by Alison Morris

Anyone who got a soaking at Laleston last year will have read the weather reports on Saturday morning and gone armed with a wet suit. Not so Chris Pennycate, who having scrounged a lift forgot to remove his coat from his own car, and found his way into the Men’s changing tent (his usual refuge) barred by a stern looking official!

Mecca Prince won the member’s race after the well-fancied Danger Baby called it quits under William Oakes. Welsh Warrior continued his excellent role as a schoolmaster and secured second place for his young rider.

The Confined race contained two of the more dodgy characters (equine that is!) in Wales, in Harppy and Oo Eee Be. The much improved Sherbet Fizz was sent off favourite, with Val’s Well also gaining much support. The wet conditions were making the going slippery as the day wore on and “Fizzy” took a firm dislike to them, and already appeared to be struggling with half a circuit to go. The rumour that this was because I saddled the horse and not Dick Jones is not only untrue it is NOT FAIR!

Prior to this Oo Eee Be had caused another burst of excitement when he dodged out on the first circuit with Lucy Rowsell and then continued to cart her around the field aided and abetted by the loose Ballymaloe Boy. The chase ended in both horses taking the hedge onto the road, an event that Lucy only avoided by baling off. An inspection of the hedge later disclosed a stake and wire at that point; so it is a mercy that Lucy did jump off and not end up impaled had her and the horse fallen. Back in the race Val’s Well was quickly scoring a double for James Tudor pursued home by the still recalcitrant Harppy, who delighted his owners and rewarded them for their perseverance. John Keen had already sold his trailer, having virtually given up on the horse and had to borrow his neighbours to bring the horse, which was also for sale, to the races.

The Ladies Open saw a return to winning ways for the lovely Rajati, who fairly took off after the final bend to give Lucy Rowsell a much deserved winner. It’s only fair to say that Lucy has more “bottle” than the shelves in her husband's pub and she does not always get the success she deserves.

Moon Tiger made the short journey from Dil Thomas’s yard (across the road) to romp away with the Men’s Open under a very confident Dai Jones. David Brace’s former star Gunner Boon, who towered over everything in the paddock, looked unimpressive back in second and never troubled the winner in any way.

Christian Williams had brought James Jenkins up from Paul Nicholl’s yard for the day and may have questioned his own wisdom when he found himself battling to the line in the restricted with James on a horse trained by his own father! Chris won the battle with Lisa Day’s Glen Mist, holding Carling Elect in second place.

Neither had much luck in the youngster’s maiden with James biting the dust at the last and Chris taking a detour through the wing. The race went to the pacesetting Carl’s Boy who was dismounted by John Llewellyn after the finish but seemed fine by the time he got back to the horsebox. 

The older horses maiden contained some very inexperienced sorts and the field was quickly decimated, leaving Sohapara to come home unchallenged under Dai Jones. A word of sympathy needs to be said here for Lucy Rowsell had been placed on the horse in its two previous runs only to have the ride “poached” by her own brother-in -law!

All it seems is fair, in love, war and point to pointing...