
alternative career for Tim as a skier!
youngster’s maiden went to the favourite Twilight Dancer and Marc
Barber, from Books Whirl back in third and Pam’s Oak in second. The
well-fancied Hensil faded badly under Nick Williams coming back up the
hill. Both maidens were eventful affairs, with a couple of refusals and a
spectacular departure by Hywel Evans right in front of the crowd.
open was not the hottest to be contested this year, and saw Polo Ridge who
had never completed in a point to point before, scoring under Bridget
Lewis, he set off at the front and didn’t see another horse on his way
round. Former Hunter Chase winner Sip Of Brandy could only manage third
behind the plucky little Fair Charmeur whose size belies her huge heart.
Open was a match between Sparkling Spring (Evan Williams) and OO Eee Be
(Dai Jones). Sparkling Spring was odds on of 1-6 and betting was only
taken on how far he would win by. The race turned out to be material for a
comic sketch when Oo Eee Be declined to take the first bend and went
straight over the wire fence into the next field. Never one to give up
easily, Dai found a way out of the field through the crowd and came back
onto the track to complete the course for second place. But he still
needed both hands on one rein to prevent going back over the fence after
skills were rewarded on the rest of the card where he scored a double,
Gold Kriek in the Intermediate (Gold Kriek must be heading the area young
horse awards now) from the well backed Johnny’s Gone and Poachers Paddy
in the restricted. Poachers Paddy was having his first run of the season
and finished full of running ahead of Gerry and Tom who does wonderfully
well for a horse that is blind in one eye. Oh So Brave was pulled up under
Evan Williams and doesn’t seem able to recapture the promise that he
showed when winning at Bonvilston last year.
attendance note I have never seen so many cars at Lydstep, they were still
rolling in before the Mens Open…this is one hunt that must be patting
their healthy bank balance this morning!
CONGRATULATIONS: To Evan Williams and Cherry Gold for their run away success in the Dunraven Bowl. A steering wheel is on the way…