On and Off The Turf with Brian Lee

By GEM Community Correspondent in Equine

Evan Williams’ five-year-old Skewiff racing for the first time in public landed the closing Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Division 2) at Huntingdon last Thursday.

Partnered by Adam Wedge Skewiff, an 8-1 chance, got home by a head from the favourite Majestic Moll with Mary Eleanor a further short head away in third place.


Racehorse trainer Debra Hamer who hails from the Vale and who trains her horses from her yard in Carmarthen had plenty to smile about after her seven-year-old ToBeFair landed the Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle in fine style at Newbury last Saturday under regular jockey Trevor Whelan.

Since she has had the plucky ToBeFair it won its first two starts at Worcester before scoring at Chepstow, Ffos Las, Chepstow again then Warwick before picking up the £12, 512 Newbury prize.

Not many horses go on to win seven races on the trot so to speak and the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival could be next for ToBeFair owned by the Down The Quay Club Syndicate a happy band of west Wales point-to-point stalwarts.


Chepstow Racecourse, home of the Welsh Grand National, is sponsoring five point-to-points in its heartland of south Wales and along the M4/M5 corridor.

These include the Curre & Llangibby fixture at Howick near Chepstow on February 19, the Brecon & Talybont at Llanfrynach on March 4 and the Monmouthshire at Llanvapley on April 1.

Phil Bell, executive director, said: “Chepstow draws on a huge enthusiasm for jump racing in south Wales and surrounding counties, manifesting itself in attendances at some of our marquee fixtures like the Coral Welsh Grand National.

"Our Dunraven Bowl Novices’ Hunter Chase on April 28 is the most valuable Hunter Chase in Wales and draws terrific support from the whole south west too.”

“We’re delighted to be supporting the sport that supports us.”

David Brace OBE and MD of Dunraven Group, added: “We’re very proud of the Dunraven Bowl at Chepstow and see an opportunity to build this fixture into a destination event for the point-to-point community.”


Evan David from Llanharan, who has been in good form this season, chalked up another winner when making all the running on Andrew Pennock’s Torran Na Dtonn in the hunt members’ race at the Cambridge University Hunt Point-To- Point Steeplechases at Cottenham last Saturday.


The first of the two Curre & Llangibby Hunt Point-To-Point fixtures takes place at Howick, near Chepstow, on Sunday (Februry 19) and a number horses and riders from the Vale are expected to take part.

Racing gets under way with the members’ race at 12 noon.


David Brace, who runs the Dunraven Stud at Pyle near Bridgend, took the first two races at the Albrighton & Woodland Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at Chaddesley Corbett on Sunday.

His Doc Cody took the open maiden event and his Colorado Doc won the restricted. Both are six-year-olds and both are by his stallion Dr Massini.

Leading Welsh rider Bradley Gibbs, who recently chalked-up his 100th winner, rode both horses.

Another Welsh rider who had a double on Sunday was Lorcan Williams who at the Vine and Craven meeting at Barbary Castle took the restricted on Apple’s Queen and the novice riders’ race on Join Together.

* You can e-mail your news or views to brianlee4@virginmedia.com

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