On Saturday Wales & Border Harness Racing held their race meeting at Llangunllo in mid Powys, this the first race meeting in this area, in the history of the sport.
It was an interesting course, set amongst a picturesque backdrop of hills, in the upper reaches of the Lugg valley.
The light rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the public, nor did it prevent the enjoyment of an afternoon of entertaining and competitive racing.
The first race of the afternoon was the Novice race in which the pole horse Immortal Storm, owned and trained by Roy Harris from Merthyr and driven by Andrew Hardwick, produced a flawless run to claim victory ahead of local horse Lanehouse Girl (Lewis, Llanbister) with another local competitor Olympics (Mills, Llanddewi) in third.
The grade B heats followed with the first providing another good run for Beg For Mercy with Mathew Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn on board.
They made the most of their pole position and despite many challenges Mathew steered the family pony home in front of Llwyns Mercy (Collingwood, Huntington) with Alibis Dream (Lloyd, Gladestry) in third.
In the second B heat Ayr Major despite a wide draw took up the running off the gate, with the pole horse, Lakeview Meg having to tuck in however on the final back straight she turned on the turbo to claim victory for her owner trainer Steve Lewis from Llanbister while Ayr Major (Eggerton, Norton Canon) narrowly hung on to second and Halfpenny (Lloyd, New Radnor) was third.
In the Grade A it was local boy, David Duggan, brought up on a neighbouring farm to the track, who set off in front with his horse George Gentle.
They led into the home straight and despite the encouragement of the local crowd, it was best friend Mark Bevan from Llanddewi on his family’s Easy Company who passed the post in front, while Dernol Yankee (Wozencraft, Llangurig) was third.
The Baby Novice was the next on the card where the back marker Victoria Penlan driven by his young owner Perry Thomas from Bridgend that secured victory, so promoting her into the Novice class, in second was Greenhill Gus (Dowse, Aberystwyth) while Fold Allstar (Bird, Evenjobb) was third.
The Nursery races followed. In the first the two year old Red Regal owned by Dave Sargeant of Newbridge and trained and driven by Andrew Hardwick from Brecon handled the track much better than their competitors, so secured a win from Carrie on Fred (Middleton Llandrindod) and Don’t Look Ethel (R Lloyd, Painscastle).
In the second nursery race, the popular mechanic Bill Hughes from Cwmbach steered his youngster Ellavalad to victory ahead of Dernol Ebony (Staples, Merthyr) while first time out Red Cash (Sargeant, Newbridge) was third.
The final race of the day was the Grade B final, the dash from the gate left Lakeview Meg at the head of affairs however in the following straight Oliver OJ Jones on Alibis Dream made a dramatic move to claim the lead, which they refused to surrender, so claiming victory for owner trainer Sam Lloyd from Gladestry while Beg For Mercy (Tromas, Newcastle Emlyn) ran on to be second and Lakeview Meg (Lewis, Llanbister) was third.
So from a new venue this week, racing returns to one of the oldest, with a revisit to Presteigne races on Broadheath Common on Saturday 25 June starting at 1.30pm.
If you’d like to help shape how that may look and secure some free credits if we do go live then please register here.
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