Racing mourns bookmaker’s death
MEMBERS of the late John Lovell’s family made the long journey from Cardiff to Cilwendig on Sunday to see his horse, Sams Lad, land the restricted race.
Sams Lad, who is trained by Abbi Vaughan at Aberthin, near Cowbridge, was the first leg of a first ever double for Deano Coleman, who also landed the first division of the maiden race on Norman Jones’ Silver Story.
Abbi Vaughan’s husband, National Hunt trainer Tim Vaughan, in paying tribute to Mr Lovell, who was killed in a motoring accident last Monday, said: “John was exceptionally supportive of my racing business and secured new owners for me.
“He always seemed to say the right thing to help me move forward. We will miss him tremendously.”
There was a minute’s silence before racing in memory of Cardiff bookmaker Mr Lovell, whose funeral will be at Thorn Hill Crematorium, Cardiff, on April 21.
James Isaac, whose claim to fame is that 50 years ago when riding No Thoroughfare he beat Colin Davies, of Persian War fame, riding his crack hunter chaser Master Copper at the Pentyrch Hunt races, saddled his first winner in around 10 years when “family pet” – 10-year-old Leahy – won the John Lovell- sponsored aged horse maiden race at the Ystrad Taf Fechan Hunt Steeplechases.
A delighted James joked: “I bought Leahy from the Pontypridd Emporium – Jack Rowsell, a well-known horse dealer – and all the family including me, my wife Delia, children and grand children ride him at home.”
Leahy, who came with a good late run to jump the last fence alongside Deloughtane, was well ridden by Rhys Hughes, who was riding his 14th winner of the season.
Hengoed’s Daniel Aldridge, 16, chalked up his first win in just four rides when landing the restricted on his 11-year-old bay mare Dracaena, who won by eight lengths from Well Mick.
The pacemaking favourite Tinalliat fell at the last when in second place and her rider Lee Evans had earlier won the young horse maiden on Fishguard Lily, who had eight lengths to spare from Little Miss Monty after the odds-on Up The Boreen had fallen when prominent five fences from the finish.
There was an exciting finish to the confined race, in which Willie Oakes on Mvezo held off the strong challenge of El Corredor by a head with Bob Bites Back a further head away in third place.
El Corredor’s rider, Lucy Pearce Rowsell, thought she had just got up on the line but Willie said: “My horse crawled over the last but he has a long neck and just held on.”
Boy wonder Rhys Flint brought his season’s tally of wins to 13 when winning the members’ race on the prolific Lady Myfanwy, who won by six lengths from Billy Lane.
In the men’s open, Complete Outsider from the Devonshire area was backed from 20-1 to 12-1 and under Sean Parrish, 18, scored by three lengths from the odds-on Danbury.
In the three-horse ladies’ open race, Perouse, owned by top National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, and ridden by Chloe Roddick, had little difficulty in accounting for Mike Golden and Lanaken when winning for the first time between-the-flags.
There were also congratulations for Bradley Gibbs, 13, on winning the 148c open pony race at Cheltenham Racecourse last week on Danehill Return. Another local rider, Charlotte Pritchard, finished runner-up to William Twiston-Davies’ On the Run in the 138 open pony race in which Bradley finished third on Scarey Morning.
This Saturday the Welsh point-to-point Grand National takes place at the Pentyrch Hunt Steeplechases at Bonvilston (first race 2pm).