Secretary: Mandy O'Hare
Address: Collins Farm House, 55 High Street Durrington Salisbury Wilts SP4 8AQ
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Entries: Point-to-Point Racing Company Ltd
by Telephone on 01933 304840 (with credit/debit card or Weatherbys Account payment), or Online at: www.pointtopointentries.co.uk
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race
Entries Close: Monday 29th December, 12.30 pm
Races: Club Members Conditions - AGA Ladies Open - 5,6,7 & 8 year old Maiden - Mens Open - Restricted
The Mythologist, who impressed when retaining his unbeaten UK pointing record at Black Forest Lodge in November, and former Racing Post Chase winner Quinz, an easy Larkhill winner in December, are the two suggestions from the 28 entries for Sunday’s Larkhill Racing Club Men’s Open. Challengers include Arthurian Legend, winner of all his six point-to-points to date, Cottenham winner Bally Wall, former top long distance hurdler Duc De Regniere, a good runner-up here 12 months ago, and long distance chaser Our Island, who departed at the third in Quinz’s race here. Consistent hunter chase winner Benedictus, course winner Perfectly Willing and Garthorpe course specialist Say No are three more for the short list. Certain Flight took his tally to 12 (including a Huntingdon Hunter Chase) with five 2013/14 wins and may be the one to challenge The Mythologist and Quinz.
Current Event can take his unbeaten pointing sequence to seven by taking the AGA Ladies Open. The winner of five steeplechases and a hurdle race, Current Event survived two bad mistakes before sprinting clear of his field under Bryony Frost here in December. The 19 entries include Baresi, who impressed when winning at Black Forest Lodge, Ghizao, a former top chaser but yet to complete in two point-to-point outings to date, PPORC winner Pateese, multiple winner Posh Totty and Tartan Snow, first and second in the last two runnings of the Aintree Foxhunter but yet to appear between the flags. Course winner Latest Trend, 2013 winner Master Medic and former John Corbet Cup winner and Cheltenham Foxhunter fourth My Flora are three more to consider, but Current Event is a confident selection.
The Mythologist holds an entry for the Conditions race and will get the vote if Guy and Sophie Henderson opt for this contest. Opposition may include Ace High, a good runner-up at Badbury Rings before winning at Holnicote, Darby’s Turn, the winner of his last three 2014 outings, Subtle Sovereign, winner of four 2013/14 contests, and ex-J P McManus winning hurdler El Mondo. Storm Lantern, a December winner here under a vintage hold-up ride from Pete Mann and ex-Tim Vaughan bumper winner Swift Escape may fight out the finish in The Mythologist’s absence.
The meeting has attracted 144 entries and the Maiden will be run in two Divisions. Siege Of Troy, who was in contention when falling two out at Woodford, can overcome a 20-month absence in Div 1. General Girling can get the better of Mon Homme and Praetura in Div 2.
Ask The Weatherman, who overcame a last fence blunder to win here in January, can make it two out of two in the Restricted. The 27-strong entry includes Black Forest Lodge winners Jepeck and Icthec, but December Larkhill winners Billesley Road and Themanfromcork may be the two to complete the placings.
Larkhill Racecourse is found just NW of Amesbury on Salisbury Plain, easily reached off the A303, A360 or A345 (SP4 8QT). Admission: £10 per head, under 16s free. First race: 11.00am.
Larkhill Racing Club at Larkhill Racecourse
Sunday 4 January 2015
Going: Good, good to soft in places
Entries: 144; runners: 112 (78%)
Larkhill Racing Club Members Conditions (Div 1) (13 ran)
Larkhill Racing Club Members Conditions (Div 2) (11 ran)
AGA Ladies Open (12 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 1) 567&8yo (18 ran)
Open Maiden (Div 2) 567&8yo (15 ran)
Mens Open (18 ran)
Restricted (Div 1) (12 ran)
Restricted (Div 2) (13 ran)
=1. Icthec (IRE) (P Mason, 10-1); =1. Jepeck (IRE) (Jamie Thomas, 7-2F); 3. Heads Or Tails (IRE) (J Andrews, 5-1). 6min 15s. 10l. (Peter Mason)
Henley trainer Jack Barber and three-time National Champion jockey Will Biddick combined for a double with Conditions race winner Subtle Sovereign and Men’s Open winner Benedictus at busy Larkhill, where two races were divided and 112 of the 144 entries went to post. Subtle Sovereign raced alongside runner-up Kazuri Kate (Claire Hart) throughout before asserting over the final three fences. “He was my first winner as a trainer, last as a jockey and this is his third win here,” smiled Jack, clearly delighted with his 8yo charge. Benedictus gave his new owners immediate success when benefiting from a vintage holdup ride to lead from Perfectly Willing (Mark Wall) and 6/4F Quinz (Joe Hill) approaching the last. “I sold him to Graham Cotton, Ray Barrow, Robert Trevarthen, Michael Twyford, Cyril Moate and John Irish, partly at my owners’ day and partly before,” revealed Jack. “It’s too early to make plans – we’ll just take it one race at a time.”
Jack and Will’s hopes of a treble were dashed when Ask The Weatherman’s renewed effort in the first Restricted was denied by Native Pride and jockey Max Kendrick, who had rerouted from Plumpton. “Pauline and Denis [Moylan] bought Native Prince at Doncaster in May,” said Brackley trainer Joan Johnston, who rode King Neon to win the prestigious John Corbet Cup hunter chase in 1987. “He’s my first winner for some time – too long between drinks anyway – but £8,000 looks a bit of a bargain now.”
Icthec and Jepeck followed their wins at the season’s Black Forest Lodge opener by dead-heating in the second Restricted. Peter Mason’s mount, Icthec, looked to have sealed victory with the better jump at the last, but Jamie Thomas drove Jepeck back alongside to share the spoils on the line.
The Waley-Cohens’ homebred Storm Lantern followed up his easy December course success in equally emphatic style in the second Conditions race. Patiently ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, Storm Lantern led on the bridle two out before trotting up ahead of his 10 rivals. “He finished second in his first four point-to-points, now he’s won his last three,” pointed out owner-trainer Robert Waley-Cohen. The difference is that he’s learned to settle.” Stratford’s Subaru Restricted Point-to-Point Series Final at the end of May might be a long term target.
Current Event will be aimed at the Cheltenham or Aintree Foxhunter after recording his seventh successive win in the AGA Ladies Open. Pacesetter Posh Totty still led by two lengths at the last but had no answer when Bryony Frost pressed the button aboard Current Event.
Simply Charles held on to take the first Maiden for Redmarley owner-trainers John and Hilary Parrott. “Bought as a foal [at Tattersalls Ireland November 2007 National Hunt Sale], very easy to do at home, schools regularly including twice this week, jumps well and could go hunter chasing,” summed up Hilary.
Fred and Caroline Hutsby have a nice prospect on their hands after Vertical Glen showed the benefit of a soft palate operation by sprinting home under Tom Ellis in the second Maiden. “He couldn’t get up the hill when making his debut at Mollington in April but the operation has made all the difference,” felt Fred.