Secretary: Mrs Caroline Hinks
Address: Lower Nyland Farm, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5SG
T: 01963 370260
F: 01963 370892
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race - a free racecard will be given to the Owner at Declaration
Entries Close: Monday 3rd March, 12 noon
Races: Open Maiden - Restricted - AGA Ladies Open - Mens Open - Wessex Area Club Members Conditions - Members
Gwanako stands out among the nine entries for the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Ladies Open at Charlton Horethorne on Sunday. The 11-year-old cannot be opposed after following up his easy January Larkhill win by anihilating his field at the South Dorset. Opposition includes the Smith-Maxwell pair Double Mead, third on reappearance at Cottenham last month, and Lion On The Prowl, the winner of his only point-to-point to date at Andoversford last April. William and Angela Rucker have entered the consistent Sagalyrique and the fascinating State Benefit, a £42,000 May Doncaster purchase after winning a hurdle race and two steeplechases for the Nicky Henderson stable, and their chosen runner may be the one to chase up Gwanako.
Following Dreams provided Will Biddick’s 200th career success at Barbury Castle and can follow up in the Mens Open. The eight entries include John Meaden’s Champagne Rosie, who was beaten when falling at Badbury Rings, dual Larkhill winner Subtle Sovereign and Bellsinni Ron, who would be suited by a test of stamina. The Targetts’ Thinkaboutthat was a good runner-up at the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) and looks the main threat to Following Dreams.
Subtle Sovereign is among the nine entries for the Hunt race and must be considered if connections take this option. Opposition may include former Royal Artillery Gold Cup winner Mr Big, who has been absent since March 2011, Badbury Rings third Theatre Evening and the Dimonds’ Merry Terry, but former top chaser Join Together is fancied to win for Bruton trainer Rose Loxton.
Join Together holds an entry for the Conditions contest and gets the vote if facing the starter. In his absence, dual 2014 winner Stonemaster, the evergreen Barneys Mate and Market Rasen hurdle race winner Mighty Snazy look the three to choose from.
Badbury Rings winner Go On Henry and South Dorset winner Mangans Turn can fight out the Restricted. Earthpower, Overtown Express and Volatility are three suggestions for the Maiden contest.
A big screen will show not only the racing, but the England/Wales rugby match from Twickenham.
The Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hounds will parade after the third race and the Dufosee Trophy, in memory of John, Jane and Jason, will be presented after the last race to the most successful rider on the day.
Two well-supported pony races, qualifiers for the Wessex Finals in May, bring the afternoon’s racing to a close.
Access to the course is off the B3145 midway between Sherborne and Wincanton (DT9 4LJ). First race: 12.30 pm. Admission is £25 per car, £15 for single occupants.
Open Maiden (12 ran)
Restricted (12 ran)
AGA Ladies Open (3 ran)
Mens Open (5 ran)
WAPPC Club Members Riders Conditions (6 ran)
Hunt Members (6 ran)
Race 1 - 148 cms & Under
1st: Billie Jean - Harry Cobden
2nd: Total Eclipse - William Cox
3rd: Goldwells Gucci - Harriet Godfrey
4th: Wotarisk - Lorcan Williams
5th: Not Angelic - Guy Levison
6th: Shotgun Minnie - Barnaby Treener
7th: Plym Steps - Michael Treener
8th: Dolphin Song - Lucy Reason
UR: Cool Runner - Sam Burton
Race 2 - 138 cms & Under
1st: Diptford Moonwalker - Dan Cox
2nd: Veno Star - Fergus Gillard
3rd: Mayday Black Mink - Charlie Sprake
4th: Mocking Bird - Ben Godfrey
5th: Milly - Luca Morgan
6th: Minky - Zoe Stanbury
7th: Courtneys Magic Spots - Megan Bevan
8th: Shaillion Honey Bear - William Bevan
9th: Lucky Lane Booker - Mikey Oakley
10th: Macauley - Monica Oakley
Bruton trainer Rose Loxton and Ditcheat jockey Megan Nicholls combined for a double – their first – with Gwanako (AGA Ladies Open) and Join Together (Conditions race) at Charlton Horethorne. The former made all and was already in command when closest pursuer Sound Stage (Suzy Berry) departed at the 13th. “We’ve just kept him ticking over since he won at the South Dorset five weeks ago and this is certainly the way to ride him, as he relaxes so well in front,” said Rose. “The current plan is the Mendip Ladies Open, the 2m-5f contest at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening, Wincanton’s Lady Riders Hunter Chase, then possibly Stratford’s end of season Horse & Hound Cup. Former Grand National runner Join Together fought back on the run-in after Barneys Mate (Christopher Barber) had led over the last. “This one will stick to novice riders races,” reported Rose. “He had stomach ulcers after racing at Auteuil and Aintree in December, but three weeks’ treatment, plus being chased round the farm by my dog every day, has done the trick.”
Will Biddick reached the 11-winner mark and moved to the top of the National table with a treble. The dual champion led off with the Richard Barber-trained Overtown Express, who overcame a series of jumping errors to regain the lead approaching the last in the Maiden. “He was broken in late as a four-year-old and is still mentally young as a six-year-old, so I wanted a lead as far as possible,” said Will. “Having said that, he’s improving tons race by race. The difficulty will be whether his jumping is good enough in the higher grades.”
Minella Fifty caught long-time leader Temair Feis (Richard Spencer) at the last to take the Restricted. “This one will be better on better ground, can run to the end of the season and might run up a sequence,” felt Will. Minella Fifty had been bought by Jonjo O’Neill for £150,000 at Cheltenham in April 2012 after winning an Irish point-to-point, but current owner-trainer, Claire Hitch, quickly added that she paid “nothing like that amount” when purchasing the six-year-old last summer.
Will completed his treble and a Richard Barber double when Bellsinni Ron stayed on dourly in the Men’s Open. “I imagine every other horse in the race is faster, but you can rely on him keeping going at the end,” said Will, who sees the seven-year-old as a potential mainstay of his forthcoming championship challenge.
Subtle Sovereign took the closing Hunt race under a confident ride from his Crewkerne trainer, Jack Barber. The grey is owned by Jack, Len Vickery and David Bennett, whose 10-year-old granddaughter, Jessica, designed the winner’s silks based on her favourite purple and pink colours. Subtle Sovereign has now won three races this season, leaving him currently one behind the leader in the National Leading Horse Award list.
Will Biddick received The Dufosee Trophy for the day’s leading rider from Teresa Dufosee.
Two well-supported pony races, the first in Wessex this season, were won by Harry Cobden, 15, riding Billie Jean (148cm race) and Dan Cox, 13, aboard Diptford Moonwalker (138cm race).