Track Talk With Simon Rowlands - 15th March


15 March 2021

Following last week’s Covid 19 update from the Welsh Government, no dates have been approved for the return of spectators to racecourses in Wales. Discussions are continuing between all elite sports and the government to identify dates for trials with customers. 

Ffos Las is working alongside Cardiff City, Swansea City, Wrexham, the Welsh Rugby Union, the four rugby regions, Glamorgan cricket club and our colleagues at Chepstow and Bangor Racecourse to agree the most appropriate way forward.

The next update from the Welsh Government is in a fortnight but any decisions announced prior to this date will be posted on our website and social media feeds.

Our next meeting at Ffos Las is on Thursday 1st April with the meeting live on Sky Sports Racing. 

There is a big week ahead for many Welsh jockeys none more so that Sean Bowen who rides the second favourite Metier in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the opening race at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday. The five year old has been impressive winning all three of his starts over hurdles for trainer Harry Fry. Only eight horses have been declared for the race, an unusually small field.   

Also on Tuesday, the 2018 Welsh Champion Hurdle winner Silver Streak is one of ten runners going to post for the Unibet Champion Hurdle. With his usual pilot Adam Wedge injured, it’ll be Tom O’Brien doing the steering on this wonderful grey horse who has won £438,000 in prize money for his owners Les and Jean Fell. He looks to have a great chance of finishing in the first four – at the very least.

Trainer Nicky Martin might not be a household name but her small stable often punches above its weight and they run last November’s Ffos Las winner Bear Ghylls in Wednesday’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. On Thursday, Pembrokeshire trainer Rebecca Curtis bids for back to back successes in the Stayers’ Hurdle with Lisnagar Oscar.

Ogmore by Sea trainer Christian Williams had the perfect tonic for the Cheltenham Festival when he sent out a 100-1 winner at Warwick on Sunday. The five-year-old Mansoline, making his racecourse debut, took the final race of the day under jockey Gavin Sheehan. Christian runs 2019 Coral Welsh Grand National winner Potters Corner in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday. 

It was a good day for Welsh trainers at Warwick with Sheila Lewis also successful when Volcano won for the fourth time this season. Ben Jones was in the saddle. The horse’s next engagement could be the West Wales National at Ffos Las on April 1st.

Brian Eckley, who trains just outside Brecon, was also on the scoresheet with his mare Liberty Bella who scored comfortably for jockey Robbie Dunne.

Finally, trainer Colin Tizzard is going to hand his licence over to son Joe later this year. Colin has won many of the biggest jump races including the Coral Welsh Grand National twice.

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