Ystrad Taf Fechan
Photos by Alun Sedgemore
There were doubles for Nick Williams and Rhys Hughes at theYstrad Taf Fechan Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases which met with the approval of H.R.H.The Princess Royal who made an historic first ever visit by royalty to a Welsh point-to-point.
It was also the first time ever that a horse wearing the royal colours had run in a Welsh point-to-point but, apart from the Western Mail, the local media on the whole appeared to show no interest. One wonders what the response by the Welsh press would have been had The Princess Royal paid a surprise visit to a rugby match- Front page news?
Nick took the members' race on Paul Miles's Lady Myfanwy, who scored by two lengths from It's Definite to bring the mare's total of wins to sixteen, and later won the restricted on his father Robert's Danny's Last who came home well clear of Bizarre Native.
Welsh champion Rhys Hughes had an easy win on Shuil An Burren in the intermediate and later won the inaugural John Lovell Memorial Men's Open race on Bob Bites Back, who occasionally lives up to his name, and who won by six lengths from the pacemaking Lanaken.
Lucy Pearce-Rowsell came in for plenty of praise from owner Mark Gichero after winning the ladies' open on his front running Bosham Mill who is trained by Samantha Butler.The odds-on favourite Perouse led briefly four fences from home only to quickly back peddle and was pulled up approaching the penultimate fence.
Nina Phillips's Title Deed, ridden by Deano Coleman who is shortly joining the paid ranks,scored a two lengths win over H.R.H.The Princess Royal's Dhu Loch in the young horse maiden.Title Deed is trained by Nina's husband Jonathan, a chartered surveyor from Bridgend. Apparently, the Princess thought that her mare might have won but for being hindered when Present D'Aze fell disputing the lead three from home.
However, she was pleased that Dhu Loch's rider Tom David,18, got the mare around the tricky course as it was a faller on its previous start. Incidentally, the racecourse met with the Princess's approval, she described it as "very pretty''. Dhu Loch won the best turned out award so the Princess has something to remind her of her historic visit! One thing certain her appearance at Ystradowen was a tremendous boost to Welsh hunt-racing.
In the aged maiden, Pollerton Boy, a former eventer and a bargain buy at just £750,owned and trained by Paul Riddick, won by a neck from the even-money favourite Lunar Prince.
There were heated exchanges between bookmakers and hunt-race members at the South Pembrokeshire Hunt races at Lydstep on Easter Monday after bookmakers were informed they would have to move from where they usually bet to another part of the racecourse which they claimed was too far from the racegoers. Eventually, after much argument and discussion, a solution of a kind was reached and the bookies set up shop not that far from where they usually stand.
The day's riding honours here went to John Mathias who rode a hat-trick with Rosies Peacock (open maiden), Pathian Prince (young horse maiden) and Kisha King (intermediate).In the men's open, Esters Boy partnered by Kyle Yates won by a head from Misamon and Edna Hussey's Bob Bites Back took the ladies open by a length from Twilight Dancer.
And at Sunday's rearranged Tivyside meeting, held over the same course, Mathias had another hat-trick of wins with Kisha King, who walked over in the members, Misamon (men's open) and Rosies Peacock (restricted). Dai Jones, who had finished second on Cannon Bridge in the Dudley Cup at the Worcestershire on Saturday, took the maiden on Chandlers Cross and Chesnut Annie continued her winning ways when taking the ladies' open.
Ystrad Taf Fechan starting prices
Members: Lady Myfanwy (Nick Williams) evens fav
Tivyside starting prices