by Alison Morris

There is an old saying in the Welsh valleys, "it might not be raining down there.Ē So with this optimistic statement we left the blizzard soaked hills and headed out west. Pleasantly enough it wasn't raining, or not as much, in fact Swansea was bathed in sunshine, another planet almost. After a pit stop at McDonalds and the usual argument over which roundabout we had to turn off at we arrived at the new course (gates, very posh) too late for the members but were soon filled on the antics of poor Paul Sheldrake, who being the pathfinder on this new course forgot he had to go around three times and pulled up, when in the lead with a circuit to go. Apparently the loudest cheer of the day was kept for him when he re-entered the changing tent with a very red face. 

Evan Williams dominated the rest of the day, winning four races on his own charges. Sparkling Spring (confined), Cherry Gold (Intermediate), Court Leney (Maid Div 2) and the final race of the day on General Custer who looked as though he could have gone round again. The conditions underfoot were appalling and it was a testament to Evans handling that all his horses finished so full of running. One notable newcomer in the maidens was Nat Gold, out battled by Court Leney on the run in. This full brother to Handsome Harvey will no doubt fill the winners spot on many occasions to come. 

Dai Jones was back in the winnerís enclosure in the Men's Open with Severn Magic, after providing some free rodeo displays in the paddock before the Intermediate. Christian Williams had to watch Tim Vaughan steer Dalby Carr home in front of him in the restricted, the horse is trained by Christianís father and is usually his mount but today he had to settle for second on Cedar Father. His own turn came in the first maiden when he steered Roger Wilcox's Another Justice home in front. 

If anyone had read the Racing Post archives before the meeting they could have made a killing in the Ladies Open when Santa Concerto, eyes shut tight at one point in the hailstorm, romped home under Fiona Wilson. A former inmate of Lenny Lungo, the horse had not run for two years but had previously earned a postmark of 148, completed the John Hughes at Aintree and been aimed at the Hennessey! A former Ayr specialist his previous trainer commented that "the heavier the better now he's getting older..."; why didn't I read that on Friday, not Monday! 

Despite the freezing weather it was a good inaugural meeting, with only one severe shower, but when are these hunts going to learn that five pound a head entry and two pound for a race card is being a bit greedy. No wonder the crowds were so silent.