Mad Money overcomes hurdle of last result with race victory; turf talk.
BONVILSTON farmer Tudor Harris and South Wales Area Point-To-Point secretary Liz Egerton had plenty to smile about at the recent Curre and Llangibby Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases when their 10-year-old bay gelding Mad Money made all the running under Cowbridge's Byron Moorcroft to land the second division of the open maiden race sponsored by Chepstow Racecourse.
For former hurdler Mad Money, who had finished last in his previous race over hurdles at Southwell in 2015, clocked a time which was some nine seconds faster than Beverley Thomas and Adrian Simpson's Moral Hazard had taken to win the first division and the Challenge Trophy is awarded to the fastest winner.
Mad Money is trained by former leading point-to-point rider Jonathan Tudor at Merthyr Mawr and he has done well to improve on the ex-Irish horse's form.
Twenty four hours earlier, Moorcroft had been successful on David Brace's five-year-old bay gelding Colorado Doc at the Mid Devon meeting and, at the time of writing, has ridden eight winners betweenthe-flags this season.
West Wales sheep farmer Beverley Thomas, who as it happens is the West Wales Area Point-To-Point Secretary, has also done well to win with Moral Hazard as Beverley, who has trained many winners in the past, told me she only started training again by accident and that Moral Hazard, a seven-year-old brown gelding, is such a good horse to train that an old lady could ride him.
Moral Hazard was ridden by Welsh champion point-to-point rider John Mathias who had earlier won the restricted open race on WithoutDe-Favourite which is trained by John's bride to be Amber Griffiths.
John and Amber will be getting married on August 6 and hunt racing fans will want to wish them all the very best.
Surprisingly, Rachel Hooton's Desertmore View, winner of last year's Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase at Chepstow, was without his usual rider John Mathias when facing the starter for the men's open race and with Matthew Barber in the saddle made every yard of the running to score by eight lengths from Lamboro Lad.
The ladies' open race went to Mr and Mrs William Rucker's 11-yearold bay gelding Get It On who was given a good ride by 23-year-old Sarah Bowen.
Happiest rider of the day was 21-year-old Jack Jones from Ross-On-Wye who riding his mother and father's 11-year-old Real Milan won the club members' race.
Jack, who only started race riding this season, was chalking up his first winner in just five rides and judging his race to perfection caught the pacemaking Books Review on the post to win by three parts of a length.
Pontypridd's Charlotte Prichard riding Mrs Jeanne Thomas' Stony Road repeated last year's success when coming home five lengths ahead of Sweet Like You in the members' race.
Welsh point-to-point enthusiasts are in for a busy weekend with the Glamorgan Hunt fixture at Ystradowen, near Cowbridge, on Easter Saturday (first race 2pm) and the South Pembrokeshire meeting at Lydstep, near Tenby on Easter Monday (first race 1pm).
The Glamorgan Hunt Club Members Conditions Race and the Young Horse Open Maiden Race at the Glamorgan will be run over twoand-a-half miles and there will be six races.
The South Pembrokeshire are staging the Men's Open West Wales Area Feature Race and there will be seven races.
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Liz Egerton, left, and Tudor Harris, right, with their horse Mad Money and jockey Byron Moorcroft