PRESTEIGNE races is one of the traditional meetings of the season, held on Broadheath common reflecting the ancestry of this local sport.
The large crowd enjoyed some fantastic racing and it turned out to be a day for the ladies as half of the fourteen races were won by lady drivers.
Three Nurseries reflect the many horses being introduced to their racing career.
The winners were Kentucky Roam (Perks, Presteigne) Garth Vader (Williams, Brecon) both previous nursery winners and first time out Ayr Hero (Bevan, Llanddewi).
The first heat of the Novices provided another win for the speedster Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanbister) as usual in the capable hands of Mel Langford in second was Lane House Patch (Thomas Merthyr) who ran another good race while in third place was the backmarker Lakeview Meg (Atherton-Rees, Narberth). Meadowland Olympic (Evans Newcastle Emlyn) with the experienced Mathew Tromans at the controls took the second heat of the Novice from fast finishing Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while Hurricane Howard (Duggan, Llangunllo) enhanced his reputation with a good run in third.
In the first heat of the Grade B, lady drivers took all the prizes, Mel Langford enjoyed another victory this time driving Rhyds Backchat (Elder, Blaencelyn) beating Becky Williams on Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) with Louisa Barton and Ayr Ontario (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) in third. In the second Grade B heat Becky Williams and Ithon Hannah (Perks Presteigne) led for most of the race but Habberly Haste (Lloyd New Radnor) driven by Andrew Hardwick swept to victory, while Louisa Barton on Makemeamillioanyre (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) claimed another third.
In the first Baby Novice race the appropriately named The Chancer on only his second appearance with owner Wayne Knox in the seat was first passed the post, in second was the well respected Talavary Zary (Jones Evenjobb) with Hilltop Recon (Lloyd, New Radnor) in third. The Chancer now proceeds into the Novices. Turn the Paige with owner Paul Miles from Merthyr at the controls showed a good turn of speed to claim the second Baby Novice from Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) while the back marker Ayr Fella (Lloyd Painscastle) was third. In the third Baby Novice Cool Ice (Gething Ewyas Harold) just stuck his nose out to claim victory for his trainer/driver Derek Pritchard with last week’s winner Universal Soldier (Powell, Merthyr Cynog) just a fraction down while Bad Romance (Eggerton Norton Canon) ran on well to be third.
The ladies always dominate the saddle class and this week was no exception with Jayne Bevan riding No Mercy (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) just getting the better of long time leader Mel Langford on Brywins Jo Jo (Jones, Ammanford) while Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) was third.
The Novice final was a very competitive affair where the speedy Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanbister) with the experienced Mel Langford at the controls surged over the line just in front of the resolute Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while the backmarker Lakeview Meg (Atherton-Rees, Narberth) was third. This was Mel’s third win of the day.
The next race was for the Juniors, where the youngsters have their chance to gain some race track experience, this week Rachel Bevan-Thomas with Wellfield Wally (Bevan Builth Wells) started on the gate and just held on despite the enormous efforts of Jess Samuel on Camden Lock (Samuel, Newchurch) and Ellie Tromans on Immortal Breeze (Williams Llanafan) who dead heated for second while Josie Duggan and Forest Gump (Duggan, Llangunllo) ran well in fourth.
In the Grade B final the wily Mathew Tromans picked up a catch drive on Ayr Ontario (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) and claimed first prize from a fast finishing Habberley Haste (Lloyd, New Radnor) while Rhyds Backchat (Elder, Blaencelyn) ran well in third.
In the dash Tyssul Pearl with owner Emrys Thomas from Llanbister on board made the most of pole position to dictate the race to victory, from Tantalizing (Havard, Dinmore) in hot pursuit, while No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) had to be content with third.
In the Grade A the enigmatic crowd pleaser, twelve year old Scoobys Dream (Williams, Brecon) with his biggest fan, Lynn Boxhall driving, flew from the start to establish a substantial lead, and despite the efforts of the chasing pack, they romped home to an euphoric reception from an appreciative crowd. In second was Zestthewayilikeit (Jones, Evenjobb) with Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) in third.
The day’s racing was completed with the consolation in which another lady driver claimed victory, Julie Moorhouse from Llandinam driving her own Sable Sam registered a popular win from Afansbellprincess (Jones, Cribyn) while Life Today (Hughes, New Radnor) was third.
After a day when the ladies showed their positive driving skills, no doubt the challenge will be for the men to redress the balance.