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Saturday 28th April 2007
by Brian Lee
photos by Alun Sedgemore
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Rhys Hughes, 25, from Hengoed, head-lad to Llancarfan trainer Evan Williams, had his biggest success to date when landing the prestigious Dunraven Bowl for the South and West Wales Point-To-Point Championship at Chepstow last Friday evening on Denise Purchase's seven-year-old bay gelding Kilbreena who romped home 23 lengths ahead of Mister Bigtime, partnered by James Tudor.

A delighted Charlotte Owen riding her own horse Batchworth Lock finished a further couple of lengths away in third spot. Meanwhile, Llangeinor Hunt supporters worked hard spiking and watering the Laleston course for last Saturday's meeting and were rewarded with a crowd that many official racecourses would have envied.

Thirty-eight horses faced the starter during the afternoon and according to one former leading rider there would have been more runners but for the unexpected arrival of the dope testing team. He told me, "A lot of horses stayed in their boxes and it wasn't because of the firm going.”

Obviously, he didn't name names but for the sake of the sport let us hope this is only hearsay and rumour. However, two riders who will forever have happy memories of Laleston are Lucy Jones and Tom Houlbrooke as both rode their first winners.

Chartered accountant Lucy, 27, took the restricted on her husband Simon's Dancing Credit, who won by ten lengths from Silent Two, and Tom, 21, won the aged maiden on Colin Warner's Top Commander who scored by two lengths from Mr Fisher.

Mr Warner was absent owing to illness but trainer Beverley Thomas was soon on her mobile giving him the good news.

The winner of the Open Maiden Race for 8 Year Olds and Over is in the blue colours, Top Commander ridden by T Houlbrooke.
Next to him is Mr Fisher ridden by Josh Harris


The Restricted Race

The runners in the Restricted Race disappear into the woods

Before the start of the young horse maiden, Maggie Stephens told me that her Weldiva, the 16-1 rank outsider, was "a little shit” but she said, "If she settles down and gets around she will win.”

Well, capably ridden by Kyle Yates, Weldiva who was completing the course for the first time made every yard of the running to win by two lengths from Valuso.

Open Maiden Race for 5, 6 and 7 Year Olds
The eventual winner, Weldiva ridden by Kyle Yates, is on the far side.
On the near side is Lucy Rowsell on Arno River

James Tudor notched-up his 17th winner of the season on the odds-on favourite Minsgill Man in the confined after his main challenger Corkan ran out at the second last when holding every chance.

Confined Hunts Race
The winner is nearest to the camera, Minsgill Mans ridden by James Tudor.
On the far side is Corkan ridden by John Mathias

Corkan's rider, the fearless 16-year-old John Mathias, soon made amends by winning the men's open on Howdydoody by four lengths from the pacemaking The Mighty Sparrow.

Howdydoody like Dancing Credit is trained by John's father Philip Mathias.

John Mathias winner of the Men's Open Race on Howdydoody

Lucy Rowsell, standing in for the sidelined Hannah Wintle, took the Ladies' Open on Harry Wheeler's Ballyalbert who came home a distance clear of Beasley. Sophie Cornwell, who was unseated from St Helier, broke an arm and was taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

Jockeys for the Ladies Race

Ballyalbert ridden by Lucy Rowsell winner of the Ladies Race

In the members' race, the 1-4 favourite Bobosh, ridden by William Oakes, tried to make all the running but was beaten three parts of a length by King's Euro partnered by Tim Vaughan. I understand that because of a passport irregularity an objection has been made to the winner.

Kings Euro winner of the Members Race ridden by Tim Vaughan

Winner of  the 13.2HH Pony Race Stambrook Marquesa ridden by Connor Flint

Close finish to the 14.2HH Pony Race.
The winner is in the centre, Starlight Express ridden by Rachel Leyshon.

One hundred and sixty-nine horses have been entered for next Sunday's popular Tredegar Farmers meeting at Rhyd-y-Gwern, Lower Machen. Lady

Myfanwy, a winner at the Teme Valley last weekend, could meet Militaire, Twilight Dancer and Fleur De Nikos in the 24 strong ladies open while Cannon Bridge and Bucket Awl are just two of the 20 entries for the men's open. With 58 entered in the maiden race, division on the day looks likely. There are ten in the members' and Scotch Corner will have Vanilla Man to beat.

A total of 148 entries have been received for the Banwen Miners at Pentreclwydau on Monday and the Dunraven Bowl winner Kilbreena and stablemate Flinski are two of them.

Both meetings have a 2.p.m.start.

More than a £1,000 was raised for the injured Welsh point-to-point riders fund as a result of a charity football match in which the South Wales riders beat the West Wales riders by six goals to four. Rumours that several members of the South Wales team later failed a drug test are unfounded.

Finally, your correspondent was given the honour of picking the best turned out horse in the last race at Chepstow last Friday and selected Loita Hills which stormed home at odds of 8-1!

Llangeinor winners

Members: King's Euro (Tim Vaughan) 3-1

Confined:Minsgill Man (James Tudor) 2-5 fav

Ladies' Open: Ballyalbert (Lucy Rowsell) 4-6 fav

Men's Open: Howdydoody (John Mathias) 1-4 fav

Restricted: Dancing Credit (Lucy Jones) 5-2

Young Maiden:Weldiva (Kyle Yates) 16-1

Aged Maiden: Top Commander (Tom Houlbrooke) 4-5 fav

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