RACEGOERS were treated to a Royal victory when the Welsh Border area pointing season came to a close at the Golden Valley Hunt meeting at Bredwardine on Saturday.
Dhu Loch, owned by The Princess Royal and trained by her daughter Zara Phillips, was a convincing winner of the first division of the young horse Maiden race.
Partnered by Tom David, the five-year-old, who had finished a close second last time out, led on the final bend in the 13-runner race .
The pairing drew steadily clear to win by six lengths from the chasing Jolly Rock, so completing a double for David who scored also on Wizard Time in a division of the Restricted Open.
The Princess Royal was quick to deflect the win of the five-year-old home bred mare and give praise to her daughter saying: “It’s nothing to do with me it’s all down to her but I’m delighted she’s won.”
The betting in the Men's Open race suggested that it was a two-horse race between Bowdens Lane and Burntoakboy. And, after Burntoakboy ducked out through a wing unseating rider Tom Weston, it seemed the race was Bowdens Lane and David Mansell's for the taking.
But, in an eventful final circuit, Bowdens Lane was sent on in the back straight only to give Mansell a crashing fall at the final open ditch, bringing down the chasing Olivier and Opal Ridge also fell at the same fence.
This left only three remaining runners who seemed to be struggling in the rain-softened ground and it was Novi Sad, ridden by 17-year-old Harry Miller who prevailed by three lengths from Verschoyles Lad and Mvezo.
The Welsh Border area Confined Championship race went to the Adrian Wintle-ridden Cross The Highman who belied his outsider status to swoop past the long-time leader Upton Legend and win by four lengths with the 6/4 favourite Hoh Nelson back in third place, Winning rider Adrian Wintle said: “I thought they had gone quick enough in the ground and would come back to me and so it was”.
Novice rider Adam Wedge has impressed many this season.
And he was in the winners’ enclosure after the first division of the Restricted Open after a head bobbing finish which saw a neck victory on Murphys Fusilier over Welsh challenger One To Note and John Mathias.
The Syril Griffiths owned-and-trained U B Careful had been considered an unlucky loser at the Monmouthshire meeting when the judge gave the verdict to a rival in a close finish.
But he gained belated compensation in the second Maiden which saw horses scattered all over the course and only two finishers from a field of 11.
Jockey David Mansell left the course without a win in his quest for the Jockeys’ Championship but he was the winner of the annual Mark Richards Trophy for wins at selected local meetings.