Nigel Twiston-Davies celebrates his Gold Cup win with jockey Paddy Brennan
SPORT WALES EXTRA
with BBC Wales racing reporter Aly Rowell
Analysis and comment with BBC Wales' midweek online column
The flat racing season is in its twilight period and today's stars will soon to be leaving us.
Stud careers beckon for some and others will be off to face the best abroad.
Jump racing is about to go through a rest period as there is no National Hunt racing until 19 September - and it is the last chance for a break before Christmas.
But in the calm before the storm, no-one could fail to notice the Welsh domination at the head of the jump trainers' championship.
Evan Williams, Tim Vaughan, Peter Bowen and Nigel Twiston Davies currently fill the top four spots.
I think that people have realised Wales is a very good place to have a horse trained. It's a major force now, not just a flash in the pan
Welsh trainer Evan Williams
Some question the merits of summer jump racing, but the likes of Tony McCoy and Richard Johnston do not take it any easier over the summer.
McCoy won the first race of the season and has clocked up 87 winners since. There are some big prizes to be won and plenty of winners to be had over the summer months.
Vale of Glamorgan trainer Evan Williams has been enjoying his best summer. He amassed over £270,000 in prize money so far this season.
"We never planned on having a busy summer," Williams told BBC Wales Sport.
"We missed so much of January and February because of the bad weather, there were a lot of horses we didn't know a lot about.
"We gave them the chance to stay in training and it turned out that they were good enough to win those better summer prizes."
West with the Wind proved to be one of these. A smart novice who won four of his five chases this summer, including the £30,000 feature chase at the Ffos Las festival.
"I think people have realised Wales is a very good place to have a horse trained," Williams explains.
"It's a major force now, not just a flash in the pan."
But does he expect to hold on when the Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and the rest get going?
"It's going to be difficult for them," said Williams.
"We've got nearly £300,000 in the bank so they've got an awful long way to catch up, but there's no doubting they have got the quality animals which will win the bigger prizes over the winter.
"But we're cemented in the top 10 and we won a lot of group races last year so we'll be doing are best to stay up as high as we can for as long as we can."
On Williams' heels is neighbour Tim Vaughan who trains just five miles down the road towards Cowbridge.
Vaughan has trained 59 winners this season, leading the championship numerically.
Vaughan is a fresher in training circles, having only joined the ranks in 2007 after a successful career in property.
He has made summer jump racing his own in the last few years, his squad bolstered by the inclusion of Michael Owen's horses.
Vaughan has trained all the England footballer's national hunt horses, giving him six winners this summer.
Meanwhile, Peter Bowen is third in the championship and the Pembrokeshire trainer is another expert in securing the big summer prizes.
Since 2003, he has sent out four winners and two seconds in Market Rasen's £60,000 Summer Plate, the most valuable summer jump's prize.
His tally of 40 winners this summer is already greater than the number of winners he achieved in the whole of last season - but despite this good start, Bowen is being usurped by the young Welsh upstarts.
Footballer Michael Owen's horses are trained by Tim Vaughan in Wales
The man who beat him to this year's Summer Plate was Nigel Twiston-Davies.
He might train in Gloucestershire but is a proud Welshman and assisted in the job by double-Grand National winning Welsh jockey Carl Llewellyn.
This summer the dynamic duo have enjoyed success, including the Summer Plate with Grand Slam Hero - owned by Dai Walters, the Cardiff businessman behind the development of new Carmarthenshire racecourse Ffos Las.
Twiston-Davies and Llewellyn are currently fourth in the trainers' championship - and with the team of horses they had last winter, it is hard to see them dropping from that position.
Last year they had their best season which included three winners at the Cheltenham Festival - including Imperial Commander in the blue riband The Gold Cup.
The business end of the season is still to come but nevertheless, the standings are encouraging for Welsh horse racing, with the Welsh trainers are marking their territory firmly in the top end of the table.
And maybe, just maybe, the likes of Paul Nichols et al will not have it all their own way.
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