This was a mammoth trip and the original (and sensible) plan had been to travel down to Wales the day before, but we decided to have Easter Sunday lunch at home with the family (well, when I say we, what I really mean is that Mrs S decided!). Having said that it was a good choice and lunch was superb, however, that meant an early start on Easter Monday morning, and I was flying solo!
I was ‘flying solo’ because Mrs S was feeling under the weather and I set off armed with plenty of music and a packet of Opal Fruits! Of course, there is no such thing any more as they are now called Starburst, but they will always be Opal Fruits in my eyes! Anyway, for all of you youngsters reading this, here’s a blast from the past:
And they were ‘made to make your mouth water’ … right, that’s enough about 70’s sweets, let’s get back on track and talk about the racing. Comeback kid Jodie Hughes was quick off the mark and followed up her win in the Confined at Pyle on Easter Saturday with a tidy win in the Members race.
The win was a popular one for this bubbly local lass, and her dad, Graham (owner), and her fiancé, Paul (trainer) were cock-a-hoop!
The Open Maiden winner, Dream Bolt, was the first leg of a treble for John Mathias, although Jodie was back down to earth with a bump and made her way back to the paddock on foot (below).
We had 4 good ‘uns declared from the 14 entries so we were guaranteed a decent race, with Watch The Birdie (Hannah Lewis) sent off as odds-on favourite.
They’re tough in Wales! Teenage Kicks had only raced 2 days earlier, finishing 2nd in the Ladies Open at Pyle, and this was to be his 6th start since the beginning of March.
I was chatting to Carl Evans at Sandon on Saturday and had remarked that the fairytale result in the AGA race today would be a win at her local track for Jodie Hughes. Well guess what? She only went and did it!
This was a first ever AGA win for Jodie and it was greeted with joyous scenes in the winners enclosure, with connections and family joining in the celebrations.
The lady who is often referred to as ‘Mrs Point-to-Point’, Cynthia Higgon, very kindly presented mementoes to Eric & Dorothy Clough, and of course Jodie, and I think she enjoyed it!
The tally for the day was three wins for John Mathias, two for Jodie, and a win each for Bradley Gibbs and Rachel Leyshon, while Ben Jones and Connor Brace took the two pony races.
It was a bit warm for AGA hats today but the girls were happy to pop them on for photos (it’s the law), and the new colours went down well, just ask Jenny Price!
Both pony races provided great entertainment, and a fair number stayed on to watch them, providing enthusiastic (and noisy) support for the young riders. The journey home was broken with a ‘pit-stop’ at the Prichard residence in Pontypridd (lovely people), and thanks to their kindness I resumed my journey suitably fed and watered.
It was a long way to go but the people made it for me and I’m looking forward to our next visit to Wales on 5th May (Banwen Miners), I’ll bring the flag again, but I’ll iron it this time!