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Saturday 19th April 2008
by Brian Lee
photos by Alun Sedgemore

Brilliant Rhys wins Grand National on Little Ed

EDDIE FORD’S Little Ed, brilliantly ridden by Rhys Hughes, landed the Welsh Point-To-Point Grand National Volkswagen Touareg Men’s Open Race at the rainsoaked Pentyrch Hunt Steeplechases.

Daisy May Miller and Luke Price lead the parade before the Welsh Point to Point Grand National

Dimitri (Marc Barber) and Kings Reply (Rhys Flint) lead the field over the first fence in the Welsh Point to Point Grand National

Rhys Hughes and Little Ed jump the last fence on the way to winning the feature race

Little Ed, who was winning for the sixth time this season, took up the running a long way from home to withhold the challenge of the odds-on favourite Back Nine by a length with Grey Kid a further ten lengths away in third spot.

Happy connections of Little Ed after winning the Welsh Point to Point Grand National

Tenby’s Christine Toy, 22, riding Jan Mathias’s Howdydoody in the ladies’ open, led from start to finish to chalk up her first winner in just five rides.

Close finish in the Ladies Open Race. On the left is the winner, Howdydoody ridden by Christine Toy, upsides her is Goblet Of Fire (Chloe Roddick) and just behind is Miss Sallyfield ridden by Ceri Evans

Mrs Rae Jones’s Lough Ennel notched-up his 12th win between-the-flags when easily winning the members’ race for the second year running under Liam Payter.

Members Race winner Lough Ennel with Liam Payter on board

A notable absentee was Keith Pritchard’s Cannon Bridge who made his seasonal debut in the Dudley Cup at the Worcestershire meeting where he finished a good second to Cottage River. The confined went to Margaret Johns’ Adventurist who, ridden by her son Alan, led at the last to beat the pacemaking Twilight Dancer by five lengths.

Runners and riders in the Confined Hunts Race disappear into the country

Most impressive winner of the day was Mike Sheppard’s five-year-old bay mare Sericina who, under Chloe Roddick, left her 17 restricted race rivals trailing in her wake scoring by 30 lengths from Bill Jones. Unfortunately, Lucy Pearce Rowsell dislocated a shoulder when falling from Imperial Sam.

Spectators having to put up with another rainy day in Wales

Another easy winner was Apocalozzo who won the maiden race by a distance from Holmwood Legend despite his rider Deano Coleman losing his irons at the last fence. Apocalozzo, who will have one more race before going under rules, is trained by Cowbridge’s Abbi Vaughan.

Four in a line during the Open Maiden Race

Bridgend’s Connor Flint brought his tally of pony race wins to a remarkable 23 when winning the 13.2hh race by 10 lengths from Oscar and Shropshire’s Annabel Dalton, daughter of National Hunt trainer Heather Dalton, won the 14.2hh race on her grey Adrians Pride.

nother circuit to go in the 14.2HH Pony Race. The winner is the grey in the centre of the picture, Adrians Pride ridden by Annabel Dalton

With the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase at Chepstow on Friday and the Llangeinor Hunt Steeplechases at Laleston, near Bridgend, on Saturday, enthusiasts are in for a busy time.

First race at Laleston – where there will also be two pony races – is 2pm.

Porthcawl’s Rhys Flint, who recently celebrated his 17th birthday by passing his driving test, brought his season’s tally of wins to 17 when landing a double at Sunday’s Cotswold Farmers Hunt meeting with Lady Myfanwy (novice riders) and Iris’s Prince (men’s open novice riders).

Iris’s Prince was winning for the seventh time this season.

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