TREGARON TROTTING CLUB AUGUST FESTIVAL 2016
The Tregaron Trotting Club August Festival meeting takes place on Friday 26th August and Saturday 27th August and what a Festival it promises to be? Racing in the heart of the Welsh Hills on the edge of Cors Caron the Tregaron Festival started over 30 years ago to improve the standard of harness racing in Wales and it is very much mission accomplished. Originally the club wanted to have a three day meeting but the weather over the past eight years has made it almost impossible, so they have taken the sensible step to promote two fabulous days of Championship Racing.
The Cheltenham of Harness Racing
This top quality meeting is referred to as the Cheltenham of harness racing as it draws the best horses from across Britain and Ireland to battle for honours and big prizes. With the promise of fabulous weather the early indications are the track will race fast and gives those very best horses their optimum conditions!
It was fantastic to see the Tregaron Trotting Club August Festival Live Draw. The Racing Horse applauds this step forward and hopes this becomes a regular feature! As this blog goes to post the draw went down really well with over 1,000 views whilst the promo trailer had nearly 8,000 views just on Facebook which is a fantastic effort. Congratulations to the team!
Integrity Testing and Rule S25
Talking about innovation The Racing Horse has been particularly impressed with the work of BHRC Stewards in regard to ‘Integrity Testing’ and once more the team will be vigilant to ward off any prospective transgressors. The stewards will also be enforcing Rule S25 which refers to using a breathalyser kit because the BHRC has a zero tolerance for alcohol. All BHRC stewards now carry breath test kits. Safety should be first and foremost, and though everyone is there to have a good time it must not be at the expense of anyone else.
A Festival win is a consummate achievement
At this stage of the racing season all the horses are finely tuned whether they are the juvenile 2 or 3yos or the public’s favourite handicap horses or the mighty giants of the Free For Allers. All of these hope to find the winner’s enclosure but the competitiveness of the racing makes that very difficult indeed. Winning any race at Tregaron is a consummate achievement but winning one of the feature races such as the 2yo Junior Welsh Dragon or Dragoness, the 3yo Little Welsh Dragon or Dragoness, the Electric Mile, the Cors Caron Cup, the Strata Florida or the Welsh Classic is very special indeed. One thing we can guarantee is there will be 27 winners but a hundred stories!
The Big Guns Series feature the best horses running in Britain
Over the two days there are 27 races and every one ultra-competitive! On Friday there is a 13-race card where after the Maiden Division 1 the Festival kicks off with the Strata Florida Handicap for the lower grade horses backed up by a leg of the Big Guns Series featuring nine of the best horses running in Britain at the moment. This is followed by the Junior Welsh Dragon and Dragoness showing off the 2yo talent we have here in Britain and Ireland and part of the Dragon Stakes Series.
The Strata Florida Handicap - One Competitive Affair
The Strata Florida Handicap is always a competitive affair. The Irish will hope Fair Enough (Heat 1), Meadowbranch Ideal (Heat 2) and Streamside Star (Heat 4), all from different stables will strike gold although one of our favourites is the local mare Mattriarch (pictured and in Heat 2) will have a say if she shows her early season form. Other locals to feature could be Hendre Bob (Heat 3) and John Barley (Heat 4). Of the English contingent Its My Check (Heat 4) and Desert Rose (Heat 5) would be the pick although the latter has a tough draw.
Can Stoneriggs Mystery overcome his tough draw?
The Big Guns series is at the half-way stage with three legs to go. The 10yo Stoneriggs Mystery (last year’s winner) retains his zest for racing and leads the field once more, he has a tough outside draw so he will be challenged by the young buck Coalford Tetrick who has the rail to help and locals Foolaround and Meadowbranch Josh who share the front line. Some are wondering if over one mile, we could well see a sub two minute mile on grass? The conditions will surely be fast but who will punish themselves with fast early fractions?
A big thank you to The Standardbred Sale Co. who have kindly agreed to sponsor the series for a second year supporting the pacers in the UK.
Here are the race titles where the first 2 in each heat qualify for the Strata Florida Final:
Friday 26th August 2016 Schedule Race 1: Maiden Division 1 Race 2: Strata Florida Heat 1 Race 3: Strata Florida Heat 2 Race 4: Strata Florida Heat 3 Race 5: Strata Florida Heat 4 Race 6: Strata Florida Heat 5 Race 7: Novice Division 1 Race 8: Grade 1 Division 1 Race 9: Grade 1 Division 2 Race 10: Junior Welsh Dragoness 2yr Old (Fillies) Race 11: Junior Welsh Dragon 2yr old (Colts) Race 12: Big Guns Free For All Race 13: Strata Florida Classic Final
Saturday is Welsh Classic Day
Saturday is Welsh Classic day. The top grade handicap invariably throws up a top class horse – last year’s winner Porterstown Road proved he is top drawer when winning the Crock of Gold last week, he comes back to defend his crown but will be right at the back of the handicap. Evenwood Sonofagun won very impressively in Bells Field over the weekend so is bang in form and right at the front of the handicap so this impressive 4yo will almost certainly start as favourite.
Fillies division is short in numbers but high in quality
The Little Welsh Dragon races worth over £12000 in total will be the prelude to the Welsh Classic final. The fillies division is short in numbers but very high in quality. Jessies Conquest is the class act but has had a few training issues. Ryds Gem proved she is a game filly winning the Boughrood Classic on Sunday over a mile and a quarter on a tough track but it will be a massive ask to back up and win this one as well.
Saturday 27th August 2016 Schedule Race 1:Maiden Division 2 Race 2: Welsh Classic Heat 1 Race 3: Welsh Classic Heat 2 Race 4: Welsh Classic Heat 3 Race 5: Welsh Classic Heat 4 Race 6: Welsh Classic Heat 5 Race 7: Le Trot Silver Race 8: Novice Division 2 Race 9: Maiden / Novice Race 10: Grade 1 Division 3 Race 11: Le Trot Gold Race 12: Little Welsh Dragoness 3yr Old ( Fillies ) Race 13: Little Welsh Dragon 3yr Old ( Colts ) Race 14: Welsh Classic Final
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Can Rockin Mambo secure Marc Jones a quick double?
The Little Welsh Dragon could well see Marc Jones running up a quick double with impressive Tir Prince winner Rockin Mambo. Party At The Spa won the Scottish Derby at Bells Field and Arts Pace Hill has a two minute record on grass so this should prove to be an excellent renewal.
Silver division at the mercy of Sacha Of Carless
We also have two trotting races. The silver division seems at the mercy of Sacha Of Carless in the hands of Steve Lees but he will be trailing 20 yards which may give Sans Limites owned by local trotting ambassador Emyr Edwards and drawn in pole position a chance to get away.
Gold division much more competitive!
The Gold Division is a very competitive affair. The Mather team have two recent winners in the field namely Sire Pazenais and Soleil D’Attaque and their main challengers, Sulky de Blequin and Tenor Meslois, will have to overcome a 20 yard trail to overturn these two.
Titan de Prelong has plenty of ability - Jack Dowie
The Racing Horse was in desperate need of some background information concernant ‘Trotteurs Francais’ et en particulier Le Trot Silver et Le Trot Gold at Tregardon so we asked the best man placed to answer Britain’s Trotting Guru Jack Dowie. He kindly told us: “While Sacha Of Carless seems to have the Silver at his mercy there are others with a real chance. Totem Turgot, off the gate, was a good grass horse in France and under new owner Joseph Ripley finished a promising second at Tir Prince. Titan de Prelong has plenty of ability and will benefit from Phil O’Neill’s extensive experience at Tregaron.”
Sire Pazenais will seek to lead all the way
He continued: “Sire Pazenais enjoys probably his last start off the gate in the Gold and Paul Mather Junior will probably seek to lead all the way. But the Tregaron mile and a quarter is more like a mile and a half, so any of the big three on 20 can win if they get a good trip.”
Tenor Meslois will not be far away - Huw Evans
Speaking to Huw Evans (Chairman) regarding his team he thought his horses are coming back to form after a few chesty issues and he has hopes with Foolaround in the Big Guns Race on Friday. He confirmed his trotter Tenor Meslois (pictured) will not be far away and that Enter The Dragon is a good novice but has a tough draw against two good opponents in I B A Magician and Kikis Boy. Rhys Evans thinks an awful lot about Ring Of Fire in Race 9 (Maiden/Novice) and might be hard to beat.
This meeting is NOT to be missed!
Remember, this 2-day meeting is not to be missed. The racing is fast and exciting and the atmosphere electric and you can be at trackside to witness it all. This is much more than a pageant and we urge you to come if you have not done so before! This year the Club are running their own bar and ALL beer will cost just £3 a pint. Apart from the bar there are catering facilities, bookmakers, childrens entertainment, variety of stalls and bring the children along as under 16 have FREE admission. If you’re looking for a fun day out or interested in following a unique and exciting sport harness racing can be enjoyed by all the family! Car parking is FREE. There will be a warm welcome to all our English, Scottish and Irish friends and first race is 2pm.
Once again The Racing Horse applauds the Tregaron Trotting Club for their efforts in staging this bonanza-laden celebration of harness racing but also in the manner in which they have kept all informed. Their inclusivity is commendable and we take this opportunity to thank them for their invite. The Racing Horse will review the meeting on Sunday so please look out for it and if you have any news you would added to this blog or be in the review please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information regarding this Festival meeting please contact: DJ Edwards on 07833 564941 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get to Tregaron
How to get there: The half-mile grass track is at Dolyrychain Farm, on the West side of B4343, 5 miles North of Tregaron & just South of Pontrhydfendigaid. It takes a little over 20 minutes from the centre of Aberystwyth.
For further information about Harness Racing in Ceredigion please visit www.ceredrotian.com
S4C to show harness racing highlights
The 2016 Welsh harness racing season has been one to remember and followers of the sport can enjoy the most exciting moments on S4C. Rasus will be catching up with the Welsh grass racing season in a highlights programme which will be presented from the Tregaron Races, held in the famous fields of Dolyrychain. The programme will be shown on S4C on Monday evening, 29th August, immediately following the Tregaron Festival, held over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Who will win the Welsh Classic this year and claim the top prize of £6,000?
One of the festival’s main races is the Welsh Classic, and after a barren spell around the turn of the century, a Welsh rider has claimed victory in the Classic in three out of the last four years. Who will win this year’s top prize of £6,000?
Tregaron is without doubt the highlight of the season - Geraint Lewis (Rasus Producer)
Rasus producer, Geraint Lewis from production company Slam, says “The Tregaron Festival is one of the most popular harness racing events in Britain. The S4C cameras have been there since 1993, and the excitement is always there, simply because there is so much at stake for the riders, the horses and their owners. For riders across Britain and Ireland, Tregaron is without doubt the highlight of the season and winning there is worth so much to them. For us, as a television crew who go from event to event throughout the summer, to be there to see a local horse take victory gives us a totally unique buzz.”
Ifan Evans and Wyn Gruffydd to lead presentation team
The Rasus presentation team will be led by two who were born and bred in the area - presenter Ifan Evans, from Pontrhydygroes, near Tregaron, and commentator Wyn Gruffydd, who spent much of his childhood in the Ffair Rhos area. Viewers can also catch up with the season’s highlights from the two bodies that race every week in Wales - The British Harness Racing Club (BHRC) and the Wales and Border Counties Racing Association (WBCRA).
Programme to give comprehensive view of the harness racing season in Wales
Geraint adds, “The programme will give a comprehensive view of the harness racing season in Wales, which includes over 300 races so far – with another month to go until the end of the season!” As well as the highlights show, followers of harness racing can watch all of the races and find the latest results at s4c.cymru/rasus and at @S4CRasus.
Monday night 29 August 9.00, S4C
Available to watch on demand at s4c.cymru, BBC iPlayer and other platforms
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