Track Talk With Ffos Las GM Kevin Hire


15 March 2022

I am delighted to be writing my first column as the new General Manager of Ffos Las – we have an exciting year ahead and I’m looking forward to welcoming customers to the course.  

We’re preparing for our next fixture on Wednesday 23rd March when students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will be assisting with the management of the racecourse as part of an academic project related to hospitality and tourism.  

There are seven races from 2.20pm and tickets are £17 in advance and £19 on the day. Restaurant packages are also available and can be booked via the website. In April we race twice on the 7th and 17th (Easter Sunday). 

It was another great weekend for Welsh jockeys. 

On Saturday Lorcan Williams (photographed) rode Complete Unknown to victory in the EBF novice hurdle Final at Sandown.  It was the jockey’s first Grade 3.  The trainer’s daughter, Megan Nicholls, revealed afterwards that this race was the horse’s target from as far back as November.    

Soon afterwards James Bowen steered the Peter Fahy trained Surprise Package to a surprise 20/1 success in the Imperial Cup.  It was his 21st birthday, and despite his tender years it was his 262nd career winner.  Ominously, it was the only Irish runner in this ultra-competitive contest.   

David Probert won the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton on the well-backed Notre Belle Bete for his main stable, that of Andrew Balding.  Probert’s 46 winners this year have come at a strike rate of 19%, far in excess of his former average. 

Ben Jones rode three winners between last Friday and Sunday. He scored aboard Just A Dime at Exeter on Friday, Keep Rolling at Hereford on Saturday and Volcano at Warwick on Sunday.  Volcano, trained by Shelia Lewis, has now won on every one of his four visits to Warwick and the West Wales National at Ffos Las in April could be his next target. 

Connor Brace won on Feel The Pinch at Bangor on Sunday for trained Fergal O’Brien. He’s only had seven rides this month, but has won on four of them.  On the same card Richard Patrick sat tight on Bridge North, whose jumping was less than perfect, to record an all-the-way win in a three-horse novice hurdle for the in-form Henry Daly. 

Sam Thomas leads the Welsh trainers hoping for Cheltenham glory. Our Power runs in Tuesday’s 3m handicap chase, the Ultima.  Good Risk At All’s nine length victory at Ascot last month has impressed backers enough to make him a 7/1 shot for Wednesday’s Coral Cup.  Before Midnight goes for Wednesday’s Grand Annual and Skytastic is entered in Friday’s Albert Bartlett. 

Christian Williams has aimed his former Coral Welsh Grand National hero Potters Corner at Wednesday’s Cross Country.  There he will be up against Tiger Roll, who according to his owner will be having his swan song, and a number of J P McManus runners. 

Rebecca Curtis sends Lisnagar Oscar to try and regain the Stayers Hurdle crown he won in 2020.  Only seven take part in Tuesday’s closer, the National Hunt Chase, and Curtis has two of them.  Pat’s Fancy looked a dour stayer winning twice at Chepstow and then excelled himself by running Bravemansgame to three and a half lengths.  Stablemate Beatthebullet is a rank outsider.  All the other runners are Irish. 

Ffos Las Racecourse

Racecourse logo

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news, events and special offers direct to your inbox.