by Alison Morris

After the sunshine and sunglasses of Llanvapley on Wednesday night it was a regretful return to Barbour's and wellie's as we headed towards the coast on Saturday afternoon. The hard working stalwarts that are the point to point committee of Llangeinor Hunt had done some good work rotavating and watering the course to provide a cushion on what would have otherwise been firm going.

Its an unwritten South Welsh tradition that the Hunt Members race of this particular meeting is normally one of the best of the whole calendar, so it was a little disappointing to see only three horses forward from some interesting entries. The spoils went to Fiona Wilson and Roger Wilcox's Hee's a Dancer. Plenty of money went down with the pair to the start and there was a hushed silence when the gelding nearly lost his footing at the top bend. The victory was some compensation for Roger who had paid James Tudor's fine after failing to weigh in for fourth at Llanvapley on Another Justice.

For those of you who have never been there Laleston is a tight track, better suited to motorbikes than thoroughbreds; but, like the handicapper, it brings horses together as the long striding speedsters cannot get the run on the smaller handier types who can be held up. Jumping comes into play and some very exciting finishes are the result.

The confined race was no exception with nothing to choose between Evan Williams and Silver Minx and Dai Jones on the favourite Torus Star. The final bend is always crucial to the result here as there is a very short run to the last and a very short run in; Evan got the better turn and made it to the line a couple of lengths ahead of his rival. Oscail an Doras was a decent performer under rules and provided owner Rowley Miles with his second win of the season under Marc Barber. It would not be fair to say how much Rowley paid for the horse, but I wish they all came with that price tag and that much ability!

David Brace's Marico is a victim of his own enthusiasm and can run short of oxygen at the end of a race so it was good to see Evan William's mother Mary Evans on stand by with electrolytes and the horse ambulance at the ready should they be needed. Thankfully Saturday was not one of those days and the evens favourite walked back to the paddock after his victory over Pryvate Time under his own steam.

Andrew Price is riding as well as he ever has this season and he produced John Parfitt's Amari with a beautifully timed run to snatch victory in the youngster's maiden from Evan Williams (again) and Sohapara.

The older horses division was split on the day, which was a good thing as the punters would have been in for a very short day otherwise, and division one went to Mr Williams yet again, this time on Ormonde Castle.    

Purchase of the month must go to Jack Rowsell who saw Cosy Ride advertised in the local edition of the FreeAds, and promptly went out and bought the horse. His prompt action paid off as daughter in law Lucy drove the horse to victory in the final race of the day, left in a clear lead after Skimabit and Nick Williams crashed out at the last. Will Pugh, the son of the horses former owner was as delighted as anyone, although where (according to Will) his father is reputed to keep his brains cannot be printed!!

Despite the weather the sport provided was good, as were the contents of Gavin Hughes's car boot by all accounts; but all of us present witnessed what was in some ways the passing of an era when Touch and Pass was pulled up in the Mixed Open.  A recurrence of the tendon injury that kept him off the track in 2000 means that this grand old stager will now make his part time occupation as a trekking horse a permanent one. This was to have been his final race anyway, but it would have been nice to see him go out in a grander fashion. In all Touch and Pass was the victor of 18 races, and kick started the careers of both Christian and Nick Williams. What a shame it is that there are not more about like him.