TUDOR 'REINS' SUPREME
Merthyr Mawr's Jack Tudor, 16, who was badly injured in a fall at the beginning of the season, has high hopes that he can land the national point-to-point novice riders' championship after riding a three-timer at the Llangeinor and Pentyrch Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases held at the Dunraven Stud, Llanmihangel Farm, Pyle, on
Saturday (April 13).
The first of Jack's wins was on David Brace's nine-year-old brown gelding Robin Des People in the novice rider's race. His front running mount came home alone after solitary rival and the odds-on favourite Sir Du Bearn broke a leg and had to be sadly put down.
Jack's second winner was in the Dunraven Bowl Men's Open race when Mr Brace's Pink Eyed Pedro, the even money favourite, jumped ahead of NorthGeorge at the second last fence to score by three lengths. NorthGeorge, as it happens, is trained by Jack's father Jonathan Tudor for Mr Steve Young and Jonathan must surely have been watching the race with mixed feelings!
Jack's third winner of the day came in the restricted when the eight-year-old grey mare Welliemix led at the second last fence and went on to score by two lengths from Design Plan. Welliemix, who had lost her maiden tag at the corresponding meeting last year, clocked a time which was 35 seconds faster than what she had clocked on that occasion when partnered by Welsh champion Bradley Gibbs.
Gibbs from Ynysbwl only rode one winner this time but it was a notable one as it was his 150th - Gibbs has also ridden eight hunter-chases
winners. His win this time was in the three-horse farmers' race. Riding the odds-on favourite for David Brace OBE, he led almost throughout to win by eight lengths from Jack Tudor's mount Desert Roe.
Another horse that made most of the running was Jason Warner's five-year-old chesnut gelding French Piece who, under Cowbridge's Byron Moorcroft, won the open maiden over -two-and-a-half miles by two lengths from Miss Rhian Howells's Caveat Emptor, ridden by Wayne Maskill. French Piece is also trained by Moorcroft who said, "He's not an easy horse to train as he will try to kick and bite you. He's a nightmare really." Mr Warner, from the Cotswold country added, "This horse could be something special."
Moorcroft, riding the blinkered and best turned out eight-year-old bay gelding Holy Water, for Natasha Woodington and trainer Luke Price, made it a double when coming home a ten lengths winner of the open maiden race.
And David Brace made it a training four-timer when his prolific 12-year-old William Money finished a distance in front of Ruperra Tom in the three-horse ladies' open race. William Money was partnered by West Wales's champion rider Jodie Hughes from Pembrokeshire who told me in the winners's enclosure, " I didn't realise how far
we were in front. We both enjoyed the race and he jumped very cleverly. It's great to ride a winner again"
Local lad Henry Pugh,aged 12, won the 148cm & Under Novice Riders Pony Race after his sole rival Miss Dolly ridden by Harry Llewellyn slipped up on the bend. Henry said, "This is my second winner but my first on Heavenly Rose."
Jack Osborne, aged 15, from Chepstow, who has no horsey background at all, chalked-up his eighth win on his 14-year-old Stretcholt Hermes in the Open Pony Race and Daniel Ellis, aged 14, rode a well judged race on O'Flynn's Daughter to take the 148cm & Under Open Pony Race.
WINNERS AND STARTING PRICES
Novice Pony Race: Heavenly Rose (Henry Pugh)
138cm Pony Race: Stretcholt Hermes (Jack Osborne)
148cm Pony Race: O'Flynn's Daughter (Daniel Ellis)
Young Horse Maiden: French Piece (Byron Moorcroft) 8-1
Novice Riders: Robin Des People (Jack Tudor) evens
Farmers: Bracho (Bradley Gibbs) 4-7 fav
Men's Open: Pink Eyed Pedro (Jack Tudor) evens fav
Ladies Open: William Money (Jodie Hughes) 4-11 fav
Restricted: WellieMix (Jack Tudor) 11-2
Open Maiden: Holy Water (Byron Moorcroft) 2-1