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Peter Bowen’s Landofsmiles triumphs at Uttoxeter Racecourse

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PEMBROKESHIRE trainer Peter Bowen is basking in the glory of a resounding victory as Landofsmiles clinched the three-mile chase at Uttoxeter Racecourse, leaving competitors trailing by a commanding ten lengths.

Notably, this triumphant return to the winner’s circle comes after a staggering 486-day hiatus.

“What a brilliant winner!” exclaimed Peter, elated by yesterday’s achievement. “And it was under a great ride from Sean. Well done to all connections.”

This afternoon, Sean will embark on his maiden experience of Grand Steeple-Chase day, having formed a partnership with Noble Yeats this season following Sam Waley-Cohen’s retirement from the saddle.

“I’m very excited as the horse has the class to be fourth in the Gold Cup and then fourth in the National off very nearly top weight,” shared Bowen confidently.

“He’s very classy, and he should take to it. He won the National on his first try at the fences, and I think he’s quite an adaptable horse, so hopefully, he can run well.”

While Bowen is preparing for his inaugural ride in France, the jockey from Little Newcastle is undeterred by the unfamiliar terrain.

“I’ll get over there early, walk the course, and I’ve watched the race being run from the last few years to see how horses jump each fence. So I’ll definitely be doing my homework.”

The Bowen yard at Yet Y Rhug has undergone a remarkable transformation from its modest origins as a bungalow and a couple of fields to a first-class racing establishment.

Today, it boasts 70 boxes, including 20 housed in the recently-constructed American barn. The yard’s training facilities encompass a six-furlong straight uphill all-weather carpet gallop, a four-furlong round all-weather carpet gallop allowing horses to engage in continuous work over two miles, and a one-furlong-deep sand gallop.

Furthermore, the yard features two schooling arenas, both equipped with all-weather carpet surfaces, one accommodating hurdles and fences for training purposes.

Top trainer: Peter Bowen (Image: File)

Situated just a stone’s throw away from Little Newcastle, where Peter was raised and initially tasted success training point-to-pointers, the yard serves as a testament to his unwavering work ethic, dedication, and hands-on approach to his beloved profession.

Peter knows each horse entrusted to his care by name, recognizing their preferences, aversions, and even their peculiar idiosyncrasies.

Since ascending to the top echelons of horse racing training in 1995, Peter’s horses have become familiar faces in winner’s enclosures across the country’s renowned racecourses, most of which require a lengthy journey from Pembrokeshire.

Those fortunate enough to be close to Peter can attest to his indomitable spirit, tireless commitment, and personal involvement in the sport he holds dear. He cherishes an intimate knowledge of every horse under his tutelage, ensuring a bond that extends beyond the racetrack.

Community

Police launch urgent search for missing 16-year-old in west Wales

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POLICE are actively searching for a missing 16-year-old boy, known only as Kobi, who has not been seen since last week. The teenager has connections across various towns in west Wales, including Llandeilo, Carmarthen, and Cardigan.

Kobi, described as tall with shaved black hair featuring a purple tint, was last spotted in Llanelli. Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of the boy immediately.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued a public appeal, stating: “Can you help find Kobi, who has been reported missing? Kobi is 16 years old, and described as tall with shaved black hair which has a purple tint.”

Anyone with information on Kobi’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Dyfed-Powys Police without delay, as concerns for his welfare continue to grow.

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Feedback wanted on regional transport vision

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VIEWS are wanted on the future of transport in South West Wales.

Covering Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, a case for change that’s been developed for a regional transport plan is now open for public feedback until Monday August 26.

The case for change shows how the plan is essential to support the ongoing economic development of the region, while recognising its diverse communities and varying transport needs.

Aims of the plan include improving walking and cycling routes to local services, as well as achieving a shift away from private car usage to more sustainable forms of transport. Affordability will be at the centre of the plan to ensure access to transport is available to all.

Comments on the case for change will help inform a draft regional transport plan that will also be consulted on when it’s ready for feedback.  

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro plans for an integrated bus and rail network will continue to be developed alongside the regional transport plan’s delivery in future. 

The rail metro elements are projected to add over a million journeys to the rail network, helping move more people out of cars and onto public transport than any other scheme in Wales.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) for South West Wales, said: “Adding to an outstanding tourism offer, South West Wales is undergoing a time of unprecedented investment, thanks to developments like the Celtic Freeport and £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.
“These schemes – in combination with many others – will help create thousands of jobs for local people and attract even more investment to South West Wales in future, but we’ve also identified that our current transport network needs significant improvement to keep pace with these developments, while also better meeting the needs of local people in all the region’s communities – both urban and rural.
“The case for change – which also highlights the importance of affordability, climate change considerations and low-carbon transport – is intended as a guide to help inform the emerging regional transport plan.”
Cllr Darren Price, Carmarthenshire Council’s Leader and Chairman of the CJC’s transport sub-group, said: “The transport network is at the heart or our region. It takes us to work, education, healthcare and leisure and social activities both throughout South West Wales and further afield.
“It affects everyone, which is why we’re opening up our case for change for the regional transport plan for public feedback.
“With the population of the region also expected to increase in the coming decades, we need a transport system that accommodates existing and future developments in a way that supports sustainable travel choices, economic activity and social inclusion across the region.”
Head to www.cjcsouthwest.wales/consultation for more information and the opportunity to give feedback.
Email [email protected] if you have any queries.
Paper copies of the feedback form and consultation materials are available at:
Carmarthenshire: Ammanford Customer Services Hwb on Quay Street, Carmarthen Customer Services Hwb on St Catherine’s Walk or Llanelli Customer Services Hwb on Stepney Street.
Neath Port Talbot: Neath Civic Centre, Port Talbot Civic Centre or The Quays on Brunel Way in Baglan Energy Park.
Pembrokeshire: County Hall in Haverfordwest.
Swansea: The Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road.

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Community

Freshwater West named The Times newspaper Beach of the Year

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FRESHWATER WEST has been named Wales’s Beach of the Year, according to the annual best beaches guide by The Times and Sunday Times. The comprehensive guide, now in its 16th edition, lists the top 50 beaches in the UK and will be available in print on 21st July.

Chris Haslam, the award-winning chief travel writer for The Times and Sunday Times, described Freshwater West as “a wilderness of dunes, sand and rocks that draws surfers from across the world to ride its winter waves.” Haslam has personally inspected all 50 beaches on the list over the past eight weeks.

The guide evaluates the stunning beauty of the UK coastline using a meticulous 11-point checklist. This includes water quality, cleanliness, accessibility, parking facilities, lifeguard presence, hygiene standards at restrooms and showers, and dog-friendliness. For 2024, only beaches rated as “excellent” for water quality by national environment agencies have been included, and the guide exclusively covers mainland beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Wales according to the guide:

  • Wales’s Beach of the Year: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey
  • Porth Iago, Gwynedd
  • Penbryn, Ceredigion
  • Mwnt, Ceredigion
  • Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
  • Pendine Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Mewslade, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Oxwich, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan

Chris Haslam reflected on his travels, saying, “My Jack Russell, Dave T Dog, and I have journeyed 5,583 miles and explored 543 beaches. The 50 beaches that made our list are graced with outstanding natural beauty, superb infrastructure, and a clear sense of pride from those who live, work, and play there. I’m still in awe of the beauty of the UK coast. From Kynance to Caithness, and Brancaster to Benone, the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the most magnificent on earth.”

For more details, visit The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches.

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