by Alison Morris

The waterlogging that had held up this meeting from the previous week had left the course in good condition; officially good, firm in places. Heaven knows what the going would have been like if the course had NOT been waterlogged the previous week. Entries had been held over, but the runners did not arrive in their droves, the two maidens being the best-supported races of the day.

Questionnaire cleaned up her blotted copybook by taking the memberís race for talented young rider Robert Stephens, with Alpine Fugue and Sarah Lewis filling the remaining place.

The restricted, the third largest field of the day, was also one of the strongest with some very familiar names in the line up. Robert Stephens, rather fond of the winners enclosure, was soon back in there with his fathers Gypsy Girl who was so impressive at this track three weeks earlier. This young mare is one of the most promising horses to appear in Wales in recent years and readers are recommended to follow her closely through the season. Hail Stone and Lee Stephens chased them vainly home in second with Niloufer back in third. Unofficial timekeepers made this the fastest race of the day.

Many owners who had declared for the restricted may have felt slightly miffed when only three runners turned up for the Menís Open, which is supposed to be a more difficult option.  The winner was never in doubt as another horse has not headed Sohapara for nearly a year and Dai Jones was not about to lose his record. Andyís Lad and Tim Vaughan were a fence back in second, having left the third runner when he declined to go out for the final circuit.

The Ladies Open saw odds on Favourite Knight of Passion and Charlotte Tizzard coming home on the bridle with another Charlotte (Williams) in second on Dexter Gordon. Bridget Lewis and her good old servant Young Manny filled third spot.

The Intermediate race was confined to novice Riders and saw another favourite Coolabri and Sam Evans winning easily from Silver Pot Black and Hannah Lewis. Amanda Hughes, following in the family footsteps, provided Chestnut Wood with a good run in third.

The maidens saw the favourites tumbling out of the winners spot for the first time. The first division resembled something of a battlefield, with Jeune Premier and Gareth Perkins surviving the carnage to claim victory from Willoughby Flyer. The final division was calmer and went to Tim Vaughan, who, getting some compensation for his horrible fall in the earlier race, steered Barton Dream home in front of Dai Jones and Ruby Dante. Robert Stephens filled the third place on Little Word, and claimed the trophy for the leading hunt member of the day.

Racing was completed by 4pm and left a good few hours of daylight for the beer tent. Not a very expansive review, but then the racing was not expansive either.

Congratulations are in order to reigning Welsh ladies Champion Lucy Rowsell and husband Robert on the birth of their first daughter Holly. I suggest you start backing Holly now for leading Lady rider of 2020.