Saturday 4th April 2009
by Brian Lee
Carmarthen's Dai Jones, riding Keith Pritchard's Cannon Bridge,chalked-up his 200th.winner between-the-flags when dead-heating with Steve Whistance's Overlut in the men's open race at the Llandeilo Farmers Point-To-Point Steeplechases.
Cannon Bridge tried to make every post a winning one but Overlut was never far behind and taking the lead between the last two fences jumped the last just in front.
Jones, 45, a former youth Welsh rugby international, said:"I thought Cannon Bridge was a beaten horse jumping the last but he picked up again
on the run-in.''
Welsh champion Rhys Hughes had thought he had won outright and went straight into the place reserved for the winner.However, the judge ruled a dead-heat which I thought was a just verdict.Jones, a graduate of the Vale
of Clettwr Pony Club, had his first win on China Wedding in 1980 and since then has won the Welsh riders' championship on a number of occasions.
In 1997 he won the prestigious Horse & Hound Cup on Celtic Abbey and
the following year 1998 rode his 100th winner on Moon Tiger. In 2003, he won the first Â£1,000 point-to-point race on Sohapara at the Melton Hunt Club meeting. He has also ridden winners under rules and when a special race over timbers was staged some years ago it was Dai who won it.
As for Hughes, he had an easier win on Shuil An Burren in the restricted race coming home ten lengths clear of Mr Cheetham to bring his season's tally of wins to nine. Ex-hurdler Shuil An Burren is owned by Bassaleg's Robert Williams a landscape gardener and trained by Robert Scrine.
Only four went to post in the ladies' open race.Matt The Thrasher refused to start, Bob Bites back fell at the eleventh fence, and Chesnut Annie, under Isabel Tompsett, romped home a fence in front of Balloughton.Chesnut Annie was winning for the sixth time on the bounce.
Jodie Hughes, earlier warned by the stewards for making too much use of the whip, rode a great finish on Treasured Coin to win the aged maiden getting up on the line to beat the favourite Shalati Princess by a head. Treasured Coin was a first win for Carmarthen owner/trainer Ashley Davies who has been riding the eleven-year-old in dressage competitions.
Kisha King, owned and trained by National Hunt trainer Dai Rees who was at Chepstow saddling his AheadOfHistime to win a handicap chase, won the
confined under John Mathias getting home by a neck from Bosham Mill.
The open maiden race for horses who have never raced under rules was won by Adrian Simpson's Manormouse who scored by two lengths from Willottie.
The well backed Manormouse, well ridden by Kyle Yates, gave trainer Beverley Thomas her fourth win of the season. Jack Rowsell's Dane Run, ridden by Tom Ellis, landed a gamble in the open maiden at Penshurst and Deano Coleman was successful on Chris Bolton's Tigu in a match for the restricted at the Cotswolds.
With the Monmouthshire Hunt Steeplechases at Llanvapley, near Abergavenny, on Saturday (First race 2.pm) and the South Pembrokeshire at Lydstep, near Tenby, on Monday (First race 1.pm) Welsh enthusiasts are in for a busy weekend.
Confined: Kisha King (John Mathias) 4-1
Men's Open Dead Heat: Cannon Bridge (Dai Jones) 2-7 fav. & Overlut (Rhys Hughes) 7-2
Ladies Open: Chesnut Annie (Isabel Tompsett) 1-6 fav
Restricted: Shuil An Burren (Rhys Hughes) 3-1
Aged Maiden: Treasured Coin (Jodie Hughes) 4-1
Open Maiden: Manormouse (Kyle Yates) evens fav