Welsh Racing Stalwart To Retire


07 May 2024

Wales’ premier writer on horse racing and point-to-pointing has announced that his review of the Llangeinor Pentyrch meeting at Ystradowen the previous weekend was his last. 87-year-old Brian Lee (photographed) attended his first point in 1952 (and still has the racecard) and started reporting on them in the 1960s. Since then he has written for the Sporting Life, Horse and Hound and any number of Welsh papers. In 2002 his book The Welsh Grand National became the definitive history of the race, and an updated version followed in 2015.

Brian has also written several books about Cardiff, but the must-have for anyone interested in the sport is his Racing Rogues – The Scams, Scandals and Gambles of Horse Racing in Wales. The title tells all. He was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award as the ROA Welsh Horse Racing Awards in 2020.

Monmouthshire trainer Grace Harris, 43 days without a win, went close at Salisbury’s first meeting of the year on Sunday when Connie’s Rose – a remarkable mare who goes on all going – relished the heavy conditions but lost by a nose. Grace went one better on Monday when hurdler Halifax scored at Kempton – that was her 100th winner as a trainer.

David Probert’s fiancée Megan Jordan rode Dakota Power, the winner of the amateur riders’ race at Salisbury. She is attached to the stable of Roger Teal, who owns the horse and keeps it as a schoolmaster for the yard’s less experienced jockeys. However, Megan is moving out of that category, for this was her eighth winner from 42 rides, and she is 3-5 this year. That healthy strike rate for an amateur which bodes well for a challenge for the ladies’ title. The best Probert could do at Newmarket that day was a third place on Caernarfon in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes.

Tamfana, the fast-finishing fourth in the 1,000 Guineas – who would have won with an uninterrupted passage – was third on her debut in a Ffos Las maiden last September, having suffered similarly bad luck in running.

Chepstow’s flat season opener is fast approaching, on the evening of Tuesday 14th. As usual, in the summer weekday afternoon meetings are interspersed with weekend theme nights, notably Country and Western on Saturday 8 June, Ladies Evening on Friday 12 July and Caribbean Race Night on Friday 26 July.

It was business as usual for Sean Bowen at the start of the new jumps season, riding a winner for Olly Murphy at Uttoxeter on Saturday. It was a fourth victory for Resplendent Grey, a consistent sort who has only been out of the first four once in ten starts. All of his wins were with Bowen in the plate. He didn’t run last summer, so this might be his final outing for a while unless soft going continues to prevail.

At the end of the day that success made him joint leader in the 2024/25 jump jockeys’ championship with 21 others, which put them all one ahead of Harry Cobden. Bowen had a full book of rides to look forward to at Ffos Las on Tuesday, where several Welsh jockeys and trainers were in action.

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