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Tredegar Farmers
Lower Machen
Sunday 10th May 2009
by Brian Lee

Photos by Alun Sedgemore

John Norman, 25, who rides out for Vale of Glamorgan trainer Tim Vaughan, chalked up his first winner on Robert Rowsell's Slip Duty in division one of the maiden race before a bumper crowd over the popular Lower Machen course at the Tredegar Farmers Hunt Steeplechases on Sunday.

Stewards keeping an eye on proceedings

Slip Duty, a seven-year-old chesnut gelding who had spent most of the last two years grazing in a field in Ireland until being bought cheaply by owner/trainer Robert Rowsell, jumped the last just in front of Synisterdexter and held on to win by a length.

Early action from the first division of the Open Maiden Race

First winner for John Norman, seen here going to the start on Slip Duty for the first division of the Open Maiden Race

Rowsell, a former rider of note himself, was full of praise for his rider who comes from the Pontypridd area. He claimed Slip Duty would have won on his Great Britain debut earlier this season when made favourite but for swallowing his tongue.

Hunt persons before the start of racing

For The Hell Of It, partnered by Nick Williams, made nearly every yard of the running in the second division- and was some twenty-five lengths clear at one stage- only to get caught just before the line by Mac Two ridden by the talented John Mathias. Mac Two,who won by half-a-length, is owned and trained by Pembrokeshire National Hunt trainer Dai Rees who said:" He may have one more run but he is a next year horse.'' If looks are anything to go on then this Sunshine Street five-year-old bay gelding, who ran in bumpers in Ireland, has a bright future ahead of him.

This is the winner of the second division of the Open Maiden Race, MacTwo and John Mathias

Lucy Jones riding her husband Simon's Dancing Credit made it four wins on the bounce when making all to win the ladies' open race coming home five lengths ahead of Mouseen and will run next in a Stratford Hunter Chase.Lucy and Simon have had six winners from seven runners this season their Derawar having been successful on two occasions.

Ladies Open Race winner Lucy Jones and Dancing Credit

Pembrokeshire's Nathan Deakin,16, made nearly all on Ingrid Shervington's Grey Kid to take the veteran and novice riders club members' race.Jumping the last in front, Grey Kid who was winning for the fourth time this season- including a Hereford Hunter Chase- won by two lengths from Wishwillow Magic and trainer Wyn Morris said a three-and-a-half mile Stratford Hunter Chase is next on the cards for this game eleven-year-old.

A good crowd at picturesque Lower Machen

Welsh champion Rhys Hughes has struck a purple patch and he had a hat-trick of wins to go with his recent Banwen fourtimer with Bob Bites Back (members), Classic Chance (restricted) and Overlut (men's open). Bob Bites Back, who is also Stratford bound, doesn't like being in front so allowed his only two rivals CatchtheBug and Thyme Of Hope to tow him along and jumping the last in front won a lot easier than the one length verdict over CatchTheBug suggested.

Jumping the last in the Members Race. On the right is the winner, Bob Bites Back and Rhys Hughes, alongside Catchthebug and James Stephens

Rhys Hughes and Overlut jumping the last in the Men's Open Race

Justin Bryant's Classic Chance, trained by Cowbridge's Margaret Ree, a chance ride for Hughes, made every post a winning one to score by three lengths from Its Not Chesnut and Steve Whistance's Overlut had to pull out all the stops after making all in the men's open all to beat the odds-on favourite Misamon by a length.

The second leg of a treble for Rhys Hughes, this time on Classic Chance in the Restricted Race

Tredegar Farmers winners
Members:Bob Bites Back (Rhys Hughes) 1-12 fav
Restricted:Classic Chance (Rhys Hughes) 8-1
Men's Open: Overlut(Rhys Hughes) 5-4
Ladies' Open:Dancing Credit (Lucy Jones) 1-3 fav
Club Members:Grey Kid (Nathan Deakin) 2-5 fav
Maiden Div:1: Slip Duty(John Norman) 5-1
Maiden Div:2 Mac Two (John Mathias) 5-4 jt fav

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