Larkhill Racing 25th April Preview
After a hiatus of over four months point to point racing resumes at Larkhill with the running of the Larkhill meeting on Sunday. When racing was last held back in December the experiment of allowing owners to attend took place and the good news is that owners in a party of six and sponsors will be allowed to attend this meeting in the Amber Zone. The strict rules of wearing face masks and social distancing will continue to operate as well as the priority for all attendees to pre-register for tickets by no later than noon on Friday 23rd April. Although some rain has fallen on the course within the last two weeks the going is reported to be firm with a good covering of grass. Several of the fences have been moved since the December meeting as well as the bends and with the weather set fair for the week it should be a most pleasant day on Salisbury Plain.
The feature race of the day the Stuart Jarrett Mixed Open race has attracted a quality entry of 12 horses headed by the veteran Green Winter trained by James Ridley. A regular at Larkhill he was last seen finishing runner up to Chameron in last season’s Coronation Gold Cup and a repeat of that form could be good enough. His rivals potentially are the prolific Robin Des People trained by David Brace who has returned to pointing and already secured a victory at Maisemore and a second at Mollington. Luke Price has entered both Ramble On who was second in the 4 mile race at Flete Park last Saturday and the thirteen year old Spencer Moon who was only seen once last season but before that was a regular visitor to the winner’ s enclosure. Another experienced thirteen year old is Ballyboker Breeze who has been in good form this season with a win in his Hunt at Maisemore and a second last Saturday at Chaddesley Corbett.
Local interest is headed by the mare Country Legend trained by Frances Bishop who has a good record at Larkhill and should come on for her last run at Cothelstone. Chill Factor trained by Will Biddick is a consistent sort but did run in the Flete Park 4mile race last Saturday. Dry Ol’Party will relish the faster surface but might find a few of these too good for her. Green Winter is chosen to give Zac Baker another Larkhill winner.
Southern Counties Auctioneers sponsor the Conditions race for which riders must not have ridden more than 15 winners in their career before the start of the season. The 12 entries include two who hold entries in the Mixed Open including Robin Des People and if this is the race chosen he would be one on the short list. More Buck’s trained by Mickey Bowen was pulled up in the Aintree Foxhunters but before that had won for Josh Barber at Maisemore. Tempelpirate has been a great servant for Tim Underwood and finished second in his Members at Kimble on his return to racing. He would be a popular winner. Thereyarsee is another course specialist but has not shown much form recently but hopefully will give his promising young rider Charlie Sprake a good ride. Luke Price has entered Blairs Cove an encouraging third at Charing and he would come into calculations but if Robin Des People runs he will take some beating.
The biggest entry of the day is the We Do Vans sponsored Intermediate race for which 14 horses have been entered. NormoftheNorth won his Hunt race at Kimble beating Tempelpirate and this improving seven year old trained by Alan Hill looks one to follow. However Luke Price has entered French Piece who has already won an Intermediate at Sandon and is unbeaten in his three Point to Point races for owner Jason Warner. He may well continue his perfect record. Arcal Fifty trained locally by Bea Coward was second at Cherrybrook but he is still searching for his Restricted victory. Laura Pomfret is not a regular visitor to Larkhill and her entry of Lords Park Star placed third at Higham should be noted.
The meeting opens with a Flat Race run over two miles. None of the 9 entries have appeared on a racecourse before so viewing in the paddock and their pedigree will be of paramount importance. Byron Moorcroft has entered the Sans Frontieres five year old mare Rosies Redemption and she is likely to have been well prepared. Kieran Price has the four year old Soldier of Fortune gelding Best Pal whereas the Max Comley trained Madame Verity is a half- sister to the winning Hurdler Cul De Poule. Of local interest are the Rachel Bartlett trained Dorset Dazzler bred out of Bobby’s Choice who racegoers will remember winning two point to points in the past and the Harriet Brown trained Towtheline a Black Sam Bellamy mare who is related to Levasseur placed in two Maidens for Philip Rowley.
The young Maiden race over two and a half miles is also short of form and both Rosies Redemption and Best Pal who are entered in the Flat race hold entries in this race. Craven Bay was third at Charing and this Alan Hill gelding might bring his experience to the fore under Tommie O’Brien. Snow Stoppin Him is an interesting entry for former jockey Mark Quinlan being a half -brother to the promising hurdler Getaweapon now trained by Kim Bailey but previously a point to point winner for Christopher Barber at Littlewindsor. Water Copse had a run in a Bumper at Wincanton for Seamus Mullins for owner James Young in February.
The concluding race for six year olds and over has attracted 10 entries with the intriguing entry of Evron for trainer Neil McLean and owners John and Floss Symes being one to look out for. Previously owned by Isaac Souede and Simon Munir he was placed in a four year old Chase at Auteuil before running for Warren Greatrex in three hurdle races where he did not show much form. Of his rivals Loodeen has been knocking on the door for several seasons and ran respectably at Cothelstone when the runner up to The Mighty Ash. Fun De Nuit was fourth in an Irish Maiden in May 2019 and is now owned by Carmen Goldsworthy who has had good horses in the past with Gareth Moore. Madame Hannah who has been placed in Bumpers made her debut over fences at Cothelstone and should improve from that run.