Secretary: Mandy O'Hare
Address: Collins Farm House, 55 High Street Durrington Salisbury Wilts SP4 8AQ
T: 01980 655556
M: 07789 544498
Entries: `The Point to Point Racing Company Ltd
T: 01933 304840
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race
Entries Close: Monday 1st February @ 12.30pm
Races: Kings Troop - CS Club - Restricted - Ladies Open - Mens Open (Coronation Cup) – 4 & 5 year old Open Maiden - 6 & over Maiden
Larkhill hosts one of the season’s Classic Races on Sunday when the running of the Coronation Gold Cup Mens Open is the feature race of the Combined Services meeting. All of the bends and the final fence have been moved since the last meeting. The forecast going is Good to Soft, Good in places, so the course should be ideal for the runners.
A high quality entry of 14 horses has been received for the Coronation Gold Cup. Impact Area, already twice a winner this season at Larkhill has obvious credentials, as has Join Together, already placed this season in good races at Larkhill. Jack Barber has entered Buck’s Bond, but he has an entry at Wincanton and might opt for that race. John and Floss Symes have entered both Parkham Jack and Steeltown, who could be considered on their best form. Warne is a high class horse, winning at Aintree, and should give Sam Waley-Cohen a good chance of lifting the prize. Divine Intavention is a consistent performer, but Templebraden, an impressive winner at the last Larkhill meeting, is chosen to continue his good form for owner Jack McGrath.
The first race is the Combined Services Club Members. Premier Portrait, already successful three times this season for Gus Levinson, is taken to make up for losing his last race when his rider omitted to weigh in. His main opposition may come from Jepeck, already placed twice this season, and Steeltown, who also holds an entry. Capellanus, a six time winner under Rules, may also have a chance. An interesting entry is Bold Cuffs, twice a winner for Sir Mark Prescott on the flat and placed over hurdles for Colin Tizzard. He was giving a bold show when unseating his rider on his debut at Chaddesley Corbett.
The Restricted features a number of entries that have already won this season. These include Black Banjo, Mystery Edition, Overland Flyer, a winner at Larkhill, and Wotzizname, another winner here in January. A chance is taken with Steel Brush, a very impressive winner last season at Kingston St Mary, and Keith Cumings’ charge is chosen to defy the lack of a previous run in a potentially competitive race.
The Ladies Open may see the return of Sagalyrique, winner at Cottenham on the opening day of the season, who runs best on a right hand course. His opponents may include Aikideau, twice a winner in 2014, but who has only raced once since, Rotablade, who has already won and been second at Larkhill for his owner Izzi Djivanovic, Master Medic, who ran a pleasing race on his seasonal debut, and Join Together, who also is entered in the Coronation Gold Cup. Sagalyrique is chosen to continue his good form.
The meeting concludes with two Maiden races. There is little form to go on in the Young Maiden race, with only Dunn’s River, placed second on his point-to-point debut, having run before. He must have every chance of going one better, but Tom Lacey may hold the key to the race as he has entered two four-year-olds, Boagrius and Cirano De Sivola, and his chosen representative may be good enough.
The final race, the Open Maiden, has received an entry of 17 horses. Swincombe Scorchio, who ran so well when second to Thereyarsee here, looks to have an obvious chance. Tom Barton and Delineate who have both been placed second at previous Larkhill meetings may give the selection the most to do, but Sing To Me may be the one to chase him home.
The meeting gets underway with the King’s Troop RHA Club Members race at 11.15am. Admission is £10 per person, under 16s free. The course is found just NW of Amesbury on Salisbury Plain, reached via the A303, A360 or A345 (SP4 8QT).
King’s Troop RHA Club Members (9 ran)
1 Cornelius (U) 6/1 Gnr H Brasher; 2 Somme (U) 10/1 (Gnr C Farren); 3 Epsom (U) 6/1 (Gnr R Rowe). (Jack Stamp)
Combined Services Club Members (4 ran)
1 Swallowshide (GB) 6/4 (J Sole); 2 Regal Presence (IRE) 2/1 (Miss K Lyons); 3 Weston Lodge (IRE) 5/2 (A Muirshead). 6mins 43s. (James Young)
Restricted (6 ran)
1 Overland Flyer (IRE) evens (W Biddick); 2 Wotzizname (IRE) 7/4 (M McIntyre); 3 Avivius Cassuis (IRE) 9/2 (Z Baker). 6mins 28s. Hd, Dist. (Jack Barber)
Ladies Open (7 ran)
1 Aikideau (FR) 6/4 (Miss B Frost); 2 Master Medic (IRE) 5/2 (Miss N Parker); 3 Squadron (GB) 5/1 (Miss CL Reece). 6mins 31s. 5l, 12l. (Jack Barber)
Mens Open (Coronation Gold Cup) (9 ran)
1 Impact Area (IRE) 9/4 (L Muspratt); 2 Templebraden (IRE) 7/2 (Z Baker); 3 Real Milan (IRE) 25/1 (Jack Jones). 6 mins 28s. 1l, 5l. (Harriet Waight)
Open Maiden (4&5yo, 2m4f) (4 ran)
1 Cirano De Sivola (FR) 5/4 (Z Baker); 2 Goodnitesweetheart (GB) 5/1 (Stan Sheppard); 3 Ober Water (GB) 8/1 (B Hicks). 5mins 45s. 5l, dist. (Sophie Lacey)
Open Maiden (6yo & up) (14 ran)
1 Swincombe Scorchio (GB) 4/5 (W Biddick); 2 Tom Barton (GB) 5/2 (Stan Sheppard); 3 Station Island (IRE) 20/1 (M McIntyre). 6mins 35s. 10l, Dist. (Ed Walker)
Impact Area proved to be a hugely popular winner of the prestigious Coronation Gold Cup for local owner and trainer Harriet Waight ridden by his usual pilot Louis Muspratt at the Combined Services meeting at Larkhill. Other highlights on a mainly dry day with remarkably good ground after the heavy rain were a training double for Jack Barber and a riding double for Will Biddick.
Impact Area was always prominent until taking up the lead after the twelfth fence. Pursued initially by Buck’s Bond, Steeltown and Warne, Impact Area stayed on strongly and found more when pressed by the efforts of Templebraden and Real Milan after the last fence. At the line he still had a length to spare over Templebraden. Remembering that just over a year ago her grey gelding was an unregistered hunter his progress has been remarkable and a good advert for Harriet’s training skills. Louis was naturally thrilled to have ridden the winner of a Coronation Gold Cup and said ‘that he had been thinking about the race all week whilst working on a building site’ and paid credit to his mount who ‘would not allow anyone to pass him’. Harriet did add that the morning of the race had not been without a scare as Impact Area had escaped from his box and caused some damage which she would be going home to repair. This was his fourth course victory and on the basis of this form more will follow.
The Ladies Open race was the second leg of Jack Barber’s double when Aikideau ridden by Bryony Frost bounced back to form when comfortably winning the race. Owned by Jack’s mother Sarah and her friends Sarah Longman, Tink Gaskell and Pippa James the gelding had won two races in 2014 but had a slight niggle which caused him to miss last season. Unsuited by the very soft ground at Chaddesley Corbett this much better ground suited him well and according to Bryony who said that ‘he jumped for fun’ he was not troubled to beat the evergreen 15 year old Master Medic by five lengths.
Jack’s double started in the previous race when Overland Flyer owned by Colm Donlon held off the challenge of Wotzizname ridden by Martin McIntyre to win the Restricted race. Described by Jack as ‘a big weak baby last season he has strengthened over the summer and hopes that there is more to come’. He picked up again when challenged on the run –in and prevailed by a head. His longer term future will be at Ditcheat with Paul Nicholls.
The Club Members race proved a welcome success for Brockenhurst trainer James Young when Swallowshide ridden by Jody Sole proved too good for Regal Presence ridden by Katy Lyons. Bred by part owner Ian Bare James was delighted to have trained a winner for Ian who has been a family friend for more than 45 years. The winner of a Wincanton Novice Hurdle when trained by Emma Lavelle he had rather lost his way under rules but the application of a hood and a smaller field clearly reinvigorated his enthusiasm. He is next likely to be seen in a Novice Riders race at Badbury Rings.
Owner Tom Lacey introduced an attractive four year old grey gelding in the form of Cirano de Sivola in the Young Maiden. Bought as a yearling at Deauville for 40K Euros he has since been hobdayed and based on this performance there is more to come. The point-to-pointers are trained by Tom’s wife Sophie and she has about 12 horses to run. Getting at least 7 pounds from all of his rivals he outstayed the mare Goodnitesweetheart also making her debut and trained by Ed Walker to win by five lengths.
Ed then went one better when Swincombe Scorchio confirmed his promise shown on his previous run at Larkhill when winning the Open Maiden race and giving Will Biddick his second winner on the day. Bred by his owner Malcolm Yeo from North Devon he stayed on well to beat principal rival Tom Barton trained by Sally Alner by ten lengths. The winner whose dam Lady Felix was trained to win four hurdles for Robert Alner is another who has grown up over the summer and looks a useful prospect. His half-sister Swincombe Flame who was a top class staying hurdler is now at stud.
The King’s Troop race was won by Gunner Hannah Brasher riding Cornelius. Never headed during the race his 21 year old partner from Doncaster was on duty at Green Park, London the day before where firing took place. She had finished second in last year’s renewal and was delighted to have secured her first ever victory.