Vale of Clettwr
Saturday 6th February 2010
by Amanda Sloyan
On one of the sunniest days so far of 2010, 19 Year old Owner/Trainer Jessica Jones of Carmarthen welcomed into the winner’s enclosure her horse Pussigny, winner by a distance of the opening Hunt Members race at Erw Lon on Saturday, fifty years to the meeting that her grandfather Trefor Jones trained his first winner at the Pencader track. Ridden by her father Dai, it’s a milestone many will fail to emulate and after such tough winter weather wise to train point to pointers, a great achievement.
Another landmark 50 came up later in the afternoon when Isobel Thompsett rode the 50th winner of her career aboard Chestnut Annie in the Ladies Open. The partnership have resumed 2010 pretty much how they signed off last year, setting a relentless gallop from flag fall, only one of her rivals from the four starters, Bob Bites Back ridden by Chloe Roddick could keep up.
However, he cried enough and pulled himself up last time round the track, before the newly situated Open Ditch by the lorry park, Chloe was later called in by the stewards to explain what happened. This left Isobel and Chestnut Annie to coast home alone, the other three rivals all lost their jockeys at various stages of the race. This was Annie’s 20th career win, with it not looking like it’s the last for owner/trainer Beth Roberts
Dai Rees from Clarbeston Road in Pembrokeshire and jockey John Mathias are in unstoppable form at the moment and today was to be no exception when taking both divisions of the maiden races.
John, last seasons Area Champion male jockey is now employed full time by Dai Rees after completing his education at Pembrokeshire College gaining a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He’s making sure he’s grabbing every opportunity with both hands.
Dai’s first division winner Rith Bob was sent off the Even money favourite, the fall three out of Princess De Rome and Rhys Hughes made life easier for the mare who began to tire and wander badly between the last two fences, it took strong handling form Mathias to get her home a fast diminishing lead of three lengths in front of Isobel Thompsett and Leprechaun’s Gold.
The second division winner, French purchase Rimini proved the fastest and the best value with 5-1 available on some bookmaker’s boards. The ex Evan Williams inmate Cool Cliché, now trained by John Llewellyn and ridden by Isobel Thompsett had been sent off the 4-5 favourite, leading coming into the last, Cool Cliché held every chance, but Mathias was ready to pounce putting Rimini to lead at the line by a length, a further length back in third was Young Brave and Ben Brisbourne a mistake at the 2nd last cost him dearly, he is defiantly one to follow next time out.
Six went to post in the Mens Open race, with the odds on favourite Warsaw Pact winning like an odds on shot should by a distance. Jockey Rhys Hughes had been very critical of the organisers new course layout at Erw Lon but this easy winner helped ease his mood. An ex inmate of Sir Mark Prescotts followed by a spell at Phillip Hobbs yard Warsaw Pack is no stranger to the horsebox or the races and at the age of six has probably clocked up more miles then Michael Palin. Connections are keen to remain pointing for a while so the horse can enjoy himself as he was in dire need of cheering up when arriving at Robert Scrine’s yard.
Opening up at 7-2, supporters of Oca De Thaix soon had him down to 4-6 at the off, despite some dubious tail swishing from 3 out he came home under a determined Rhys Hughes ride by two lengths from Pathian Prince and John Mathias. The gelding’s trainer Robert Luke is also from the Clarbeston Road area and employer of Oca De Thaix’s owner Charlotte Evans, currently training for her NVQ2 in racehorse care and management Charlotte hopes to be in the saddle herself later in the season.
The form surrounding Up There, the winner of the concluding race the Confined did little to install faith of a win in race goers with six of his last seven runs resulting in a letter not a figure by his name, however this did not stop him registering a four length win over Twilight Dancer recording the same race time as the Mens Open was run in, along with the fact he was carrying a stone more than the runner up. Owner Mrs Rae Jones was understandably elated along with jockey Liam Payter.
Work is now on at the course to get it ready for the next meeting, the Carmarthenshire on Saturday 20th February, this meeting also includes pony racing with a start time of 11am.
1st Pussigny - Mr D Jones 1-4 Fav
2 nd Missoudun - Miss I Thompsett
Time 7min 46sec
Open Maiden Div 1
1st Rith Bob - Mr J Mathias Evens Fav
2nd Leprechaun’s Gold - Miss I Thompsett
3rd Mr Who - Miss R Birt-Llewellin
Distances: 3 lengths & Dist
Time 7mins 13 sec
Open Maiden Div 2
1st Rimini - Mr J Mathias 3-1
2nd Cool Cliché - Miss I Thompsett
3rd Young Brave - Mr B Brisbourne
Distances 1 length & 1 length
Time: 7 mins 6secs
1st Warsaw Pact - Mr R Hughes 4-7Fav
2nd Balearic Star - Mr J Mathias
3rd Tarsus - Mr N Deakin
Distances: Distance & 3 Lengths
Time: 7 mins 8 sec
1st Chestnut Annie - Miss I Thompsett 8-11 Fav
Distance: Finished Alone
Time: 7mins 1 sec
1st Oca De Thaix - Mr R Hughes 3-1 Jt Fav
2nd Pathian Prince - Mr J Mathias
3rd Creagh Bay - Mr J Mahot
Distance: 2 lengths and 3 lengths
Time: 7mins 2sec
1st Up There - Mr L Payter 4-1
2nd Twilight Dancer - Mrs F Willams-Jones
3rd Kilcannon Supreme - Mr T David
Distance: 5 lenghts
Time: 7 mins 8 sec