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Four-time delight begins with early gift for Seanie; turf talk.

Byline: BRIAN LEE

PEMBROKESHIRE sheep farmer Beverley Thomas, who gave up editing an equestrian magazine some 10 years ago to train point-to-pointers, saddled her first four-timer at the Banwen Miners' point-to-point steeplechases.

And Gareth Topham, 19, from Cardiff, kept racegoers well informed throughout the afternoon with his excellent race commentaries.

Beverley's brilliant four-timer began when her favourite horse Seanie The Smuggler was gifted the ladies' open race after Derawar, some eight lengths clear, refused at the final obstacle.

Seanie The Smuggler's rider Jodie Hughes said: "I would never have caught Derawar but the fences are there to be jumped."

Beverley's Senegal Tiger, under James Tudor, made nearly all to beat Well Mick by two lengths in the restricted.

A former inmate of Evan Williams's yard, Senegal Tiger was backed from 5-1 to 5-2 joint-favourite and is owned by Cardiff's Mark Glastonbury.

Beverley's next success came in the intermediate race when Sporting Hero, well ridden by Nick Williams, beat the odds-on Tokpela by half a length.

Nick was also aboard her fourth winner Casey Tiles (maiden division one) who scored by three lengths from Wenselydale Star.

In a close finish to the second division of the maiden, Just Romeo, trained by Carmarthen's Paul Hamer and partnered by James Tudor, finished half a length ahead of Viceroy Close.

Mary Lovell, whose husband John was tragically killed in a recent motoring accident, saw her late husband's Sams Lad chalk up his third win between the flags when romping home two fences ahead of Treasured Coin in the members' race.

And Hengoed's Rhys Hughes riding Edna Hussey's Bob Bites Back took the confined by one and a half lengths from Bits And Bobs.

David Pritchard,16, came in for plenty of praise after winning the members' race at the B & Talybont's re-arranged meeting on his father Ian's Mountain Lily who took up the running approaching the second last to score by six lengths from Lost In The Snow.

Earlier in the week, David's 12-year-old sister Claire had won on her pony Flanders Field at Maise more Park.

There was a close finish to the confined in which Isabel Tompsett riding Twilight Dancer beat the pace making Bits And Bobs by a short head.

The pair jumped the last together but Isabel said: "Twilight Dancer jumped it best and that's what won her the race."

The men's open was won by the odds-on favourite Adventurist who under Alan Johns, 18, won by ten lengths from Last Symphony.

In the ladies' open, Angela Rucker riding Pirate Flagship and Claire Brooks aboard Neophyte jumped the last together.

To the delight of favourite backers, the former had a length to spare at the winning post.

Marc Barber brought Ronnie Meyrick's Brave Lad with a good late run to win the restricted by a length from Wizard Time with Back The Bid a further length away in third spot.

David Llewellyn's Final Mick, ridden by John Mathias, who was running for the first time in around three years, was a two lengths winner of the first division of the maiden.

The 12-year-old collapsed on entering the parade ring but appeared to be fine afterwards.

David is the brother of Grand National winning-jockey Carl Llewellyn.

The second division went to Robert Jones' Kinsale King who in beating the odds-on pace making favourite Knight Of The Road by six lengths clocked the day's fastest time.

Kingsale King was confidently ridden by Rhys Flint and Mr Jones, who also trains the horse, said: "Rhys gave him a peachof a ride." Racegoers who watched the racing from the natural hillside grandstand complained to me that the bouncy castle and catering vans and tents stopped them seeing the final stages of the race.

I also received a complaint from a bookmaker friend whohas been ill for sometime. Hetellsme that he was told that if he didn't attend this point-to-point he would lose his pitch.

Congratulations to former point-to-point rider Andrew James, the Conservative candidate for Crucorney, on being elected to Monmouthshire County Council.

The Gelligaer Farmers' Hunt Steeplechases take place at the popular Lower Machen course near Newport on Sunday (first race 2pm).

BANWEN WINNERS

Members: Sams Lad (Deano Coleman) 2-5 fav.

Confined: Bob Bites Back (Rhys Hughes) 7-4 fav.

Men's Open: Danbury (Marc Barber) 4-7 fav.

Ladies'Open: SeanTheSmuggler (Jodie Hughes) 8-1

Restricted: Senegal Tiger (James Tudor) 2-1 fav.

Intermediate: Sporting Hero (Nick Williams) 8-1

Maiden Division1: Casey Tiles (Nick Williams) 2-1

Maiden Division 2: Just Romeo (James Tudor) 6-1

13.2hh Pony Race: Oscar (Jordan Williams) 1-4 fav.

14.2hh Pony Race: Tommy's Girl(Robert Williams) 1-3 fav.

BRECON&TALYBONT WINNERS

Members: Mountain Lily (David Pritchard) 6-1

Confined: Twilight Dancer (Isabel Tompsett) 4-5 fav.

Men's Open: Adventurist (Alan John) 4-7 fav.

Ladies' Open: Pirate Flagship (Angela Rucker) 4-5 fav.

Restricted: Brave Lad (Marc Barber) 16-1

Maiden Div 1: Final Mick (John Mathias) 14-1

Maiden Div 2: Kingsale King (Rhys Flint) 3-1

You can e-mail Brian Lee at leebrian@btinternet.com.uk or telephone him on 029 2073 6438.

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TRIUMPH: Pembroke's Beverley Thomas with winning jockey Jodie Hughes at Banwen Miners' Point-To-Point Picture: Alun Sedgemore of www.sportingprints.biz
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 13, 2008
Words:857
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