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Brecon & Talybont
Saturday 7th March 2009
by Brian Lee

Photos by Alun Sedgemore

Beth Roberts' Chesnut Annie made it ten point-to-point wins on the bounce when landing the ladies' open race at the Brecon & Talybont Hunt Steeplechases at Llanfrynach last Saturday.

Another good crowd at the popular Brecon and Talybont meeting

Ridden as usual by Welsh champion lady rider Isabel Tompsett, eight- year-old Chesnut Annie led throughout most of the race and soon had her five rivals trailing in her wake coming home a distance clear of Neophyte with Pirate Flagship, who was always fighting a losing battle, back in third place.

Chesnut Annie and Isabel Tompsett win another Ladies Open Race

Chesnut Annie, who clocked the fastest time of the day, was the first leg of a double for Tompsett who also won division one of the maiden on Chesnut Annie's stablemate Its Not Chesnut owned by Roberts' boyfriend Dai Hughes. Five-year-old Its Not Chesnut, who gave Roberts her first ever double, was prominent throughout and led at the fourth last fence to win by a length from the favourite Doctor Supremo partnered by Rhys Hughes who also chalked-up a double.

Getting around at Llanfrynach

Hughes was successful with on Edna Hussey's Bob Bites Bike in the confined and Norman Jones's Silver Story in the second division of the restricted. Bob Bites Back, a seven-year-old brown gelding, joined the Isabel Tompsett ridden Twilight Dancer at the last fence to win by a length and the grey six-year-old Silver Story, who was made an even money favourite, took up the running four fences from the finish to win easily from Duggan's Forge partnered by Jodie Hughes.

Rhys Hughes and Silver Story jump the second last in the second division of the Restricted Race

The field head towards the enclosures for the first time in the second division of the Restricted

In the men's open race, Keith Pritchard's Cannon Bridge, ridden by regular rider Dai Jones, led his six rivals a merry dance finishing a comfortable four lengths ahead of Balearic Star, ridden by Tenby's John Mathias who, earlier had had a walk-over on Master Billy in the members' race.

Men's Open winner, Cannon Bridge with Dai Jones on board, head for the start

Early Stages of the Men's Open Race

The first division of the restricted went to 14-1 outsider Casey Tiles, a seven-year-old bay mare, ridden by Kyle Yates and trained by Pembrokeshire's Beverley Thomas.Owned by Richard Nicholas, who makes a living selling quad bikes, Casey Tiles gave the bookmakers plenty to cheer about as she beat the well backed favourite Upton Springs who had tried to make all the running.

The bookmakers-all sixteen of them- had more to smile about after both parts of division two of the open maiden had been run. For the first went to 9-1 chance Egmont Heights and the second to 12-1 shot Poli Dei.

Egmont Heights and Jane Williams (No. 8) on the way to winning the first part of the second division of the Open Maiden Race

Diana Williams's Egmont Heights, who is qualified with the Albrighton Woodland Hunt, won easily from the favourite Colorado Storm and the French-bred Poli Sei,owned and trained by Bridgend's David Brace sponsor of the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase to be run at Chepstow on April 24, came with a good late run to beat the favourite Derry City.

John Mathias takes a tumble from Cutlass Silver in the first part of the second division of the Open Maiden

Egmont Heights, who was well ridden by Mrs Williams' daughter Jane,was running for the first time for the Williamses having chipped a bone in a foot last year. Poli Sei was a lucky chance ride for Richard Woolacott who earlier had finished second in the hunt race at the Beaufort Hunt Point-To-Point at Didmarton.

Many racegoers at Llanfrynach would have been unaware that Sally Randell, who had finished fourth on Give It Holly in division one of the restricted, had 24 hours earlier created history at Sandown Park by becoming the first female to win the Grand Military Gold Cup which dates to 1841.The race is restricted to those who have served in the Forces and Sally won on the front running Oakfield Legend owned and trained by Wales' Phil Payne.

Next Sunday the Ross Harriers hold their annual point-to-point races at Garnons near Hereford.

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