Ystrad Taf Fechan
Just as the previous Saturday- when the Glamorgan Hunt staged their fixture- thousands of racegoers turned up at Ystradowen for the Ystrad Taf Fechan meeting and although only 22 runners went to post, the crowd enjoyed themselves tremendously cheering home the winning riders throughout the afternoon.
Only two faced the starter for the opening members' race and those who backed the long odds-on favourite Cranemore, ridden by Welsh ladies' champion Isabel Tompsett, soon had cause to regret it as the six-year-old grey gelding cocked his jaw approaching the eighth fence and ran out leaving the 10-year-old Billy Lane, ridden by Emily Farr, the nineteen-year-old daughter of former Welsh champion riders Ross and Shan, a lone and lonely figure on the horizon. Emily, an accomplished singer, who show- jumped for Wales between the ages of ten to sixteen, had chance to put her show jumping skills to good use. And but for a last fence hiccup, when she was unseated, would have had a clear round.However, she remounted, retraced and went on to pass the winning post to great acclaim. The only other time Billy Lane had won a race was at the Llangeinor in 2008 when in similar circumstances Gwyn Marsh had been unseated at the last fence and had vaulted back on.
Amber Griffiths,19, riding William Tudor's MerthyrMawr, and having only her sixth ride in a point-to-point, rode a well judged race to take the restricted by seven lengths from Sherfield Don with Minella For Beef a further two lengths away in third place. The favourite Title Deed trailed in fourth. Amber, who comes from Merthyr Mawr, rides out for Jonathan Tudor and Tim Vaughan and is a graduate of the pony club.
In the intermediate race, Matthew Barber,18,from Pembrokeshire, rode his second winner on the French-bred Prince Car trained by his older brother Marc. Prince Car, a seven-year-old brown gelding, went clear four fences from the finish to beat the odds-on favourite Opal Ridge by six lengths.The only other runner, Gouranga Society, was a long way behind when falling at the second last.
The John Lovell Memorial Men's Open-the South Wales Area Feature Race- was won by Brett Lloyd's Roznic who finished five lengths ahead of Tarsus in a time which was thirty seconds faster than the twelve-year-old had taken when winning the Glamorgan Hunt members' race seven days earlier.
Ex- winning chaser Roznic, trained by Abbi Vaughan, at Aberthin, was the first leg of a double for rising star Tom David. Mrs Ingrid Shervington's game Grey Kid made nearly all to land the ladies' open race and despite a mistake at the second last won by eight lengths from Little Miss Monty given a good ride by Emily Farr."He's like fine wine he gets better with age'', said winning jockette Jodie Hughes who was winning on the twelve-year-old for the third time.
Robbie Llewellyn,18, who is studying racecourse management, notched-up his first winner in the young horse maiden when finishing alone on Ruth Rees's seven-year-old mare Shelagh Vee.The 1-6 favourite Piment D'Estruval unseated Rhys Hughes at the second fence and in doing so carried out the only other runner Sleepers Hill.The winning time was eight minutes and thirteen seconds. Robbie, who rode a lot of winners on the pony racing circuit, rides out occasionally for David Brace sponsor of the Dunraven Bowl Novices Hunter Chase at Chepstow.
Mrs Rees, MFH, of the Pembrokeshire Hunt, was gaining her first success with her first point-to-pointer and was clearly delighted. She has had Shelagh Vee, who has only run once before when pulling up after a circuit, as a four-year-old.
The aged horse maiden gave Tom David the second leg of his double. Riding Mr Robert Harraway's Silver Gun, Tom had the nine-year-old bay gelding in a handy position throughout and was always going a little bit better than the runner-up Synisterdexter, partnered by Nick Williams, who is one the 99 winner mark (Nick has also ridden 42 winners under rules). Mr Harroway, a farmer from the Beaufort Hunt country, who was full of praise for Tom David, when asked why he had decided to run his horse at Ystradowen said: "I ran a horse here last year and although it wasn't a winner I liked the track.''