Luke Price, 17, from Pontypridd, was seen at his best when getting Paul Miles's 11-year-old Valjean home by a neck from Chesnut Wood and Marc Barber in the men's open race at the Tredegar Farmers meeting last Sunday after the pair had jumped the last fence almost together.
Price, who was chalking up his third win of the season, deserves more rides than he usually gets and we will surely be hearing more from this young rider.
Leading lady rider Polly Gundry was full of praise for the popular Lower Machen course after landing the ladies' open on Richard Francome's Gemster who scored by two lengths from Twilight Dancer partnered by Charlotte Owen. Polly, who was riding over the course for first time said, “They (hunt supporters) have worked really hard to provide good to firm going and I would certainly come here again.”
A good jump at the last secured the restricted for Hume Theatre who, under Rhys Hughes, scored by a length from LetsPlay and Tim Vaughan. Hume Theatre is owned by a syndicate of four who frequent the Tafarn Sinc pub in Pembrokeshire. Rhys is head lad to Llancarfan trainer Evan Williams who was there to cheer him home.
Alex Smith-Maxwell,20, had an easy win on her mother's Hi Tech Man in the novice riders' race coming home nearly a fence ahead of Silent Too after the front running Dancing Credit had slipped up on the flat earlier in the race after rider Lucy Jones's saddle had slipped.
Rebecca Athay, sidelined owing to injury, saw her 14-year-old Vanilla Man take the members' race for the second year running. Rebecca was in the saddle last year but this time Tim Vaughan stood in for her. Vanilla Man is trained by Tim's wife Abbi who was saddling her sixth winner of the season.
Fourteen horses faced the starter for the open maiden but the race was declared void in the interests of safety. The favourite Craigmor, ridden by Polly Gundry, fell at the second and after running loose got a hind leg stuck in a gate thus blocking the way and after jumping the eighth the riders were directed off course.
James Tudor landed a double at the Radnor & West Hereford with Allborn Lad (restricted) and Minsgill Man (men's open).
Welsh hunt-racing fans had plenty to cheer about at the Cheltenham hunterchase evening meeting last Wednesday. Evergreen Dai Jones landed the Cheltenham.co.uk Champion Hunters' Chase on Keith Pritchard's Cannon Bridge, who beat Vinnie Boy by one-and-three quarter lengths, and James Tudor took the Hiscox Point-To-Point Championship Final Hunters' Chase on Alan Hill's Bon Accord who scored by two lengths from Court Adjorn. Bon Accord, trained by Alan Hill, was winning for the fifth consecutive time.
Nine-year-old Cannon Bridge, a 11-1 chance, who put his critics firmly in their place, is trained in Worcestershire by Paul Davies and gave reigning Welsh champion Jones his second Cheltenham winner ten years after his first. He said, “I won this race on Celtic Abbey in 1997,but it's great to win it tonight because it shows the horse is back to himself. He looked after an old man well.”
Jones's sister-in-law Lucy Rowsell was not disgraced either when finishing fourth on 50-1 outsider Golly in the Amateur Jockeys Association race.
But spare a thought for Jodie Hughes who should have ridden Beauchamp Oracle winner of the Colin Nash Memorial Chase. She had been suspended for five days when beaten on the same horse at Bangor recently so Alex Merriam came in for the ride.
The Curre & Llangibby are holding their rearranged meeting at Howick, near Chepstow, on Saturday and officials have borrowed an equivator to make sure the ground will be alright to race on.
Horses from many parts of the country have entered and these include Ballyalbert, Fantastic Champion, Buckland Boy, Father Tom and course winners Loch Ennel and Murdinga.
Tickets for the South Wales Point-To-Point costing £35 can be obtained from Tim Rooney Tel:07860382497.
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