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Allan John (AJ) Memorial Handicap Hurdle (Class 3): Preview

Alan John was a regular punter and firm favourite at Ffos Las Racecourse and is set to be remembered on Tuesday with a memorial handicap hurdle race a year since his sad passing.

In recent years Alan and his brother Clive enjoyed a regular day out at the races since Ffos Las opened its doors in 2009.

Brothers Alan and Clive John are probably best known down west for their days at Llanelli RFC where they lined up as flankers for the famous rugby side and infamously played against their brother Barry during a clash between Llanelli and Cardiff in 1971.

John played 139 times for Llanelli RFC between 1966 and 1971, featuring many times alongside his brother Clive. Clive (John) thought it would be a good way to remember his brother by

A family friend, Ian Davies said: “John was a regular goer to Ffos Las and was probably down there most weekends after it opened. I don’t think they would have seen much racing before that, but he became like the furniture down there.

“The brothers were incredibly close. I think you would have been able to spot them at every race meeting. They are all from Cefneithin, the same village where Carwyn James came from. So not far from all the racing action at Ffos Las.

“Clive came up with the idea after his brothers passing, we were all talking about Allan and between Clive, James Lovell and Kevin Hire, they agreed that the race should be named in his memory.”

Ffos Las will host the memorial event which will boast some exciting runners. It is an incredibly open field, and it is tough to spot a potential winner.

Zertakt is a promising runner, owned by Michael and Peter Davies and trained by Venetia Williams. The five-year-old horse has landed three of his six starts in France, the latest a handicap at Auteuil (17.9f) before being acquired for €195,00. There is certainly more to come following a seven-month break.

A winning hurdler/chaser for Gavin Cromwell’s stables, who often find success at Ffos Las is another horse with a shot. Oscar Thyne went well on yard debut before finishing third of 18 in the handicap hurdle as Cheltenham in November.    

Mr Muldoon was a dual scorer over fences in 2020/21 and despite not firing for some time the Dr Newland trained horse capitalized on a reduced hurdles mark to score at Chepstow less than a month ago.  

Mount Tempest is likely to have more to offer on this quick switch to handicaps. Having improved making a third start, winning at Leicester before finishing well in fifth under a penalty back there four months later. 

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