Trotting returned to the famous track at Penybont for the 91st meeting of the prestigious ‘Wembley of Wales’ Races.

This was the first time in Welsh trotting history that the meeting was held on a Saturday afternoon instead of the first Wednesday in August.

Competitors know the degree of skill and often luck it takes to guide horses around this tough course; it is widely known that it takes a special horse to win at Penybont.

After almost two years of no racing here, crowds flocked this unmissable event.

The first race of the day was the first heat of the Nursery trot.

County Times:

Howdoyoulikemenow in action.

Local horse Ithon Prince (Duggan, Howey) with the capable David Duggan at the controls swept up the field to secure first place ahead of Blackberry (Williams, Llanafan) in second place and Ithon Queen (Hawkes, Wigmore) in third.

In the second heat of the Nursery race Fold Allstar (Bird, Presteigne) and driver Oliver Jones continued their winning streak, leading from the offset to claim victory and the Kiah Eggerton Perpetual cup from Zulu Warrior (Tromans, Newcastle Emlyn) in second and Don’t Look Ethel (Lloyd, Painscastle) in third.

The Novice Trot saw the electric Howdoyoulikemenow (Roberts, Dinmore) with owner and trainer Martin Roberts at the controls deliver a terrific front running performance to cinch victory.

County Times:

Grade B heat and final winner Dernol Yankee.

Howdoyalikemenow, affectionately known at the stable as Harry, took home the WC Collard Memorial Trophy. Bookies favourite Halfpenny (Lloyd, New Radnor) ran well in second place ahead of Beg For Mercy (Tromans, Newcastle Emlyn) in third.

The fourth race of the afternoon was the first heat of the Grade B Trot. Bookies’ favourite Dernol Yankee (Wozencraft, Llangurig) ran impressively off the starting gate with the experienced Andrew Hardwick at the driving seat and lead consistently throughout to take first place. Alibis Dream (Lloyd, Gladestry) was second and Ithon Legacy (Hardwick-Jones, Llanbister) was third and through to the final.

In the second heat of the Grade B trot, local horse and pocket-rocket Lakeview Meg and Steve Lewis showed an impressive burst of speed in the second lap to claim first place for the Lewis stables, Llanbister.

Cardigan Boy (Gale, Hay-on-Wye) ran well in second place after recently qualifying from the Novice division and No Stoppin (Greenway, Michaelchurch) secured his place in the final in third place.

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Grade A heat and final winner Ontop Shouder Cuda 

Last week’s winner of the Grade A division Second Affair driven by Oliver Jones and owned and trained at the Perks stables in Presteigne continued his excellent form by claiming victory in the first heat of the Grade A trot. Easy Company (Bevan, Llanddewi) ran an excellent race to take second place and Rhyds Design (Weigal, Llanddewi Velfrey) was third.

In the second division of the Grade A’s the outstanding Ontop Shouder Cuda (Bevan, Llanddewi) and Andrew Hardwick sat at the back the pack for most of the race before flying around the field on the blacksmith’s bend to cinch victory.

Long-time leader Happy Hands (Lloyd, Painscastle ) finished in second place ahead of the experienced campaigner Lakeside Pan (Elder, New Quay) in third place.

County Times:

Grade B heat 2 winner Lakeview Meg.

The next race of the day was the first heat of the Baby Novice.

Victoria Penlan partnered with owner and driver Perry Thomas from Bridgend put on an excellent performance after qualifying from the Nursery division last week to claim first place.

CU Salou (Hawkes, Wigmore) was second and Bethany (Weigal, Llanddewi Velfrey) was third. In the second heat of the Baby Novice Trot Ellavafella (Bevan, Maesmynis) ran an excellent race to triumph and take home the RP Hamer Perpetual cup from the fleet-footed Olympics (Boxhall/Hardwick, Brecon) in second , and Begwyns Trust (Lloyd, Painscastle) in third.

The Saddle Trot at Penybont always promises a thrilling race, and this year was no exception.

Much to the delight of the spectators, the dynamic duo of Saunders Mach 3 (Bevan, Llanddewi) and trainer Ceri Bevan sustained their winning campaign to take first place and the Peter Lucas Perpetual cup.

The striking Ayr Ontario (Weigal, Llanddewi Velfrey) claimed second place and local horse Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanbister) was a close third.

County Times:

Baby novice heat 2 winner Ellavafella.

In the Six Furlong Dash, the determined Beg for Mercy (Tromans, Newcastle Emlyn) ran two lengths clear in the final furlong to win.

Novice winner Howdoyoulikemenow (Roberts, Dinmore), who exploded off the starting gate, ran an excellent race to take second place and Ayr Fella (Middleton, Newbridge) was third.

The coveted Grade B final was the next race of the afternoon, Dernol Yankee (Wozencraft, Llangurig) did the double winning both heat and final, securing driver Andrew Hardwick his second win of the afternoon.

The lionhearted mare Lakeview Meg (Lewis, Llanbister) continued her great form in second place and Ithon Legacy (Hardwick-Jones, Llanbister) ran a great race to secure third place.

County Times:

Six Furlong Dash winner, Beg For Mercy.

The spectators built in excitement ahead of the main event of the day, the prestigious Grade A Final.

The meteoric Ontop Shouder Cuda triumphed again, leaving the field standing when he flew two lengths clear down the home straight giving the ever experienced driver Andrew Hardwick a hat-trick of Penybont wins, an achievement in its own right.

Ontop Shouder Cuda, known as Roddy at the Bevan stables in Llanddewi, took home the Sydney Owens Perpetual cup and £750 prize money, much to the delight of owner and trainer Jayne Bevan. The long-time leader Happy Hands (Lloyd, Painscastle) showed great form in second place ahead of the consistent Lakeside Pan (Elder, New Quay) in third place.

County Times:

Penybont Races from the air.

The final race of the day was the 1.5 mile Trot.

Blytheview JJ (Pike, Merthyr) partnered with driver showed exceptional stamina over the longer distance and lead from the offset to take the top spot. Whisky and Water (Morgan, Beguildy) proved a tough challenge in second place and the big grey Ayr Hero (Bevan, Llanddewi) was a close third.

After an action packed day of racing in Penybont, Mid Wales trotting returns to Talsarn on August 7, commencing at 1.30pm.