by Alison Morris

Since its conception some 4 years ago Pentreclwydau has seen more than its fair share of drama. Monday's meeting proved to be no exception. The day started inconspicuously enough with a two-runner members race. Boozeandyoulose, pulling like the proverbial train on the first circuit came home a fence clear of Pantypwll Boy. Tim Vaughan has a good record around here but that proved to be his only winner of the day.

The confined race went to the awesome Cherry Gold, who, as Eddie keeps reminding us, has never been out of the first four in any of his point to points since he was a five year old. Carrying a six-pound penalty he was eased into the lead by Evan Williams in the back straight. Derring Dove looked big in the paddock, but considering he was still out in the field on February his third was a good run, and he will be one to look out for when he returns to the regulation tracks in the summer. Personally I was pleased that the victory went to Cherry Gold, firstly because he is a true point to point horse, and secondly because it proved me right in a pre race argument that he would beat Derring Dove!

The four mile mixed open looked to be a sure second victory for Evan Williams, only for the horse to blunder the last and deposit him on the floor, despite Herculean efforts by Evan to stay in the plate. The victory went to Amanda Meakins and thirteen-year old River Lossie, trained by her in West Wales.

Marico looked set to make amends for Evan in the intermediate, until a blunder in the back straight cost him his chances, amazingly the horse was back in front as they approached two out, but his extra effort had taken its toll and he could not withstand the challenge of Torus Star. Evans team and the vet were on hand to administer oxygen to the horse, and he did not return to the paddock. It was a case of nearly but not quite for Evan again, but sadly his day was only to get worse.

The restricted race saw a thrilling three way finish, in which James Tudor and the Charlotte Williams trained Stormhill Daydream snatched victory on the line from Poachers Paddy and Cosy Ride. The judge must be in need of a trip to Specsavers, as no one else spotted the length that he did between first and second!

The two maiden races went to horses from outside the area, the second winner Hashley, returning sore and not coming into the winners enclosure. I make no excuses for not remembering the winner of the first division as I, along with so may others, was too distracted by the terrible sight of Pull Off, who had broken his leg at the last. This lovely young horse was having his first outing at a point to point, and was finishing in second place. It is a mercy of some sort that Evan did not come off the horse but was able to pull him up and restrain him quickly. Many people, myself included, say it was the worst injury they have witnesses at a point to point, and the hitherto noisy crown fell into a stunned silence as they waited for the screens to be erected around the horse. These seemed to take a long time to come, and it was sad that Mary Evans could not have been protected from the crowd in her distress. The vet also had to fight through the crowds to make her way into the track and perhaps in future as easier access route would be better. Many people returned to their cars afterwards, the day having been spoiled for them.    

For those of us who own, train, ride or just work with race horses it was a painful reminder of what can happen; and in the minds of many as they left the track would have been the all to appropriate words, "There but for the grace of God go I."