West Wales Area Club
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again is the motto the newly formed West Wales Area Club committee took as inspiration, and third time lucky, the weather finally came good for them, after two previous postponements due to unraceable weather in January.
A lot of hard work by course builders and volunteers had been done on the course at Lydstep near Tenby, as both the fences and the ground had been put back in first class racing order, only six days after the South Pembrokeshire Hunt had staged their meeting at the same venue on Easter Monday.
The feature race of the day was the ‘Cynthia Higgon Mixed Open Race’, sponsored by the Wales and West Bookmakers Association, who wanted to express their recognition of Cynthia’s 40 years of service as the West Wales area secretary and also her contribution to the sport of Point to Pointing nationally, a duty she retired from at the end of 2009. This race was won by The Supreme Racing Club’s Misamon; the Kristal Harris trained 7 year old which was the middle leg of a treble for jockey John Mathias, who stands second to Richard Burton in the National Riders title.
John’s second winner was onboard Lydstep Hills, owned, trained and bred by his father Philip, who came nicely away from his rivals two fences from home to record a 10 length win from the Michael Byrne ridden Princesse de Rome, in the ‘Restricted Race’ - with the Dai Rees’ mare Rith Bob completing the treble in the ‘Members Conditions Race’. This makes it the 5th treble of the season for John and finds Rith Bob at the top of the leader board for the West Wales Area leading horse award. An entry for the Dunraven Novices Hunter chase at Chepstow on April 23rd is next on her agenda.
Grey kid has been a great servant to connections, none more so than jockey Nathan Deakin, where today he provided Nathan with his third career win in the ‘Novice Riders Race, recording the fastest time of the day in the process. Qualified with the Pembrokeshire the 12-year-old popular grey has now won seven point to points.
Although sent off the 5-4 favourite for the ‘Mares Maiden Race’ John Mathias and It’s Posh Totty only got to sample the taste of Lydstep turf, when falling on the first circuit. The race was won by Llanharry’s Evan David and the 2nd favourite Illysantachristina, who were more surefooted than many of its rivals and a better jump at the last fence made sure of victory by only 2 lengths from Jodie Hughes on Hum. This was a first winner for Owner/trainer Marc Cohen, where the 7-year-old mare is one of only two horses at his Merthyr yard.
In the ‘Horses and Geldings Maiden Race, Luke Price, fresh from recording a double the day before at the Glamorgan meeting came home with 3 lengths to spare on his own Davids Day, a horse he also trains himself in the afternoons after doing his morning stint as work rider at Tim Vaughan’s racing yard at Cowbridge.
Point-to-Point action returns to West Wales on Bank Holiday Monday the 3rd May at the Banwen Miners meeting held at Pentreclwydau, Resolven in the Vale of Neath, first race 1:30pm, preceded by Pony racing which starts at 12 Noon.