Photos by Alun Sedgemore
IT’S NUMBER 200 FOR DAI
Carmarthen’s Dai Jones recorded a landmark victory at Saturday’s Llandeilo Farmers point to point meeting when dead heating for first place in the Men’s Open aboard Keith Pritchard’s prolific winner, Cannon Bridge, which provided 45 year old Dai, with his 200th winner.
The course at Erw Lon near Pencader, which lies in the Vale of Clettwr area, seemed an appropriate place to record this landmark victory. Not only did Dai have his first ride at this venue, on Happy Dave in 1982, he also had his first winner aboard China Wedding there, in the Vale of Clettwr hunt members race in 1983. Dai’s late father, Trefor Jones, who was Master and Huntsman to the Vale of Clettwr for some 25 seasons, owned both horses.
The ‘Judge’ Martin Griffiths, who was unable to split Dai on Cannon Bridge from Rhys Hughes on Overlut, who led by two lengths at the last, once again had another close decision to deal with in the Older Horse Maiden. Here Treasured Coin ridden by Jodie Hughes came home a head in front of Shalati Princess and Dean Coleman. Approaching the last in third place the 5-1 shot rallied gamely to provide Ashley Davies from Crwbin with her first training success and see Jodie comfortably holding a long lead in the Area Ladies Championship.
John Mathias is leading the male equivalent title, and in the first ‘Confined’ race drove Dai Rees’ Kisha King home by a neck ahead of Dai Jones on Bosham Mill.
With the Llandeilo meeting marking the halfway point of the West Wales season Kisha King is leading the Area Horse Championship whilst Chestnut Annie is leading the Champion Ladies horse title after another emphatic win in the Ladies Open, recording her sixth win of the season. Ridden by 26 year old Veterinary surgeon Isabel Thompsett, she only had to sit and steer after her closest rival Bob Bites Back and Chloe Roddick fell heavily when trying to keep up with the mare, leaving Balloughton to come home a fence behind in second.
Trainer Rob Scrine and rider Rhys Hughes achieved their second winner of the meeting in the Restricted race. The first, Overlut had been slightly overshadowed due to the Dai Jones celebrations but Hughes made sure the judge was not called upon this time, as he and Shuil An Burran put 10 lengths between themselves and Josh Harries on Mr Cheetham at the post.
Manormouse made a winning racecourse debut in the ‘Non Rules maiden’, trained by Beverley Thomas from Boulston, Haverfordwest and backed down from 2-1 to even money favourite the 6-year-old gelding was confidently ridden by Kyle Yates to win with two lengths to spare over Gwyn Marsh on Willottie.
Easter Monday sees the South Pembrokeshire hold their point-to-point meeting at Lydstep, Tenby, with a start time of 1pm. Always a popular meeting, race goers are advised to set out early to allow for Bank Holliday traffic and the Lord Mayors race at Carmarthen if travelling along the A40.