What's happening at Chepstow

Countess of Dunraven to Present 'The Bowl'

Sat, Apr 22, 2017

Point-to-point followers from across Wales descend on Chepstow Racecourse every spring for the highlight of their season - the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase. This year for the first time in the race's history the winning connections will be presented with the coveted silver trophy by Geraldine, Countess of Dunraven.

Although based in County Limerick, the family has for centuries owned land and property in South Wales, including Dunraven Castle, which until the 1960s was a famous landmark on a headland overlooking Southerndown beach.

It was these local connections which led the Bowl's sponsor David Brace, a leading light in Welsh point-to-point and National Hunt racing, to adopt the name for both his business (Dunraven Windows) and his stud farm near Bridgend.

He said: "I met one of the Earl and Countess of Dunraven's bloodstock agents at Doncaster Sales some years ago and we became good friends. Through the association with the name he arranged for me to meet the Earl and his wife and we kept in touch.

"They always said they would like to come to Chepstow one day and present the Bowl. The Earl sadly died in 2011 but I'm delighted that the Countess will be coming over to do the honours this year."

David, a former coal miner who is affectionately known in racing circles as Bracey, has been sponsoring point-to-points and hunter chases for many years and has ploughed thousands of pounds into the sport he loves. He established the Dunraven Bowl in 1996 to test the best point-to-pointers in Wales.

While he personally owns and trains many point-to-pointers he has never won the race himself. He said: "The best I've managed is fourth, but maybe that will change one day!"

David, who is sponsoring the seven races on the card on Friday April 28, will be joined on the night by his wife Dawn, sons Matthew and Andrew and several of his grandchildren - along with around 200 invited guests.

He acknowledges that none of his horse racing and breeding activities would have been possible without the fantastic support he receives from his family.

Chepstow Racecourse Executive Director Phil Bell said, "David is one of our most loyal supporters and the Dunraven Bowl one of the highlights of the year."

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Annabel Hughes