The History Of The Dunraven Bowl


23 April 2024

Since the first David Brace OBE sponsored Dunraven Bowl was held in 1996 it has been the race all Welsh point-to-point owners, riders and trainers strive to win.

The first running was won by Miss Millbrook and Evan Williams, who gained the first of his three winning rides. His other wins were on Cherry Gold in 2003 and 2004. Bob Mason's Cherry Gold was also successful in 2005 with Jason Cook in the saddle.

Dai Jones, a legend in the saddle and now our Clerk of the Course at Chepstow, was successful on Keith Pritchard's Canon Bridge in 2006.

Welsh champion rider Rhys Hughes, like Williams, can also claim to have ridden three winners of the race and these were Kilbreena (2007) the prolific Lady Myfanwy (2008) and Bob Bites Back (2009).

Vale of Glamorgan's Tom David was seen at his best when winning the 2010 renewal on David Lovell's Master Charm. David's late father was the legendary bookmaker John Lovell who had introduced computerised betting to the UK and who had been a great supporter of Welsh point-to-pointing.

First past the post by a length in 2011 was Bob's Law but runner-up Parthian Prince, partnered by Paul Tolman, was later awarded the race. The well fancied Rosies Peacock, who at the time had chalked-up 32 wins, reared on the way to the start injuring rider John Mathias so badly he ended up in hospital. Rosie's Peacock was owned, bred and trained by David Llewellyn, brother of Grand National winning jockey Carl Llewellyn. John Mathias from Pembrokeshire is the only rider in hunt -racing history to boot home all six winners at a point-to-point, a feat he achieved on two occasions.

Mathias was successful on Lee Power's Gale Force Oscar in 2014 and again the following year aboard Desertmore View. In 2016 Claire Sherriff's seven-year-old mare My Coranna, a winner of her four previous starts, scored by three lengths from Repeat Business. She was trained by David Gibbs and ridden by his son Bradley Gibbs.

Repeat Business, who was owned by the late Jeffrey Bird and trained by his brother-in-law Jonathon Tudor, went one better in 2017 when ridden by Richard Patrick. He beat Dewi Lewis's Tinkers Hill Tommy who went on to win the 2018 renewal under Peter Bryan.

Not many female riders have ridden in the race and two that have been successful are Wales' most famous female amateur Pip Jones on Final Pride in 1997 and Welsh champion Fiona Wilson who won on rank outsider, the mud loving Saffron Moss in 1998.

As for the race's sponsor David Brace OBE, he had saddled a third in Robin Des People and a fourth with Pink Eyed Pedro. However, his dream come true in 2022 when his home -bred Pink Eyed Pedro, given a great ride by a then 16-year-old Jack Tudor romped home by eleven lengths from Thegirlfrommilan.

The talented Bradley Gibbs chalked-up his second Dunraven Bowl success when in 2023 riding Honey I'm Good beat the odds-on favourite First Preference ridden by Luke Price.

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