By Phil Bell

Executive director, Chepstow and Ffos Las Racecourses

The Welsh are getting into a habit of winning the feature race at Cheltenham’s November meeting.

Last year jockey Richard Patrick rode Happy Diva to win the Bet Victor Gold Cup (now re-named the Paddy Power Gold) and last weekend Vale of Glamorgan trainer Evan Williams took the prize with Coole Cody.

The yard’s stable jockey Adam Wedge has broken his collarbone so it was left to dual Welsh National winning rider Tom O’Brien to do the steering. He gave the gelding a bold front running ride and despite a mistake three fences from home won gamely from Spiritofthegames.

Pembrokeshire born Richard Patrick didn’t go home from the fixture empty handed, he was successful on Storm Control for trainer Kerry Lee.

The Williams yard went into the weekend with a winner under their belt. Prime Venture won at Sedgefield on Thursday under champion jockey Brian Hughes. The gelding is owned by Janet Davies, one of the leading owners in Welsh racing.

It was a good weekend for Pembrokeshire jockey James Bowen – he recorded a welcome double at Wetherby on Saturday with Mario De Pail trained by Sam Thomas and the Tom George trained Hooligan. The former is owned by the honorary chairman of Ffos Las, Dai Walters who had another winner on Saturday when Paddys Motorbike scored easily at Uttoxeter.

Another Welsh jockey in the news on Saturday was Sean Bowen who rode Ishkhara Lady in the closing race at Cheltenham. The mare came with a storming run up the rails and finished alongside Elle Est Belle and to most observers Sean had definitely won. The photo finish was hard to decipher in the gloomy conditions so the judge decided the two horses couldn’t be split and announced a dead heat. A social media storm erupted!

And the drama continued on Sunday when Welsh jockey Jack Tudor was at the centre of another controversial race – this time at Chepstow’s sister course Fontwell Park in West Sussex.

Jack rode in the final race where eight of the nine runners were disqualified for taking the wrong course. He was the only rider to take the right course and despite finishing almost last, his mount Dharma Rain was declared the winner after a stewards' enquiry. An investigation is underway but as a gesture of goodwill, the owners of the horses who finished in the first four places will be paid the prize money by the track’s owner, the Arena Racing Company.

There are two fixtures in Wales this week with Ffos Las on Wednesday and Chepstow on Friday and there is an additional meeting at Ffos Las on Sunday, November 29. All meetings are shown on Sky Sports Racing.