It’s Jump Time

Posted on Monday, September 15th, 2014

It’s that time of the year.

Lovely sharp, clear mornings.

Warm, autumnal sunshine.

Beautiful golden colours adorning the countryside.

But most of all, the time to dream and relish the forthcoming thrills of the jump season proper!

October is that time, when the ground softens and jump racings wannabes and established stars get to the racecourse. When the hard work in preparation and all the hopes and dreams face the tests that lie ahead. It seems that as the years go by, more and more good young horses run and win here at Ffos Las. We have seen winners here go on to win at the Cheltenham Festival on several occasions, not least one of my favourite horses ‘Whisper’. Watch out for him this season- I cant wait to see him run over fences.

We kick off the jump season proper on Sunday 14th October and I expect some good racing here. The day is themed Countryside Day and there will be plenty of activities and interesting displays besides the racing.  It’s always a memorable and enjoyable afternoon. Hope to see you then, in the meantime I’ll keep listening for any info on horses to follow. Best Of Luck 

 

Flat Finale On Sunday

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

We bring the curtain down on our Flat Season of racing with A Real Ale Festival on 14th September. Visitors will have the chance to sample a wide range of beers and ciders from Wales in conjunction with Llanelli brewers Felinfoel, as well as enjoying live music from Expecting Company after the horse racing finishes just after 5.35pm.

It’s a great way to round off our Flat racing season which began at the end of June.  It’s been a good summer, helped by the weather that we have enjoyed in west Wales.Top rider so far at Ffos Las during this Flat season is the two-time champion jockey Paul Hanagan with three victories from six rides. William Muir is leading trainer to date, with three winners from eight horses.  Just behind him is Welsh handler David Evans who has three winners from 27 runners.

Remeber, all accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge. The first race is at 2.30pm.   

The jump racing season resumes at Ffos Las with Countryside Race-day on Sunday 12 October.

Top Jockeys at Ffos Las

Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Tuesday’s race meeting showed what a fantastic Flat course we have at Ffos Las. It was really competitive racing and with Richard Hughes riding a treble and Kieran Fallon among the winners, I hope punters went home with a few quid in their pockets. Considering the downpour at the weekend the track rode well, just on the slow side although the stiff head on breeze made things quite hard work. Look out for the two Richard Hannon trained winners going on to further success, they both looked quite smart. As it does with the jumps, I reckon the Ffos Las form will stand up when it comes to better races.

Now its all about getting ready for the two day meeting- Thursday 21st is Family Day and Friday 22nd is Ladies Day. It is something I cant emphasize enough what great value a day at the races is for a family. On Thursday, as with every race day, under 18′s are admitted FREE and on Family Days picnics can be brought into the course. There is an abundance of FREE entertainment to keep the kids entertained between races too. It’s seven jump races on this day and there should be plenty of runners.

Ladies Day on Friday 22nd seems to be in everyone’s diary and this years renewal is looking very popular. On the racing front it’s a mixed card- four Flat and four Jumps races, the best of both worlds. On the fashion front there’s a cool £500 in folding stuff for the Best dressed Lady! Fat Barry’s Soul Band play after racing so it’s a great way to start the Bank Holiday weekend. Tickets are still available so give the office a call to get a discount on advance bookings.

See you at the course soon.

We’re racing on Tuesday!

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014

Following last weeks meeting which saw some good racing and tight finishes, we go again on Tuesday (12th).

The feedback from trainers and jockeys about the track has been really positive and the number of runners at our Flat meetings is growing as more trainers and owners realise what a great track for Flat horses it is.

There are 135 entries over seven races with the country’s leading yards holding several entries each- Richard Hannon, Mick Channon, Lady Cecil, Mark Johson, Saeed bin Suroor to name but a few. An interesting name with entries is JP Murtagh who has made a fantastic start as a trainer in Ireland, it would be good to welcome runners from his yard.

Preparations are well underway for the two day meeting at the end of the month. Thursday 21st is a jump fixture and Friday 22nd, Ladies Day, is a mixed card (4 Flat and 4 Jump races). Both days are great fun, the Thursday is Family Day with a shed load of free entertainment to keep the kids amused all day. Ladies Day is sure to be as good as previous years, bookings are strong with just a few places left in Hospitality so please give us a call if you need to secure some places.

Hope to see you at the course soon.

Great Start to the Flat

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Monday 30th June saw an exciting start to the Flat season at Ffos Las. Top Jockey Paul Hanagan rode a treble- two for his boss Hamdam Al Maktoum and one for West Country trainer Bill Turner. Dave Evans trains near Abergavenny and is a proper supporter of the course; he was in the winners enclosure with Decision By One. Dave is a real character, great fun and a shrewd trainer too. A young horse to watch next time is Aussie Ruler, trained at Chepstow by Ron Harris. Making his racecourse debut, he ran on really well to finish second. Having bound to have learned plenty from this he looks a surefire winner.

We race next on Thursday 31st July and stage a good Flat card. Clogau Gold are with us celebrating their 25th Anniversary and a cracking Elvis tribute rounds of the party once racing concludes.

Look forward to seeing you at Ffos Las.

Flat Out for the Summer

Posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014

 

It was a great night celebrating our fifth anniversary and the crowds enjoyed some excellent jump racing as well as some lovely sunny weather – as they did back in June 2009. Evan Williams trained the first ever winner here and he was on the mark again. As was AP McCoy who rode two winners, one of these for the guvnor, Dai. The horse is called Whisky Yankee and keep a watch on him- the way he won last night it would surprise me if he didnt win again next again next time. 

The anniversary night sets us up nicely for our summer season of Flat racing between the end of June and mid-September. We race six times on the Flat – and there’s also a mixed fixture of Flat and jumps action and a jumps only card in late August.

 Monday evening 30th June (F) 

Thursday evening 31st July (F) – Clogau Gold 25th anniversary Summer Party night, including music from Darren Graceland Jones as Elvis

Tuesday 5th August (F) – admission just £10 in advance

Tuesday 12th August (F) – admission just £10 in advance

Thursday 21st August (J) – Family Fun Day, including the Panic Circus with free entertainment for children, plus golf taster sessions from Glyn Abbey golf club and mini-tennis from Swansea Tennis Centre

Friday 22nd August (M) – Ladies’ Day, including music from Fat Barry’s soul band, plus best dressed lady, gent and best hat competitions

Thursday 28th August (F) – admission just £10 in advance

Sunday 14th September (F) – Real Ale Festival

Look forward to seeing you at the course!

Big Celebrations on 19th!

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014

Racing on Thursday 5th June was a really enjoyable evening with warm, sunny weather and some good racing. Supported by the Eisteddfod, there was a lovely atmosphere around the track. We’re very lucky here with top jockeys and trainers running good horses. What happened? Well, doubles for jockeys Tom O’Brien and Richard Johnson, two top class riders who work incredibly hard and are a credit to their profession. Nice locally trained winner in ”Who Am I” from Debra and Paul Hamer’s yard near Carmarthen. Good people who know how to land the money with horses that havent cost megabucks!  A double for trainer Paul Henderson from Wiltshire, whilst Anthony Honeyball’s quirkily named The GeeGeez Geegee took the concluding bumper. Anthony is most definately a trainer to watch in the coming years, he’s talented and immensely dedicated. The horse to remember is Henllan Harri, winning the first race for owner Einsley Harries and trainer Peter Bowen (Ffos Las’ top trainer with 54 winners incredibly); he looks like a staying novice hurdler with plenty of ability and could land bigger prizes.

So amazingly, 19th June marks the racecourse’s Fifth Birthday. For us here, its hard to believe at times that it’s five years since the tapes went up and 12,000 people cheered the horse Plukett to win the first ever race at Ffos Las (trained in wales by Evan Williams). Its amazing to think of all the memories amassed since then. Ultimately though, having been here throughout, it remains with me what an achievement by my boss Dai Walters, his family memebers and fellow Directors to have the vision and absolute resolution to build the course and to remain totally committed to its ongoing success. And what a success- for the racing industry and its many employees, for the many and various local business’ that have benefitted, for employment opportunities and simply for the enjoyment it has given thousands of visitors. And it will continue to do so, of that there is no doubt. 

So on to the 19th June when the first race is at 6.10pm and, as usual, gates are open two hours before at 4.10pm. There is music after the last race at 9.20pm from The Valli Boys; so its all set to be a cracking night. Remember the huge range of benefits and offers we have- take advantage of the free bus from the station, reduced ticket prices in advance and a special deal on hospitaity in our restaurant for an extra special experience. Be a part of history and say you were here five years on…….

Looking ahead, I do try and pass on any racing information I hear and will continue to do so. My guvnor, Dai, will again have a good number of horses in training with the top trainers in the country. My favourite Whisper was a superstar last year and won The Coral Cup at The Cheltenham Festival. Hope you followed him as you’d be quids in. I believe he will go Chasing this year and from what I have heard, he has already shown a great aptitude for jumping the larger obstacles. Get on Whisper. A novice hurdler to watch this year is West Wizard. I do know trainer Nicky Henderson and the boys in the yard really like this fellow and expect him to be top class in Novice Hurdles.

 

Good Luck All.

Big Celebrations on Thursday 19th June!

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014

Racing on Thursday 5th June was a really enjoyable evening with warm, sunny weather and some good racing. Supported by the Eisteddfod, there was a lovely atmosphere around the track. We’re very lucky here with top jockeys and trainers running good horses. What happened? Well, doubles for jockeys Tom O’Brien and Richard Johnson, two top class riders who work incredibly hard and are a credit to their profession. Nice locally trained winner in ”Who Am I” from Debra and Paul Hamer’s yard near Carmarthen. Good people who know how to land the money with horses that havent cost megabucks!  A double for trainer Paul Henderson from Wiltshire, whilst Anthony Honeyball’s quirkily named The GeeGeez Geegee took the concluding bumper. Anthony is most definately a trainer to watch in the coming years, he’s talented and immensely dedicated. 

So amazingly, 19th June marks the racecourse’s Fifth Birthday. For us here, its hard to believe at times that it’s five years since the tapes went up and 12,000 people cheered the horse Plukett to victory. Its amazing to think of all the memories amassed since then. Ultimately though, having been here throughout, it remains with me what an achievement by my boss Dai, his family memebers and fellow Directors to have the vision and absolute resolution to build the course and to remain totally committed to its ongoing success. And what a success- for the racing industry and its many employees, for the many and various local business’ that have benefitted, for employment opportunities and simply for the enjoyment it has given thousands of visitors. And so will it continue to do so, of that there is no doubt. 

The first race on the 19th is at 6.10pm and as usual, gates are open two hours before at 4.10pm. There is music after the last race at 9.20pm from The Valli Boys; so its all set to be a cracking occasion. Remember the myriad of benefits and offers we have- take advantage of the free bus from the station, reduced ticket prices in advance and a special deal on hospitaity in our restaurant for an extra special experience. Be a part of history and say you were here five years on…….

Looking ahead, I do try and pass on any racing information I hear and will continue to do so. My guvnor, Dai, will again have a good number of horses in training with the top trainers in the country. My favourite Whisper was a superstar last year and won The Coral Cup at The Cheltenham Festival. Hope you followed him as you’d be quids in. I believe he will go Chasing this year and fro what I have heard, he has already shown a great aptitude for jumping the larger obstacles. get on Whisper. A novice hurdler to watch this year is West Wizard. I do know trainer Nicky Henderson and the boys in the yard reall like this fellow.

 

Good Luck All.

Eisteddfod Race Night

Posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The National Eisteddfod is famous all over the world so we are thrilled to be welcoming the organisers to our race night this week. With trainer Jonjo O’Neill having runners in the races, its fantastic that race goers will see the champion jockey Tony McCoy in action.  ‘AP’ has had his best ever start to a new jumps season – and he would be making his first appearance at Ffos Las since being crowned champion for the 19th time at the end of April. The feature race, The Parker Plant Eisteddfod Handicap Chase, is a really competitive affair and several horses have a good chance. I reckon Danandy could land this for trainer Philip Hobbs but would be wary of Strumble Head representing the tracks leading trainer Peter Bowen. Not unusually, I think Peter will have a good night and be taking home winners. Good Luck All!

 

 

 

Revving up for a busy May!

Posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014

SUMMER is approaching … and that means a May Bank Holiday family fun day at Ffos Las Racecourse.

The longer days means that evening horse racing is getting started – that’s on Thursday 1st May – and then four days later it’s holiday entertainment all the way.

As well as the horse racing on Monday 5th May, the children – who are all admitted free of charge – will be kept well entertained throughout the afternoon.

The Panic Circus will be at the Carmarthenshire racecourse with their big top.  Youngsters can learn to juggle, unicycle and create their own Punch and Judy Show.

There will be inflatable skill sessions with the Scarlets, so visitors can test their rugby skills.

As well as face painting, balloon modelling, bubble mania and Disability Sport Wales providing Paralympic sporting activities such as wheelchair basketball and table tennis.  There is also boccia – a sport similar to bowls – which is played on a long, narrow court and rewards accuracy with competitors battling to beat each other by throwing balls as close as possible to the target jack.

Racing gets under way at 2.10pm on 5th May and the feature race is the £10,000 Cotts Farm Veterinary Hospital Handicap Hurdle.

We didnt welcome back a Grand National winner to West Wales but a huge well done to the Peter Bowen yard for winning the Scottish equivalent with Al Co. Wish I was on at the SP of 40-1! This rounded off a fantastic season for jockey Jamie Moore who has enjoyed well deserved success aboard the seasons top horse Sire De Grugy, winning six top class chases this season. He’s a real grafter Jamie and a fine jockey too.

 

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