The Welsh season kicked off in style at a sunny Lydstep on Sunday, where the crowd were treated to a day of exciting racing and some close finishes.
Local trainer David Llewellyn went home with two winners from two runners, giving him a 100% record so far this season. Both winners were homebred, with prolific Point to Pointer Rosies Peacock notching up his 9th success at the course in the Men's Open. Usual jockey John Mathias took up the race 2 from home, where the jockey of main rival Qalinas, Wayne Maskill, lost his whip, making the task a little easier for Mathias. In an unusually quiet season for Mathias so far, he said of the horse "You can always rely on Rosie to make a bad day a good day."
It was a first success for Llewellyn's maiden Princess Tina, who came close a couple of times last season. Under a well-timed ride from Tom David, the 7 year old mare jumped into the lead at the last, pushing a tiring Midnight Bliss and Evan David into second. That was the start of a quick double for jockey Tom David, who claimed both maidens on the day. The second came on the Dean Coleman trained Nicholasville, who has shown little so far, but David got a fine tune out of the gelding to win going away from Glenteeneasaigh at the last.
The two runner Ladies Open was won by Highly Unlikely and Charlotte Evans, who gave Evans a couple of nice wins last season when trained by Amber Griffiths. The 10 year old is now in the hands of Evans, who is training a few horses herself this season.
Books Review gave 22 year old Mark Robinson his first success in the Club Members Race. Robinson, who works for trainer Paul Hamer, rides the horse out most days, and has gained invaluable experience working for ex jockey Hamer. The horse had his first run on over 18 months last weekend when finishing second, and was always prominent in the race, until taking lead after the last fence, to eventually win by one and a half lengths.
The last race of the day went the way of Byron Moorcroft and North George, who won the Restricted by a neck in the closest finish of the day. Three jumped the last fence together, and even though Northgeorge didn't jump the fence with great fluidity he stayed on well to steal the race in the final strides. It was a close call for second and third place too, with C Me in Oz just getting the better of Gardiners Hill.
The next West Wales Point to Point meeting comes on Easter Monday, March 28th, again at Lydstep. First race is at 1pm, and entries close on Monday March 21st.