David Llewellyn's 12-year-old homebred bay gelding Rosies Peacock notched up win number 25 (24 point-to-points and 1 hunter chase) when winning the Bonhams men's open race at the Curre & Llangibby Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at bitterly cold Howick on Sunday.
Partnered, as usual, by reigning Welsh champion rider John Mathias, Rosies Peacock was disputing the lead with Mumbles Pier, partnered by Richard Patrick, which unfortunately came down at the second last fence leaving Rosies Peacock, the oldest horse in the race, to finish a distance ahead of Supreme Regime.
Mathias, who said that Rosies Peacock hated the holding ground, also took the restricted race on Dai Rees' Romeo Is Bleeding which won by eight lengths from Jack Joner in a time which was four seconds quicker than Rosies Peacock had taken to win the men's open. Romeo Is Bleeding, an ex-Irish nine-year-old bay gelding, will probably be seen under rules in the near future.
The ladies' open race, which carried a first prize of £200 to the winner, went to Minella For Party who was bought for £75,000 by Vale of Glamorgan trainer Tim Vaughan after winning an Irish maiden point-to-point in Ireland in 2011. Minella For Party, now trained by Victoria Collins in Ludlow, was ridden by Hannah Watson and scored by six lengths from Canshetrain. The odds-on favourite Lauberhorn was never in the hunt and finished way down the field. Owner/trainer Roger Willcox was really at a loss to explain the horse's poor run after it had won at the Brecon & Talybont the previous weekend.
Charlotte Prichard, who is a good judge of racing pace, put one over her five male rivals when winning the members' race on Jeanne Thomas's eight-year-old bay gelding Stony Road which came home a distance ahead of the favourite Doc Wells after Castlegrace, disputing the lead, fell four fences from home. Stony Road, which also won the best turned out award, is trained by Charlotte's father hunt racing stalwart Ian Prichard at Pontypridd.
The eight year olds and over PPORA club members conditions race, was won by the pacemaking Awesome George who, partnered by Leo Mahon, won by four lengths from Stratford Stroller. The favourite Harpsy Cord, ridden by John Mathias, finished a further eight lengths away in third place.
One horse Welsh enthusiasts will not be seeing again is Tim Vaughan's eleven-year-old Golan Way who blotted his copybook again by being slowly away in the men's open race and then refusing to jump the first fence just like he had at Llanfrynach. Golan Way, a faller in last year's Grand National, who always looked a picture in the paddock, was a good winner over hurdles and jumps but sadly those days are now long behind him. Apparently, Tim Vaughan had decided his charge had 'run' his last race before being called in by the stewards who had decided enough is enough!
The first division of the split open maiden race went to Pete Ponting's Sweet Like You who, partnered by Danny Burton, easily accounted for the odds-on favourite Union Du Chenet, while the second half went to David Brace's home bred five-year-old Dunraven Royal which won by 16 lengths from Stainless Steel who, like Dunraven Royal, is qualified with the Llangeinor Hunt.
David Brace OBE, who runs the Dunraven Stud at Pyle near Bridgend, was celebrating his 64th birthday and he had plenty more to smile about when his 13-year-old grandson Connor Brace won both pony races.
Connor won the 138cms and under open pony race on his grandfather's 12-year-old bay mare Molly V111 and the 148cms and under open pony race on Peateao also owned by his grandfather.