Track Talk With Simon Rowlands


31 December 2020

The leading trainer at Ffos Las since the course opened in 2009 is Evan Williams. 

He’s also been consistently successful at the major tracks across the UK but last weekend’s victory for Silver Streak in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton will have given him a huge amount of satisfaction.

The flying grey made all the running under jockey Adam Wedge to defeat the current champion hurdler Epatante who was sent off the 1-5 favourite. It was a well deserved first Grade One victory for the seven-year-old who won the Welsh Champion Hurdle in 2018.

His career prize money earnings are now £438,000 and there’s plenty more mileage in the tank. He’s a credit to everyone concerned with him. 

It could have been a superb Christmas for the Williams yard had Sunday’s £150,000 Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow gone ahead. They were due to saddle two fancied runners, the favourite Secret Reprieve and also Prime Venture. But the meeting fell to the elements and has been re-scheduled for Saturday 9 January.

After more than 220mm of rain at Chepstow in December, including 27mm during Storm Bella the night before racing, one section of the track in the back straight proved impassable and unfit for racing. 

The Coral Welsh Grand National and the Coral Finale Hurdle will be shown live on ITV 4 as part their coverage on January 9 which also features races from Kempton and Wincanton.  

Looking back to this year’s Welsh Horse Racing Awards, it was great to see Charlie Price win the Rising Star award. The young conditional jockey is attached to Tim Vaughan’s yard in the Vale of Glamorgan.

He didn’t sit on a horse until he was 15, but quickly made up for lost time by becoming the Arab racing novice champion rider before turning to riding over jumps.  13 winners have come in the last year, during which he won the BHA’s Racing Excellence Conditional Training Series award. 

The judging panel also recognised the progress made by another young rider, Isabel Williams, daughter of trainer Evan, notably her recent four-timer aboard Memphis Bell.

The opening fixture at Ffos Las in 2021 is Thursday 7th January. Discussions with the Welsh Government about pilot events with spectators will continue in January as well. 







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