The Vale of Glamorgan's Evan David and his older brother Tom both found themselves in the winners' enclosure at the well attended Gelligaer Farmers Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at Lower Machen,
Gwent, last Saturday. Between them they won both divisions of the young horse maiden with Evan taking the first on the Bicester and Whaddon Chase invader La Viva El Diva and Tom the second aboard
Spin The Beat.
La Viva El Diva, a six-year-old bay mare, is owned by Oxford's Martin Redman's The Back of the Car Club syndicate and trained by his wife Lynn who said you must "Give credit to my helpers Cara and Ben who have been so good.'' La Viva El Diva, who was running for the first time in public, cost just £700 at the Ascot Sales four years ago, and won by 20 lengths from Rock Doctor ridden by his trainer
In the closest finish of the day, Spin The Beat, a five-year-old half-brother to Alfie Spinner and Cousin Nicky, got home by three parts of a length from the hooded Shadow's Boy (Bradley Gibbs) much to the
relief of Tommy Faulker son of the winning trainer Debbie Faulkner who admitted to having a big bet on the horse which is owned by his partner Danielle Goddard. An excited Danielle said: "This is the first horse I have ever owned and is my first runner too!''
La Viva El Diva was the second leg of a double for Evan who had earlier won the restricted on Andrew Leyson's Distant Sound which finished four lengths ahead of Moontripper a winner over the course a
fortnight earler. Amiable owner /trainer Andrew Leyshon, of Merthyr Mawr, said: " Distant Sound has been a very unlucky horse and has been runner-up three times this season. He will now go under rules
to my good friend Adrian Wintle.''
William Gordon,aged 19, who hails from Devon, rode his first winner when landing the aged maiden race on John Nicholas's homebred Millys Delight which came home 20 lengths ahead of Rathkenny Lady.
Trained in the Rhondda Valley by Shan Farr, a former Welsh champion rider who will always be associated with Mandryka , on whom she won 38 ladies' open races , Shan was full of praise for Gordon a graduate of the East Devon Pony Club who has been travelling from Alex Dunn's Somerset yard to ride the nine-year-old mare throughout the season.
Shan's daughter Emily recently rode a winner on the flat in New Zealand to go with the one she has ridden over jumps out there. Eighteen-year-old Hereford-born Peter Bryan made every post a winning one when winning the the mixed open on the Mickey Bowen trained Sir Du Bearn when coming home 20 lengths ahead of the prolific Rosies Peacock in the mixed open. Rosies Peacock, ridden by John Mathias, put in a strong challenge three fences out but had no answer to his younger rival's finishing speed. Peter, who stands 6ft. 2ins, in his socks, rides out for Mickey's father leading Welsh trainer Peter Bowen at Haverfordwest. Rainbow Haze, partnered by Byron Moorcroft, was a two lengths winner of the confined race in a time which was 7 seconds faster than the 9-year-old bay gelding had taken when winning over the course a fortnight earlier.
Homebred Rainbow Haze, owned by Vale of Glamorgan farmer Phillip Dando and Dr Michael Armitage and trained by Phillip's wife Kathryn will now race under rules as he " is back to his best form'' said a delighted Phillip.
Ten-year-old Super Villan, the oldest horse in the members' race, made all the running under Emma Moseley to win by 15 lengths from Spanish Optimist whose rider Jason Keily was fined £60 for failing to weign-in. Congratulations to trainer Scarlett Major and rider Richard Patrick, aged 19, who both visited the winners' enclosure for the first time when Mr S N Jenkins's 7-year-old bay mare Allottamo ran out an unchallenged winner at Cothelstone. A 6-1 chance, Allottamo came home 12 lengths ahead of the odds-on favourite High Priority.
The West Wales Area Club Point-To-Point will be held at Lydstep ,near Tenby, next Sunday. First Race 2.p.m. The South Wales and Monmouthshire Point-To-Point Area Awards Dinner will be held on June 20th at the Holiday Inn, Newport, Gwent. For tickets contact Carole David on 07973261384 .
Gelligaer starting prices
Members: Super Villan (Emma Moseley) 4-5 fav
Confined: Rainbow Haze (Byron Moorcroft) 11-4 fav
Mixed Open: Sir du Bearn ( Peter Bryan ) evens fav
Restricted: Distant Sound (Evan David) 4-1
Young Horse Maiden Div1: La Viva El Diva ( Evan David) 4-1
Young Horse Maiden Div2: Spin The Beat (Tom David) 14-1
Aged Maiden: Millys Delight ( William Gordon) 7-1