by Colin Cross


The South Wales Point to Point season got off to an excellent start on Saturday at Howick. A good attendance with plenty of runners, without a cloud in the sky. What more does anyone want?

There were 10 races, the winners were as follows:

The Hunt Race was won by 14-year-old  KERRY SOLDIER BLUE ridden by Robert Stephens, son of former rider David Stephens. This was Robert's first Point-to-Point winner although he has already been successful under rules.

Restricted Open (Div 1) was won by FELLOO (IRE) who was brought with a well-timed challenge by Edward Walker to overhaul ARCTIC KING and GLACIAL BOY.

The second division saw a facile victory for CANDLESTONE CASTLE and Christian Williams. The favourite PHARPEN (IRE) pulled up early on and another well-fancied runner MR NEMO fell.

The Confined Hunts Steeplechase was won by CHIEF PREDATOR (IRE) ridden by Tommy Faulkner. He swept into the lead approaching three out and was never troubled. ANDY'S LAD was second and COURT LENEY third.

CHERRY GOLD made virtually all the running to land the Men's Open under Evan Williams. Evan's yard has been under a cloud so far this season but the style of CHERRY GOLD'S victory would indicate that normal service is about to be resumed! SMILE PLEEZE and MOON TIGER filled the minor places.

Five runners faced the starter for the Ladies Open. The winner was MYSTIC NATIVE and Candy Thomas who had a sustained duel over the final half mile with HEE'S A DANCER before gaining the upper hand. LAUREL SEEKER was third.

The first division of the  Confined Maiden was split. The first part was won by WEE JUNIOR ridden by evergreen Joe Price. Joe was determined to keep a firm hold on the seven year old, who stands well over 17 hands and appears to be a horse with a future.  TWILIGHT DANCER kept on well to be second.

The second part of Division one was won by ABRAKADALPHA (IRE) under a patient ride from Steve Blackwell. CARLING ELECT was challenging when falling two out, but looked to be coming off second best. His rider Christian Williams was dragged for a few yards as he was caught up by his stirrups, fortunately he was uninjured.

Division two appeared to be in safe keeping with ALMOST A DAY and Dave Mansell, they came to the last fence with a comfortable lead only to capsize and interfere with GOOD MORNING, unseating Robert Stephens. This handed the race to RUBIAN PRINCESS and Lucy Rowsell, RUN TO THE GLEN and MODESTY FORBIDS took minor honours.

Division three was won by MENSCH (IRE) ridden by William Oakes after most of the fancied runners managed to run out or fall.

The re-arranged Brecon and Talybont Fixture takes place at Llanfrynach, near Brecon on Sunday 23rd March. First race 12 noon. Details from Clive Thomas Tel 01874 611554.

Tivyside Hunt hold their meeting at Cilwendeg, Boncath on Saturday 22nd March. First race 12 noon. Details from Dewi Lewis Tel. 01994 419272.