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Easygoing ride had a delightful surprise for his owner.

Byline: turf talk Brian Lee

West Wales area point-topoint secretary Beverley Thomas, of Puntingbud Farm, Haverfordwest, who has saddled many winners in her time, has only one horse in training these days - Moral Hazard, which she owns in partnership with west Wales' Adrian Simpson.

And when the nine-year-old brown gelding landed the Roger Lewis Memorial Mixed Open Race at the recent Curre & Llangibby Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases under Wales' leading rider Bradley Gibbs, she was not only absolutely delighted but completely surprised. Moral Hazard won by four lengths from David Brace's Pink Eyed Pedro, partnered by his 16-year-old grandson Connor Brace who, with four wins this season, is making a bold bid for the gentlemen novice riders' championship. His nearest rivals Tim Gredley and Milo Herbert have ridden just two winners.

Ms Thomas said: "That was a real shock as he hasn't raced for such a long time and he hates the heavy going."

Asked if he was easy to train, she replied: "He's such a darling that I ride him myself."

Mr Simpson was full of praise for Bradley Gibbs, who had earlier won the Confined race on David Brace's Colorado Doc which won by a distance from Mr Brace's other runner Bob The Butcher, ridden by Connor Brace.

South Wales area point-to-point secretary Liz Egerton also found herself in the winners' enclosure after the eight-year-old bay gelding Champione, racing in the colours of The Egerton, Chandler & Harris Partnership, got home by a neck from the Croome & West Warwicks invader Double You Be in the Restricted Race after making most of the running under Nick Williams.

Winning trainer Jonathan Tudor gave all the credit to his 16-year-old son Jack, who he said does all the work with the horse.

The meeting had started on a sad note when, in a match for the hunt members' race, odds-on favourite War Path, ridden by Hannah Lewis, looked like trotting up after jumping the last fence ahead of Always Archie, ridden by Craig Dowson, only to break a leg on the run to the winning post.

Cowbridge's Byron Moorcroft, having his first ride of the season, landed the Young Horse Maiden on the seven-year-old bay gelding Mason Dixon, which had 15 lengths to spare over the pace-making Light Flicker.

Winning owner Georgia Kemeys said that Mason Dixon, who is trained by Pontypridd's Kieran Price, is the first horse she has ever owned and was her first ever winner.

The favourite, Snow Puma, appeared to be going well when falling at the 10th fence.

Twenty-three-year-old Irishman Shane Quinlan won the Open Maiden Race on Frank Michael's sevenyear-old grey mare Bean Liath, which came home 15 lengths ahead of Bobby Thomas' Padre Tito.

Mr Michael bought the mare in Ireland for a friend who later changed his mind about buying her, so he decided to keep her himself.

| At the South Pool Point-To-Point at Buckfastleigh, Wales' David Prichard won the restricted open race on Melanie Dixon's eight-year-old grey gelding Ballybane, a 10-1 chance trained by Claire Harris.

Mr Prichard said: "I was happy to be handy. He was pulling too much but he gave me a great feel and I was always confident."

| Beef and sheep farmer Phil Dando, of Peterson-super-Ely in the Vale of Glamorgan, was delighted to have provided west Wales' Ben Jones with his first winner under Rules when his home-bred Sahara Haze ran out a six-lengths winner of the Handicap Hurdle at Warwick last Friday at odds of 10-1. | At Chepstow on Saturday, it was appropriate that the inaugural Roger Lewis Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase was won by Welsh trainer Evan Williams' Tornado In Milan.

Evan was well-known to Roger, both being leading point-to-point riders.

Congratulations go to Gwent's Debbie Faulkner, who saddled Beallandendall, winner of Chepstow's Pertemps Handicap Chase.

| The Brecon & Talybont Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases will be held at Tyfry, Llanfrynach, Brecon on March 3. The first race is at 1pm and I am given to understand some more improvements have been made to the course.

| You can send your racing news and views to Brian Lee by email ing brianlee4@virginmedia.com or phoning 029 2073 6438.

CAPTION(S):

<B Beverley Thomas, second left, and Adrian Simpson, second right, with their horse Moral Hazard after winning the Mixed Open Race at Howick last Sunday (with Bradley Gibbs on board) Alun Sedgmore
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 27, 2018
Words:722
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