Secretary: Mr A Vadasz
Address: No 1 Old Rectory Court, Wyck Lane, East Worldham, Hants GU34 3AW
M: 07881 820375
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 7th December, 12.30 pm
Races: Hunt - Ladies Open - Mens Open - Restricted - Open Maiden - TBA Fillies
The Wessex Area point-to-point season opens at Larkhill Nr Salisbury on Sunday when the course hosts the Hursley Hambledon Hunt for their annual meeting. The Wessex area stretches from West Somerset to Salisbury Plain and over the next five months there will be a total of 22 meetings for racegoers to enjoy, The advice for the early meetings is to come well prepared for the weather but you are guaranteed a warm welcome and some fiercely competitive racing on what is arguably the best point-to-point racecourse for early season meetings.
The Hursley Hambledon meeting, dedicated to the memory of jean Wilkinson who was a fondly remembered hunting lady, has attracted a good entry of 82 with the Moore Blatch sponsored Men’s Open race the highlight of the six race card.
The Point-to-point races commence with the Hursley Hambledon Hunt race. Pateese looks the standout from the five horses entered and the Penny Lownds trained gelding should continue her trainer’s good record in the race having also been successful in 2014 with Billesley Road. Terra Bleu, runner up in the race last year should give Pateese the most to do.
The Ladies Open race features the return of Chapoturgeon the highly talented but fragile gelding trained by Jack Barber for his Racing Club. Only seen once last season when successful at Kingston St Mary he now embarks on a new career in Ladies Races with a new rider Bryony Frost who should be able to overcome his rivals. Fitandproperjob trained by David Buckett may be the one to follow him home.
The Men’s Open race looks a very competitive event with a total of eighteen horses entered. David Maxwell looks to have a strong hand in the race with both No Loose Change and Out Now entered for him. The former who used to be trained by Paul Nicholls has won four chases including a Hunter Chase last season at Fontwell whilst the latter won a Hunter Chase at Warwick earlier this year. Other potential rivals include Benedictus the likely mount of champion rider Will Biddick who has already notched up his first treble of the season last weekend, Join Together returning after missing last season but unbeaten in his six races the previous season and Ballyallia Man the winner of four chases when trained by Tom George. Man of Steel from Alan Hill’s yard and Premier Portrait a first winner for Gus Levinson come into calculations but David Maxwell’s choice is preferred.
There are sixteen horses entered for the Restricted race. Mr Simpkins the impressive winner of a Maiden at Mollington in 2014 for Robert Waley-Cohen and Mr Dinosaur the equally easy winner of a Maiden at Woodford for Tom Lacey in 2014 both return to action. The latter who is now in the ownership of Graham and Andrea Wylie and trained by Jack Barber looks one to keep an eye on. Lilbitluso a winner at Cottenham for trainer Joseph O’Shea will be fit and Sin Bin the winner of two National Hunt flat races seeks to take advantage of the change in the rules which allows horses that have won National Hunt flat races to run in Restricted races. If Mr Simpkins is fully wound up for his seasonal debut he is narrowly chosen ahead of Mr Dinosaur.
The Maiden race has attracted the highest entry of thirty horses so it is likely that the race will be divided on the day. There are numerous potential unraced horses of the future with leading owners Robert Waley-Cohen, David Maxwell and Tom Lacey being doubly represented. Of the horses with form Mr Cardle has been placed under Rules for Oliver Sherwood and is now with Alan Hill. Athreeothree trained by Jack Barber would be an appropriate winner as the course is very close to the road of the same name. A watching brief is suggested on this race and the betting might give more clues to the newcomers.
The meeting concludes with the TBA Club Members race a series of races for Mares and Fillies. Posh Totty ought to be too good for her rivals and continue the form of the Jack Barber/Will Biddick combination. Flying Gnu might be the one to follow her home.
The meeting starts with a charity flat race over 1mile 4furlongs where six are expected to line up with last year’s winner Beanie Allison seeking a repeat of last year’s triumph. This race is scheduled to start at 10.45am
Hursley Hambledon at Larkhill Racecourse
Sunday 13 December 2015
Hunt Members (4 ran)
1 Pateese (FR) 1/3F (N Lawton); 2 Terra Bleu (IRE) 5/1 (O Wedmore); 3 Shantou Breeze (IRE) 5/2 (L Madgwick). 6mins 18s. 2l, 8l. (Penny Lownds)
Ladies Open (6 ran)
1 Rotablade (GB) 14/1 (I Djivanovic); 2 Court In Session (IRE) 12/1 (A Roberts); 3 Fitandproperjob (GB) 5/1 (G Andrews). 6mins 21s. 15l, nk. (Isabel Djivanovic)
Mens Open (11 ran)
1 No Loose Change (IRE) 5/1 (D Maxwell); 2 Join Together (IRE) 7/4 (Stan Sheppard); 3 Real Milan (IRE) 50/1 (Jack Jones). Time 6mins 09s . 2¼l, 25l. (Kim Smyly)
Restricted (8 ran)
1 Mr Simpkins (GB) 4/6F (S Waley-Cohen); 2 Porlock Bay (IRE) 9/2 (W Biddick); 3 Sin Bin (IRE) 7/2
(G Andrews). 6mins 12s. 6l, 30l. (Robert Waley-Cohen)
Open Maiden (Div 1) (11 ran)
1 Big Bad Barry (IRE) 7/1 (Alex Edwards); 2 Sugar Loaf Sholto (IRE) 5/2 (Z Baker); 3 Thereyarsee (GB) 7/4F (Stan Sheppard). 6mins 18.5s. 1l, 3l. (Axelle Wall)
Open Maiden (Div 2) (12 ran)
1 Bonzo's Copse (GB) 12/1 (Stan Sheppard); 2 Athreeothree (IRE) 7/4F (W Biddick); 3 Mr Cardle (IRE) 9/2 (J Hill). 6 mins 14s. 15l, 8l. (Sally Alner).
TBA Club Members (Mares & Fillies) (3 ran)
1 Triggywinkle (FR) 9/1 (N Lawton). 6mins 40s. (Roderick Chelton)
It was a balmy December day for racegoers to enjoy at Larkhill on Sunday when the new Wessex point-to-point season opened. Some competitive racing was the feature of the day on going described as good, with a number of unexpected results. Highlights were a first riding success for Izzi Djivanovic on her first ride, a double for owner David Maxwell and a riding double for Nick Lawton.
The meeting began with the Hunt race with the favourite Pateese outstaying Terra Bleu to give Hursley, near Winchester, trainer Penny Lownds another win in her Hunt race. She was repeating last year’s success and reckoned this was the sixth time she has won the race.
The Ladies Open provided a shock when long odds on favourite Chapoturgeon, ridden by Bryony Frost, fell when closing on the leaders at the 15th fence. This left Rotablade, ridden by Izzi Djivanovic, to win by eight lengths from Court In Session. The 24-year-old who was having her first ever ride, is assistant trainer to National Hunt trainer Caroline Keevil and has had success in the eventing world, including representing Great Britain at the Young Rider Europeans. She said ‘no one wanted to make it, so I thought I might as well go off in front and I was waiting for Chapoturgeon to sweep by, but it did not happen!’ She bought the horse privately with the intention of taking him team chasing. When that season finished, she thought she might have a go at point-to-pointing and, by the way he jumped, there could be other successes before the season is over.
David Maxwell enjoyed his first ever riding success at Larkhill aboard No Loose Change, who held the late surge by Join Together ridden by Stan Sheppard in the Men’s Open race. He took up the running at the 14th fence and his mount stayed on to record a first point-to-point success. A return to Hunter Chasing may be on the cards for the Kim Smyly trained 10 year old and a tilt at the Aintree Foxhunters could be a long term season aim for the combination. The second ran a most encouraging race, having missed all of last season, and only went down by a length.
Mr Simpkins, the impressive looking son of Presenting, made virtually all to win the Restricted race ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen and held off the attentions of Porlock Bay ridden by Will Biddick by four lengths. As he had not raced since May 2014, this was an excellent performance and it is hoped that he will progress further. He is named after Phil Simpkins, gardener for the Waley-Cohens for more than 25 years and Phil was present to receive the trophy on behalf of the family.
The Open Maiden was divided on the day and the two races may well produce a number of winners over the season. The first division was the closest finish of the day, being only half a length between Big Bad Barry and Sugar Loaf Sholto at the line. This was the second winner of the day for owner David Maxwell, but this time the horse was ridden by Alex Edwards for trainer Axelle Wall. Bought by her husband Mark at Doncaster in May 2014 and described as ‘a bit of a joker’ he has grown up this year and Mark exclaimed that he was ‘chuffed to bits’ to have found a horse for David, who was able to win first time out.
The second division provided a welcome winner for owner/trainer Sally Alner whose Bonzo’s Copse proved too good for his 11 rivals. Ridden by Stan Sheppard, who was recommended to Sally by Andrew Doyle, pupil assistant trainer at Paul Nicholls, according to his trainer ‘had been carrying me since, so he should be fit for his seasonal debut’.
After Posh Totty had won the concluding TBA Club Members Race for the Jack Barber/Will Biddick combination by a distance, an objection was lodged on the grounds the winner had not carried the correct weight. Posh Totty was disqualified, with the race being awarded to Triggywinkle, giving Nick Lawton his first riding double of his career.
Bushwacker was the winner of the charity flat race, where all the funds raised will be going to the Hampshire Air Ambulance. Ridden by Laura Elliott, 27, who runs a livery yard at Plaitford, Hampshire the plan is for Bushwacker, a former useful chaser for Ron Hodges, to attempt a point-to-point campaign where he will be ridden by Laura’s partner, Josh Cameron.