Stuart Manley Wins In France As Brier Pair, Hannah And Joe, Earn Family Double In Cardiff

It was a winning weekend for a number of Welsh sports stars – from golf to athletics, to horse racing at Royal Ascot.


Pride of place should probably go to Welsh golfer Stuart Manley for a notable tournament victory he hopes will push him up the European rankings.

Manley is waiting for a climb up the ladder after he won his fourth European Challenge Tour title.

The 44-year-old clinched the Blot Open de Bretagne title with a birdie at the 72nd hole on Sunday.

Manley, whose last win came at the 2021 Euram Bank Open, battled through a testing final day with the lead changing hands several times, but holed a 15-foot birdie at the last to secure victory.

It was the former Walker Cup player’s second win in France following his triumph at the 2018 Hauts de France Golf Open, adding to his first title from Finland in 2013 and he was delighted to return to winning ways in Brittany.

“It feels amazing, awesome. I’m lost for words,” he said.

“It’s been a long, tiring week. I was really pleased with my 62 in the second round. That is probably my lowest round on the Challenge Tour and DP World Tour.

“To have the lead at the start of the third round is always quite tough and I didn’t have my game during the last few rounds. I managed to keep the ball in play and stayed close to the guys, managing to hole the odd putt, and then I’ve hit the best shot I’ve hit all year at the last which I’m chuffed about.

“Fingers crossed I can get it done for the rest of the season. It gives me some confidence and puts me inside the top 20 on the Rankings.”



While Manley was winning on French soil, brother and sister, Hannah and Joe Brier, were triumphing in Cardiff in a unique family double.

Both won their respective events to become Welsh champions at the Welsh Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Stepping up from the 100m and 200m distances – which have seen her represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games – Hannah won the women’s 400m title at her first attempt.

Minutes later, brother Joe took the men’s title over the same one lap distance, which has seen him represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

The family double is believed to be the first time siblings have won the same event at a Welsh Championship.

Proud mum Lynne Brier, who is herself a coach with Swansea Harriers, said: “Watching Hannah run first would have inspired Joe because he’s not one to ever let her get the better of him!

“There’s a bit of competition between them, they support each other but there’s competition there as well. Neither of them likes the other to get on top.”



The Ascot victory belonged to Welsh co-owners, Guy and Huw Leach, who have a stake in the remarkable horse, Pyledriver.

Generally always an underdog, Plyedriver came through to win the Hardwicke Stakes at odds of 7/2 on Saturday, the final day of the meeting.

The horse had not raced for a year but showed his class by hitting the front in the final furlong.


There was also a Welsh presence on the podium at the British National Cycling Championships, where Stevie Williams and Elynor Backstedt both finished third.

Williams – who rode at the Giro d’Italia last month – finished third in the senior men’s road race behind winner Fred Wright and runner-up James Knox at Saltburn in Yorkshire on Sunday.

Beckstedt also took third behind Anna Shackley and Flora Perkins in the Women’s U23 road race.