Day At The Track

Ceredigion harness racing season undeway

08:41 PM 09 May 2012 NZST
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The Evans family celebrate the success Hugh Menzies battles for the lead
The Evans family celebrate the success - of their homebred 5 year old Gelding Fool Around
Photograph by Mark Pickthall
Hugh Menzies battles for the lead - In the Senior Welsh Dragon
Photograph by Graham Rees

After a long winter and a couple of very wet weeks, the weather stayed dry and Tregaron Trotting Club managed to kick the start of the Ceredigion harness racing season off in fine style on a bank holiday on Sunday.

Race 1 went the way of the rapidly improving IB Rapido (Hasty Hall - Casa Mia) and Donal Murphy who kicked away on the last bend to hold an unassailable lead on the run to the wire. The win was just rewards for their long trip from Co.Cork.

Ante-post favourite for the Spring handicap final, Fool Around (Sable Matters - Merry Go Round) proved his worth when winning heat 1 for 21 year old trainer/driver Rhys Evans from Tregaron. The second heat also went the way of the locals with Henry Bulman's 7 year old mare Mahogany Dream (Village Jasper- Mahogany Shark) driven by Colin Bevan, battling on strongly to just pip Oakview Duke (Mick Lord) and Dreamaker (Mike Evans) to the line.

We knew it wouldn't be long until we saw last year's top trainer/driver partnership Alexis and William ‘Rocker' Laidler back in the winner's enclosure and Joleen (Village Jasper - Stoneriggs QE2) kindly gave them their first win of the season in the final heat.

The maiden was won by the exciting three year old prospect Oakview George (Hasty Hall - Oakview Rapture) driven to his comfortable victory by Mick Lord. This was followed up by an impressive double for trainer/driver David Bevan with Camden Casanova (Camluck - Butchie) and Vyrnwy Taffie (Brets Nightingale - Drop your Riggen).

One of the feature races of the day the Senior Welsh Dragon for 4 year olds lived up to all expectations. Perhaps the most exciting race of the day with changes to the leader throughout it was eventually Littlemill Rogue (Rogue Hall - Forever Green) partnered by Steven Henderson that got to parade down the track to the voice of Tina Turner and ‘Simply the best' after narrowly beating Stoneriggs Banner and Hugh Menzies by a short head in a photo finish.

The free for all saw the hotly anticipated return of 2010's top 3 year old Rhyds Fivestar. However it was another of top breeders John and Greta Wright's progeny Rhyds Destiny (Hasty Hall - CPR) that made all the running for driver Andrew Cairns winning in the fastest time of the day. Though I'm sure it won't be long until ‘Fivestar' is back to his famous winning ways.

The highlight and climax of the day was the Spring Handicap Final. The field was made up of the first three home from each of the three heats. With the fastest heat winner Fool Around all alone on the gate he was the overwhelming favourite. He led the field a merry dance and sprinted away to win handily in a time of 2:13.3 to give the Evans family the first major handicap trophy of the season. Second went to last year's winner IB Gucci (Donal Murphy) with Another Toto (Paul Evans) in third.

Don't forget Ceredigion's next meeting on the 6th, 7th and 8th of July at Aberystwyth

Kayleigh Evans (Ceredrotian)

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