by Alison Morris

After a day at Howick, which was frustrating and enjoyable in equal measures, we decided to leave the talented but soooo temperamental grey git at home and go west for a day in the sunshine. Itís a rare thing, a dry and warm day at Erw Lon in March and it was best to make the most of it.

The crowd was probably not as large as the organisers would have liked, too much money lost the previous day by the race going public I should think, but the hardy annuals were there. A quick stroll across the course found Roger Wilcox by the beer tent, Rowley Miles in the enclosure and John Nick studying form at the paddock side; the Hughes family had sent a delegation to worry the bookies and so the scene was set.

The first race was won by Hywel Evans and Jack Cade; who had the unenviable task of finishing alone, this was made doubly difficult as the horse had obviously burst a blood vessel at some stage and Hywel had to be very gentle in his handling to bring him back in one piece.

The Mens open was the first of three races in which Dai Jones would be sick of the sight of Tim Vaughan and the first of four in which he would have to settle for second best. PowerNGlory, wearing blinkers for what I believe I am correct in saying was the first time, saw off the challenge of Dawnís Cognac in a tight finish. He weighed in as favourite, but Iím sure my pound didnít knock his price of four to one down that much so someone somewhere was a happy man!

Timmy led the procession again in the Intermediate, this time with the free running Noaff, another for John Moore, and saw off DS again who was substituting for the still sore Steve Blackwell on Reefer Dancer.

The Ladies open went to that lovely old horse Oscail An Doras, beautifully ridden by Emily Jones. Hilary Miles now has part shares in a silver polish company, or so she tells me! Bethan Williams had a nasty looking flying lesson from Market Springer at the last but will doubtless be back for more this weekend.

Not happy with handing the winners spot over to any one else for more than one race Tim Vaughan took it back on Johnnyís Gone in the restricted, from guess who? Yes you have it Dai Jones and Books Way.

The three maiden races were split according to age and the first division of the youngsters races went to Itsallupintheair and Amanda Meakins. Evan Williams and Parisian View took the second division from Carw Lad and Dai Jones (again!)

Mark Lewis took the older horse division with Home Again who set a strong pace on the final circuit.

With the Welsh season underway at last, we have plenty to look forward to with two meetings on the coming weekend and more dry sunny weather on the way.