by Alison Morris

Meeting the two impostors just the same.

Excuse the paraphrase but that can be the only way to describe the Roger Wilcox’s day at Llanvapley. After Hee’s a Dancer’s runaway success in the Ladies open, the winning owner and rider were to have their prize put in doubt after an objection was raised about the weight the horse carried. I cannot comment on what weight the horse actually carried as this was not added to the race card, and the number board was hoisted and lowered more times before the Ladies open than a flag on a brief Royal visit, and the accuracy of the announcements was a little erratic (Young Manny to carry 13 stone; excuse me??)  Roger was determined that his horse had carried the right weight; reading the conditions the maximum he could have carried would have been 11st 7lb, but that will be for the Jockey Club stewards to decide. The objection was not lodged by the connections of second placed horse Young Manny; who were well appreciative of the fact that had Tuscano not broken down so badly at the second last they would only have been third, but by an outside party. There has been much speculation on the reason for this, and some of them sound rather accurate, but all I shall say is that birds in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones. And I shall leave it at that.

For the rest of the day Willmoss walked over in the members; Mecca Prince was a rather fortunate, but well deserved winner of the Confined after the departure of the well-fancied Killula Lad. The horse managed to floor Detroit Davy at the same time, leaving Absent Citizen not wanting to be left out and dumping Steve Blackwell on the dirt without touching it himself. Steve is still nursing his back injury and didn’t take too kindly to landing on the roughest part of the track.  Waders, who wouldn’t look out of place in a show Hunter class, had a walk in the park to take the Open under James Tudor, giving James a double for the day. Not to be outdone Dai Jones took both parts of the restricted with the well-fancied Book’s Way and the equally well backed Gold Kriek. Book’s ways performance led to high hopes for Gwyn Phillips’s other runner in the maiden but the horse was pulled up after losing his action.

Sherbet Fizz, coping with a saddle that was nearer her tail than her withers, tired at the last under Tim Vaughan and ran a little green once she hit the front; but it was still a game performance from a mare who only beat one horse in her three starts under rules, and has benefited from another year on her back. 

The fields for the day were not large due to the firm ground, and sadly this is another case of a hunt that wants to take money but doesn’t want to out back. There is a river alongside the track and there was NO NEED for the ground to be in that state. The Glamorgan are watering Saturday’s track and will do so up until the day in the hope of recovering the reputation they lost last year. The entries are not great and many may make the journey to Maisemore on Sunday including Evan Williams, who has only a couple of entries. Evan himself was lame on Saturday his fall from Dam The Breeze in the Foxhunters compounding to his injuries from Howick, lets hope his back in the saddle soon.