Cowbridge's Robert Thomas saw his promising six-year-old bay gelding Micks Prospect land the intermediate race in fine style at the rainswept Pembrokeshire Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at Trecoed on Saturday.
Partnered by Rhys Hughes, who has retained his Welsh riders' championship title, Micks Prospect, who blotted his copybook when falling at the first fence at Bonvilston a couple of weeks ago,made all the running to win easily by six lengths from Tanmeya ridden by Tom David who like Hughes is an employee of Tim Vaughan's Aberthin yard. Micks Prospect, who is trained by Vaughan's wife Abbi, could go summer racing and his delighted owner said:" I just wanted to see him get around safely today.'' Incidentally, Abbi's husband Tim was successful with Rupestrian at Hexham and Dead Or Alive at Worcester.
For the first time at a Welsh meeting, racegoers were able to watch the racing on a big screen courtesy of channel S4C. Another horse to make every post a winning one was 14-year-old Usk Valley who, under Welsh champion Isabel Tompsett- who three days previously had landed her first ever double under Rules at Newton Abbot-came home an official six lengths ahead of Hi Tech Man in the area feature ladies' open race. Isabel was standing in for Ruth Birt-Llewellin who had been unseated from Mr Who in a match for the members' race won by the long odds on Makena who gave Alan Johns, 19, his third winner of the season.
Makena,owned by David Evans and trained by Alan' s mother Margaret, had caused something of a surprise when winning the Gelligaer Farmers Open race at Lower Machen recently.
John Mathias came in for a lucky chance ride on Gareth Cheshire's One To Note in the restricted race.Nick Williams was down to ride but his car broke down on the way to the racecourse.However, John proved an able deputy taking up the running five fences from the finish to score by eight lengths from Canndar.
One To Note, who is trained by Gwent's Debbie Faulkner, brought John's seasonal total of wins to 17 and a career total of wins to 30.He has won the West Wales Area Champion Gentlemen Riders' Championship a title his father Philip won on several occasions in the past.
Nine runners-the biggest field of the day- faced the starter for the open maiden race which went to Chopras Choice, a seven-year-old bay mare who under Dai Jones came home three lengths ahead of the well fancied Ralahine.
Chopras Choice, a 25-1 chance, is trained by Marc Barber who must have had mixed feelings as he rode the runner-up who is owned and trained by Sirrel Griffiths of Norton's Coin fame.The winner was running in the colours of the late Mirriam Sullivan- Marc's grandmother- who sadly died before the start of the season. Dai said:" She was watching over me from up there and I dedicate this win to her.'' Gary Barber, Marc's father, said: "We bought the mare in Ireland last September.She's only 15.hh and could run in ladies' open races next season.''. Gary, MFH of the Pembrokeshire, owns the mare along with his wife Julie,Neil Jones and Eurig Eynon.
In the men's open race, Made In France with James Hooper aboard walked-over.