SATURDAY 19 APRIL 2003
by Ian Protheroe
This year's Pentyrch Hunt meeting was held at Redlands Farm,
Bonvilston in a rather chilly easterly wind. The temperature was
approximately 15 degrees centigrade colder than during the previous
afternoon! Unfortunately, the predicted rain had not arrived, and despite
255 entries, the number of runners was disappointingly low. However, the
course had been well-watered - some said too well-watered - and the going
was generally classed as good to firm. This springs dry weather meant that
the course did not have such a thick covering of grass as usual.
The opening a members' race had 4 runners, and was won by the
odds-on favourite DETROIT DAVY, ridden by local favourite Evan Williams.
DETROIT DAVY was left clear when GYPSY HAZE fell at the final open ditch,
and won virtually unopposed.
The confined race attracted 10 entries. The favourite for
this event was COURT LENEY, again ridden by Evan Williams. However COURT
LENEY fell at the first fence, leaving 4 horses to set the pace. As the
horses went out on to the final circuit, SPIRIT PRINCE - a winner at
Ystradowen last week - set the pace under his rider Andrew Hanly, with the
New Zealand bred AKINA, ridden by Christian Williams in close pursuit.
Unfortunately, SPIRIT PRINCE went the wrong side of a marker on the final
circuit when looking to mount a serious challenge. This left AKINA well
clear and finished virtually alone. I am not sure exactly what happened to
spirit Prince as the incident took place out of sight of the main
The third race on the card was a point-to-point owners and
Riders Association club race for maiden mares. This initially attracted a
field of 10, although Krystal Brock, trained by Evan Williams, was
withdrawn as she became very agitated in the paddock. The favourite for
this event was she's my baby, ridden by Tim Vaughan. She's my baby set the
pace through out the race, and eventually won quite come fully from so.
and little Daphne. The five-year-old Little Daphne showed much promise on
her first race in public.
The intermediate race only attracted five runners, the
favourite being a real will to, brought down from Warwickshire by the way
the Cohen family. This French bread horse has shown good form in its two
previous wins this year, and looked very impressive in the paddock.
Although challenged for much of the race by a pre-season girl, ridden by
Christian Williams, a religious eventually won quite comfortably from
Cracker ticket run by Tim Vaughan. I feel sure that every lot has many
wins at a higher level to come.
The feature race of the day was of the Welsh 0.2. In Grand
National, over four miles. The joint favourites for this race were down,
who had won the race under Sam Waley-Cohen last year, and General Custer,
ridden by Evan Williams who was second in the same race last year. General
Custer put down under much more pressure this year, but unfortunately
slipped up on the Flat after the final open ditch. My own perception of
the event was that don't was still likely to prevail. Eventually, down one
of by a distance from Treasure Again in seconds and Blockbuster in third.
The most competitive race of the day was Division One of the
Restricted. The bookmakers seemed to have some difficulty in forming a
market for this race, but eventually Camden calomel, ridden by Mark
Barber, was made an uneasy favourite. However, the race was eventually won
by a it saw it in the air, ridden, owned, and trained by Amanda meetings.
Alpine fugue was a fast-finishing second, having appeared to have been
caught out for pace approaching the second-last fence. This is another
horse which should soon be in the winner's enclosure.
The second division of the Restricted was comfortably won by
Dante's promise, a horse qualified to ride with the Beaufort. Although
spending most of the race in second place, the odds-on favourite won quite
comfortably in the end from southern Belize, ridden by Amanda meetings.
Southern Belize must really like the Bonvilston course, as are the only
time it has completed in its last seven starts, it won a maiden here at
last year, and finished second in this race. In all other races the horse
has been poured up. The form she showed here suggests that she should be
capable of winning a Restricted, perhaps at one of the two further
meetings to be held on this course this year.
The first division of the young horse maiden was very
disappointing, as only four horses went to post. One of these and shipped
its rider at the 4th fence, and of the second and third horses were poured
out with a complete circuit to go. This left Beecham a Observer, ridden by
Nick Williams as Evan Williams had stood down following his earlier fall,
to finish alone. Christian Williams's and Mr P Callaghan were asked by the
stewards to explain why a they both pulled up with a circuit to go, but
the stewards accepted their explanations. It should be pointed out that
Beecham Observer jumped quite sharply to the left at every fence, which
could have created quite a problem at this a right-handed circuit if they
had been more runners in the race.
The final race on the card, Division Two of the young horse
Maiden, produced six runners, but by this time very few spectators. This
produced a win for deep Dale, ridden by Tim Vaughan, the most experienced
of these younger horses April Sands, ridden by Scarlett Major, was the
only other finisher a distance behind. Despite the second division of the
maiden being a more competitive affair, the time for the race was three
seconds slower than that of the First Division.