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Ystrad Taf Fechan at Ystradowen
Sunday 10th April 2016

by Brian Lee

Bridgend builder Roger Willcox saw his nine year old bay gelding Lauberhorn land the Ladies Open Race at the Ystrad Taf Fechan Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at Ystradowen for the third year on the bounce when coming home four lengths ahead of Watch The Birdie partnered by Hannah Lewis.

Two fences from home it looked like the odds-on favourite Watch The Birdie would go on and win her race but by the time the last fence had been reached Lauberhorn's rider Jodie Hughes, who had ridden a well-judged race, was almost upsides Watch The Birdie and went on to gain a famous victory.

Jodie said on dismounting: "Lauberhorn is brilliant a real class act. I have always admired him and it has been a joy to ride him." Mr Willcox was quick to give praise to Stephen Parkhouse who had helped him train Lauberhorn which had finished amongst the also-rans in his previous race last month.

The John Lovell Men's Open Race for which there were seven starters was really a match between Claire Sherriff's seven year old bay mare My Coranna and David Llewellyn's thirteen year old bay gelding Rosies Peacock. And after Thomas Junior and Sheriff Hutton had made most of the early pace, My Coranna and Bradley Gibbs took up the lead two fences from home and went on to win by six lengths from Rosies Peacock. My Coranna, which has never finished outside of the first two, was winning for the fourth time in a row and her rider said: "She has a big heart and has done it well on ground that is a bit too soft for her." This exciting mare could find herself in the line-up for the Dunraven Bowl at Chepstow on 22nd April. My Coranna was the second leg of a double for Gibbs who had won the opening Hunt Members, Subscribers & Farmers Race on another exciting mare the five year old Frelia who came home a distance ahead of Cousinade after taking up the running five fences from the finish.

Sixteen year old Lorcan Williams from Amroth in West Wales riding his mother Lorna and father Chris's seven year old bay gelding Nicholasville chalked-up his first winner in around 10 rides when landing the Restricted Race by six lengths from the John Mathias partnered Princess Tina who had looked like winning three fences from the finish. Lorcan rides out for leading National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls and no doubt we will be hearing a lot more about him in the future.

Keith James's eight year old chestnut gelding Itchymei'mscratch which had won a bumper (National Hunt Flat race) in Ireland when trained by Gordon Elliott in 2014 was a 10 lengths winner of the Intermediate under Tom David. In a handy position throughout, the oddly named odds-on favourite won by 10 lengths from Northgeorge - in a time which was eight seconds faster than when winning the Members at the Glamorgan in March.

David made it a double when taking the Young Horse Open Maiden on the RGL Racing Partnership horse Ride On Time, a six year old bay gelding which had been placed over hurdles and in chases when trained by Ben Pauling. Ride On Time came home five lengths ahead of Ann Scott and trainer Robbie Llewellyn said: "Tom who works for Pauling told us the horse was useful but wanted to be sweetened up a bit so we bought him for our family and friend syndicate. He's a lovely horse to train and we are all delighted."

The Seven Year Olds and Over Open Maiden was won by Key People, a nine year old bay gelding owned by Pyle's Mrs Sherree Lean and trained by her husband Jonathan Lean. Well ridden by Bargoed's Kris Hamner, aged 25, Key People, a former inmate of Tim Vaughan's yard, came home 30 lengths ahead of the favourite An Cor who was finishing in the runner-up's spot for the third time in a row. Kris said: "He's a pleasant and easy horse to ride and we were always going well."

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