Secretaries: Mr & Mrs Mark Elgar
Address: Slate Cottage, Homington, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 4NQ
T/F: 01722 718368
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race, £15 additional race same horse.
Entries Close: Monday 16th March 2014, 12 noon
Races: Charity Race - 4,5,6 & 7 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Restricted - Mens Open - PPORA Club Members - Ladies Open - Open Maiden
Chapoturgeon stands out among the 14 entries for the Wilton Mens Open at Milborne St Andrew on Saturday. Winner of his only point-to-point here in 2012, the 11-year-old National Hunt Festival winner finished runner-up to Salsify in the 2012 Cheltenham Foxhunter, but put up arguably his best performance to finish second to Mossey Joe on his last racecourse appearance at Stratford 21 months ago. Possible opposition includes Saturday’s Larkhill winner Cock Of The Rock, Glenwood Present, the impressive winner of two races in 2014 but disappointing at the Silverton in January, Pastek and Champagne Rosie, first and second in the corresponding contest last season. Ed Walker has a strong hand with Wadebridge winner Before The War, the ultra-consistent Hameldown Tor and Level Spirit, the winner of four races last season, but Chapoturgeon is an automatic selection.
Charlton Horethorne runner-up Minella Fifty can open his seasonal account in the Savills Ladies Open. Umberleigh winner Bathwick Scanno, prolific ex-Northern Area star Buckstruther, Civil Servant, who always acts well here and former Welsh star Coosan Lad complete the entry, but Minella Fifty gets the vote.
The Clarke & Partners PPORA Club Members race has attracted 21 entries including Bathwick Scanno, Civil Servant and Coosan Lad. Other contenders include Wadebridge winner Supreme Danehill, Saint Peray and Delta Borget – third and fourth behind highly rated pair Subtle Sovereign and Jepeck at Badbury Rings – and Fountains Flypast, who has yet to complete in four outings for Rachael Green’s in-form yard. Loose Preformer provided Hedley Webb’s first-ever success at Didmarton and can follow up here.
On Your Max, who chased up Dandan at Larkhill on Saturday, can go one better in the NFU Restricted. Didmarton winner Roy’s Gallery and Combined Services winner Daves Venture can complete the minor placings.
Two Maiden contests sponsored by Ferndown Commercials and Forfarmers complete the six race card. Daisy Picker fell at the last when upsides at Larkhill and can gain compensation in the 2m-4f event. Didmarton runner-up Doyen Dynamo and Charlton Horethorne runner-up Jolly Good Pepper are two to choose from in the 3-mile race.
Gates open at 10.30am, with the opening race – a charity flat race sponsored by Quilter Cheviot in aid of the Breast Cancer Unit Campaign at Salisbury District Hospital – at 12.30pm. The first of six point-to-point races gets underway at 1.30pm.
The course at Milborne St Andrew is well-signed just off the A354 midway between Blandford and Dorchester. Admission is to either of two car parks at £20 or £25 per car, with a £10 discount for a single visitor.
The Wilton Point-to-Point Committee are grateful to all their sponsors – and trust all will have an enjoyable day.
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (9 ran)
Restricted (6 ran)
Mens Open (5 ran)
PPORA Club Members (8 ran)
Ladies Open (4 ran)
Open Maiden 6yo&up (5 ran)
Robbie Henderson rode his 100th winner on The Otter Club’s Men’s Open winner Hameldown Tor at Milborne St Andrew. His tally consists of 86 point-to-point victories, 13 under National Hunt rules and one Limerick hurdle race win in a Tri Nations Amateur Riders Challenge in July 2011. The 25-year-old opened his account aboard his parents’, Guy and Sophie’s, Sahara Legend at the 2008 Warwickshire and enjoyed his best pointing season when runner-up to national champion Will Biddick in the 2013/14 with 32 winners. He achieved his biggest success aboard his parents’ Ellerslie George in Wincanton’s prestigious Badger Ales Trophy in November 2009. Hameldown Tor has now won or been placed in 18 of his 20 races between the flags. “This looked easier than tomorrow’s Kilworthy Mixed Open, but credit to syndicate head Ken Edwards, who is stewarding at the VWH, but was still happy for Hameldown Tor to run today,” said Ottery St Mary trainer Ed Walker. A return to hunter chasing is on the cards.
Welsh jockey Mathew Barber, 23, celebrated his first visit to Milborne St Andrew with a double aboard Hellesbelles and Fine Resolve. The former made much of the running in the 2m-4f maiden before holding off Michael Legg’s late challenge aboard Foxes Bridge. “I bought her privately from Tim Vaughan, for whom Mathew works,” said Newport’s Tom Faulkner, who rode 34 winners between the flags. Fine Resolve sealed victory with a better last fence jump than Bridgend owner-trainer Andrew’ Leyshon’s second runner, Distant Sound (Evan David). “They’ve been working equally well together at home, so I couldn’t separate them, although [my daughter] Rachael would have ridden Distant Sound if she hadn’t pulled ligaments in her right shoulder at Chepstow on Thursday,” revealed Andrew.
Charly Prichard added her name to the list of successful first-time Welsh visitors when Claire Hitch’s Minella Fifty justified odds-on favouritism in the ladies’ contest. Minella Fifty ran out a comfortable winner after taking the lead at the end of the first circuit. “He was hunting last week, went to the beach on Thursday, was in a nice frame of mind and needed a race,” summed up Claire. “Charly has kept hold of him and nursed him down the hill beautifully. His next race will depend on the arrival of some rain.”
Will Biddick reached his 26-winner of the season mark when Kostaquarta got the better of 2014 winner Turtle Boys after the pair had jumped the last upsides in the PPORA Club Members’ race. The win took the country’s leading trainer Jack Barber onto the 21-winner mark but was missed by Paul and Sharon Burley, joint owners with Jack’s parents, Jeremy and Sarah Barber, who were attending a Plymouth wedding.
David Turner’s Coeur Brule returned from a 40-month absence to open his account in the 3-mile Maiden. The nine-year-old had not appeared since finishing runner-up in his only previous point-to-point at Black Forest Lodge in November 2011. “He broke down that day and has been in a field at [farrier] Paul Coombes' Salisbury yard ever since,” said Arab race rider David, who showed his delight by performing a Frankie Dettori style flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure. “He had nearly three years rest before we started hunting him last autumn. We’ve no facilities, so I train him on tracks in the local woods and by riding around the Roman roads on the Wilton estate.”