David Brace, sponsor of the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase to be run at Chepstow on April 15, saw his eight-year-old bay gelding Doctor Tom land a division of the maiden race in fine style at the Monmouthshire Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at Llanvapley where hunt supporters did a good job in watering the course.
Brace, owner of the Dunraven Stud Farm at Pyle near Bridgend, said:"I bought Doctor Tom in Ireland and he is a pretty straightforward horse to train. His sire is the successful Dr Massini who incidentally is standing at my stud.''
Doctor Tom, the quickest of the four split maiden winners, was ridden by Tom David and like Leighton Thomas's Lady Trig, which won part two of division one, is qualified with the Llangeinor Hunt.
David, Nick Williams and Paul Tolman all rode doubles.
Tolman, 24, who was riding his first ever double was successful on Goscar Rock (Intermediate) and Viking Affair (maiden division two part two), Williams won on Bob's Law (restricted) and Lady Trig (maiden division one part two) and David on Doctor Tom (maiden division one part one) and Wilkinson (maiden division two part one).
Goscar Rock made nearly all to win by three-and-a-half lengths from Cutlass Silver and Viking Affair came late on the scene to score by one-and-a-half lengths from Ace High Blue.
Bob's Law took over from the pacemaking Beyond Dreams three fences from the finish to win by three lengths and Lady Trig, who had been knocking on the door, won by 30 lengths from the early leader For The Hell Of It.
The biggest cheers of the day, however, were for Pembrokeshire's John Mathias who took the men's open race on David Llewellyn's homebred Rosies Peacock which had two-and-a-half lengths to spare over the favourite Naunton Brook, ridden by Willie Twiston-Davies, and who was denied a five-timer.
The ladies' open race went to Beth Roberts's Chesnut Annie who won by a distance from Mr Cee who had followed 'Annie' home in last year's race. Beth said: "I dedicate this race to my mother Anne who celebrates her birthday tomorrow. I named Chesnut Annie after her.''
Unfortunately, Chesnut Annie's rider Welsh champion Isabel Tompsett was taken to hospital later in the day when her mount Just Paris collided with a bale of hay during a division of the maiden race.Sadly, Isabel will be out of action for a few weeks as she sustained a broken collar bone. She has been aboard Chesnut Annie in all her 25 wins between-the flags and her two hunter chase wins.
In one of the best members' races at Llanvapley in years-seven of the eight entries faced the starter- Classic Eclipse, well ridden by Mathew Barber, came home five lengths clear of Bayridge Mick after the fancied JamesDoubleYou ran out at the open ditch on the second circuit. Classic Eclipse, a full brother to winning chaser Its A Classic, is owned by Mr John Berry and trained by Paul Evans.
What They Said
Goscar Rock: "He's very easy to train and a real gent.'' - Peter Hall trainer.
Rosies Peacock: "He's shown us today what he can do.'' - David Llewellyn owner/trainer.
Chesnut Annie: " I have never known Annie to go so fast.' '- Isabel Tompsett jockey.
Bobs Law: "He will probably go for the Dunraven Bowl now' '- Robert Scrine owner.
Doctor Tom: "He was looking around a lot but he did it well'' - Tom David jockey.
Lady Trig: "She's my first winner in four or five years.' '- Leighton Thomas owner.
Wilkinson: " I round up the sheep on him every day and I weigh 15 stone" - owner/ trainer
Viking Affair: "We brought his stablemate The Duckster along just to keep him company on the long journey from Pembrokeshire'' - Paul Tolman jockey/trainer.
Members: Classic Eclipse (Mathew Barber) 4-1