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Monmouthshire
Llanvapley
Saturday 11th April 2009
by Brian Lee

Photos by Alun Sedgemore
http://www.sportingprints.biz

Rosie Kidner-Hughes,17, having her first ride in a point-to-point, landed the restricted race on Victoria Shervington's Last Warrior at the Monmouthshire Hunt Steeplechases at sun baked Llanvapley where the ice cream seller made more money that the bookies!


Parading the Monmouthshire Fox Hounds before racing

Rosie, a graduate of the Pentych Pony Club, won a charity flat race at Hereford Racecourse on Gallant Hero two years ago. She brought the six- year- old with a good run three fences from the finish to score by ten lengths from the well backed Ship To Shore with the pacemaking Mr Cheetham
a further six lengths back in third place.


First ride and first winner for Rosie Kidner-Hughes on Last Warrior in the Restricted Race

Last Warror is trained by Rosie's mother Margaret at Gilfach Goch the village that was depicted in the famous Welsh novel- later a Hollywood movie-How Green Was My Valley.

Luke Price,19, from Pontypridd, won the men's open on his own horse It's Definite who drew clear after jumping the second last to win by eight lengths from Lough Ennel with the even money favourite Passenger Omar a further eight lengths back in third place.The quietly spoken Luke, who rides out for Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan, has six horses in his yard and puts down their vast improvement in form to watching how Tim-who has saddled more than 50 winners this season- goes about his business of getting his charges fit and healthy.

Beth Roberts's Chesnut Annie chalked-up her seventh consecutive win this season when easily winning the ladies' open race under Isabel Tompsett. Chesnut Annie came home an official ten lengths ahead of Miss Sallyfield and,as usual, started at prohibitive odds.


Another win for Chesnut Annie and Isabel Tompsett in the Ladies Open Race

Retired Rhondda Valley greengrocer Norman Jones saw his Silver Story take the intermediate race under Welsh champion rider Rhys Hughes who is assistant trainer to Aberthin's Tim Vaughan. However, the pacemaking Curradoon, whose saddle slipped three fences out causing his rider Tom Murray to lose his stirrups and fall at the last, could be considered unlucky. Silver Story, who won by 12 lengths from Historic Place, is trained by Abbi Vaughan who was saddling her seventh winner of the season.Incidentally, Historic Place's part owner Toby Balding was in attendance.


Intermediate Race winner, Silver Story and Rhys Hughes, going to the start


Approaching the enclosures in the Intermediate Race


Tom Murray bites the dust after his last fence fall from Curradoon

Cwmbran's Gareth Cheshire has had many winners under rules over the years but his well backed One To Note, partnered by Nick Williams, younger brother of National Hunt jockey Christian, who took the first division of the split maiden was his first between-the-flags. One To Note was left clear three fences from home when Chandlers Cross,ridden by Dai Jones, took a tumble when appearing to be going really well.


Going to the start for the first division of the Open Maiden

There was a controversial finish to the second division as many racegoers-I must say I was one of them - were of the opinion that Sirrel Griffiths's UB Careful, partnered by Marc Barber, had held off the late challenge of Cudeen, ridden by Christine Evans, on the run to the line. The judge, however, thought otherwise and it was announced, after what seemed longer than usual, that Cudeen had won by a short head. In all fairness to the judge, I should state that I was not situated right in line with the winning post being some thirty yards or so before it. The lightly raced Cudeen, who was completing a race for the first time, is trained in Pontypridd by Robert Rowsell who owns the ex-Irish six-year-old in partnership with Miss Evans. He bought bought Cudeen from Ivor Kingston in Cork last October the same man apparently who sold Chesnut Annie to Beth Roberts.


Action from the second division of the Open Maiden Race

In one of the best members' races for years-eight faced the starter - Lecky Thyne's Absolutely Barking, with Ally Stirling, 20, in the saddle, came home an eight lengths winner ahead of the favourite Opal Ridge. Race commentator Edward Williams not only kept the large crowd well-informed throughout the afternoon but also amused them with his quick wit.The family of the late well-known Cardiff bookmaker John Lovell are putting up the prize-money for the men's open race at the Ystrad Taf Fechan meeting at Ystradowen, near Cowbridge, on Saturday and the Wales & West Bookmakers Association will also present a perpetual challenge trophy in John's name.

Well done to Kyle Yates on winning the hunter chase at Hereford last week on 20-1 outsider Grey Kid owned by Mr & Mrs Shervington and trained by Wyne Morris. Also to Bargoed trainer Bernard Llewellyn on landing a three-timer with his Freeline Fury at Newton Abbot on Saturday. Freeline Fury is owned by former point-to-point rider Guy Lewis.

Monmouthshire Hunt Starting Prices
Members: Absolutely Barking (Ally Stirling) 5-2
Intermediate:Silver Story (Rhys Hughes) 1-2 fav
Men's Open: It's Definite (Luke Price) 8-1
Ladies Open: Chesnut Annie(Isabel Tompsett) 1-8 fav
Restricted:Last Warrior (Rosie Kidner-Hughes) 8-1
Maiden Div:1: One To Note (Nick Willaims) 4-6 fav
Maiden Div:2:Cudeen (Christine Evans) 6-1

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