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Banwen Miners
Llwyn Ddu
Monday 4th May 2015
by Maria Evans

When John Mathias rode a six timer at the Tivyside back in 2011, I'm sure he could he only dream that one day it would happen again. But at the new Banwen Miners course at Llwyn Ddu on Bank Holiday Monday, that dream became a reality, where John kicked home six of the eight winners, naming the day Mighty Mathias Monday. The new course at Glais, Swansea attracted a bumper crowd, and credit must go to the organisers of the day, who successfully pulled off the tough task of finding and building a new track.

The first of those winners came in the Confined, where Harpsy Cord made it a hatrick of winners at West Wales meetings, for the Mathias led 'The Harpsy Cord Partnership'. The pair made easy work of the 6 runner field, which saw them forge clear on the top bend of the new course. Early leader and pace setter Kusadasi could only manage third, with Nishay gaining his another second of the season. Harpsy Cord was the first of a four timer for trainer, and Mathias' partner Amber Griffiths.

Mathias is well known for his partnership with Rosies Peacock, and so it was only fitting that the 12 year old should be involved on this day, and he was winner number two of the day for the jockey in the Mens Open. The job was made a little easier when Sir Du Bearn lost his jockey Peter Bryan at the 13th fence, but after taking the lead soon after, a win was never in doubt. Anger Management was as consistent as ever, finishing second under Evan David, with Molon Labe back in third.

Winner number three came in the Restricted, where Dream Bolt bolted clear three out, relishing the flat and sharp course. The 7 year old has been knocking on the door all season, and the 4/6 favourite justified his odds coming home an official 20 lengths clear, in third gear, making it the first winner of a double for trainer Jane Jones. Hunky Dorey and Bradley Gibbs came home in second, with Kims Quest, who had been unlucky on the bottom bend when getting cut up resulting in losing 5 lengths, was third under Darach Skelly.

The Intermediate was won by Gale Force Lucey, and was winner number 4 of the day for Mathias, where the pair made their move 3 out – a favourite spot for Mathias it seems! He wasn't alone this time though, with Colley Row and James Tudor attempting to follow suit, but despite rallying on well, couldn't quite catch the pair, who came home a length clear in the end, for The MPN Club. This was winner number two of the day for trainer Amber Griffiths.

The Open Maiden was divided on the day, and gladly so for Mathias and his connections, who went home with both winners. The first division was won by Gardiners Hill, the second part of a double for trainer Jane Jones. Once again Mathias made his move three from home, and quickly went clear from longtime leader Earth Tremor and Bradley Gibbs. This was the five year olds first start over fences in the UK, but has had plenty of experience Point to Pointing in Ireland, with the latest run coming in March. Divison 2 went the way of Bandol, who was another winner for Mathias' partner Amber Griffiths.

The 7 year old had shown little in his earlier races, but conditions seemed to suit here, and he responded well to the pressure of Perky Bob, after getting past him and Nick Williams approaching two out. It was a patient ride from Mathias, who made his move as his usual place. Perky Bob had made a lot of the running, but couldn't quite go with the winner in the end. He's sure to lose his maiden tag soon though.

The winner of the Ladies Open Highly Unlikely, was another winner for trainer Amber Griffiths, and made all under Charlotte Evans who works for Griffiths. From flag fall, the pair was unchallenged, and made easy work of it all coming home an official six lengths in front of Khachaturian and Jodie Hughes. This was winner number two of the season for the pair, who have formed a solid partnership throughout the year.

The first race of the day, the Hunt Race, went the way of Boyfromnowhere under Nick Williams. The eight year old had been running under rules for Rebecca Curtis until last December, but had to have an operation on his back in January. This run was more of a confidence booster than anything for the horse, under new trainer Gareth Moore, but after an easy victory, a return back under rules is now more than likely. Mumbles Pier and Richard Patrick came home in second, with Minellaformarriage and Kristian Hamner picking up the places.

The next West Wales Point to Point comes on the next Bank Holiday, on Sunday May 24th. The West Wales Area Club meeting will take place at Lydstep, with the first race off at 2pm.

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