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History of the Dunraven Bowl

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

The Dunraven Bowl, run on Friday 28th April, is sponsored by David Brace OBE.

It was first held in 1996 and is the one race all Welsh point-to-point owners, trainers and riders want to win.

The first running was won by Miss Millbrook which gave Evan Williams, now a leading jumps trainer, the first of his three winning rides. His other wins were both on Cherry Gold, trained by Bob Mason, in 2003 and 2004. Cherry Gold was also successful in 2005 with Jason Cook in the saddle.

West Wales' leading rider Dai Jones rode Keith Pritchard's Canon Bridge to victory in 2006.

Welsh champion Rhys Hughes like Evan Williams can also claim to have ridden three winners - 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 Cardiff bookmaker John Lovell who had introduced computerised betting to the UK and who had been a great supporter of Welsh hunt-racing.

Bobís Law was first past the post by a length in 2011 but runner-up Pathian Prince, trained by Eric Clough and ridden by Paul Tolman, was later in the year awarded the race when Bob's Law was disqualified. The well fancied Rosies Peacock, who at the time had chalked-up 32 wins, reared over on the way to the start injuring rider John Mathias so badly he ended up in hospital.

Rosies Peacock owned, bred and trained by David Llewellyn, brother of Grand National winning jockey Carl Llewellyn, had great hopes of winning in 2011 but unfortunately the race was rained off.

The recently retired John Mathias from Pembrokeshire was successful on Lee Power's Gale Force Oscar in 2014 and again in 2015 aboard the eleven-year-old Desertmore View.

Last year, Claire Sherriff's seven-year-old bay mare My Coranna, a winner of her four previous races, trained by David Gibbs and ridden by his son Bradley scored by three lengths from Repeat Business.

Jockey turned trainer Christian Williams won the 2000 renewal on No Fiddling and the 1999 winner Mr Dow Jones had a hunter chase named after him at Hereford.

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

As for the race sponsor David Brace OBE, over the years he has had several horses that have been placed and the day that his black and red racing colours eventually finish first past the post expect the noise of the Welsh point-to-point crowd to lift the roof off the grandstand.

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Brian Lee