Report - Carmarthenshire at Ffos Las - 21st November

  • Posted: Wednesday, 24th November 2021
  • Author: Alison Morris
  • Photo: Alun Sedgmore

There was sunshine in West Wales as as Point-to-Pointing returned at Ffos Las

They say the sun shines on the righteous; the members and committee of the Carmarthenshire Hunt must be pious souls indeed as the sun blazed over the West Wales course this Sunday as racing returned to West Wales. Point-to-Pointing on a “proper” course has its advantages; not least an excellent surface for the horses. It offers permanent facilities, mud-free tread under foot, and shelter from the weather. There is a lot to be said for picnicking from the boot of the car, in wellingtons surrounded by terriers, but the wooden picnic benches at Ffos Las, close to the running rails and mere yards from the finish gave their occupants an outstanding view of the action, enhanced by the proximity of a large screen.

If the wind chill grew too much the public, of which there were many, could find inside the grandstand an array of homemade crafts aimed at the early Christmas shopper, including offerings from the famous Dent Fine Arts. Mulled Wine was on sale and could be drunk to the background of a Ukulele band who played throughout the afternoon. Outside there was a plethora of racing talent to observe, human as well as equine. Not least of these was the Venetia Williams veteran Tango de Juilley. The thirteen-year-old relished the conditions in the well contested INEOS Mixed Open and under Flora Guy set off with determination to set up an impressive lead that was only ever diminished to twelve lengths on crossing the line. Flora, who works for Venetia Williams was riding her first winner of the season. A return to the Hunter Chasing scene would appear to be on the cards again this year for the gelding. With lady jockeys filling the top two slots it was left to young Osian Radford to uphold the honour of the men by stealing the last spot in the paddock.

Any bookmaker in the country would have a few preferred names at the top of the list when it comes to choosing this season Men’s Champion. One that will have to be watched closely from just outside that list is Tommie O’Brien who rode a double on the day. The first of the two O’Brien victories came in the two-and-a-half-mile Restricted Race in the form of the capable six-year-old Racing Snake. The son of Mount Nelson has scored in each of his Point-to-Point starts and looks to be a useful player in the stable of Clive Boultbee-Brooks.

Tilly Toughnut, another with a Ledbury qualification card gave O’Brien the second leg of his double in the Four- and Five-Year-Old flat race, this was a racecourse debut for Tilly Toughnut who is by the popular sire Blue Bresil.

It was a dry day for Championship hopeful Bradley Gibbs who was decanted from Honey I’m Good when looking all over the winner in the Mares Maiden leaving So They Say to score by twelve lengths. Bobby Thomas took the Hunt Members race aboard Coquin Mans with all his runners on the day also claiming the best turned out awards in their relevant divisions.

Will Biddick fared better on the day when taking the Open Maiden on Soldier Of Destiny (pictured above). This was a racecourse debut for the five-year-old and this is another who deserves a place in the notebook. Both Maiden contests were run over the shorter trip which was beneficial for the younger horses as the ground proved quite tiring.

Conditions races are proving to be popular options and a field of fourteen set out to contest the Carmarthenshire renewal. This race, over the normal trip of three miles saw Oistrakh Le Noir emerge the victor with jockey Kate Gowing scoring another winner on the day for the ladies.

The meeting came to an end with English raiders carrying a lot of silverware back over the bridge, however there is plenty of revenge to be had by the Welsh in the opposing direction between now and February when racing returns to the Principality once more.