Secretary: Mrs Jane Stockldale
Address: Mallyn, Portman Road, Pimperne, Dorset, DT11 8UL
T: 01258 455412
Entries: Mr James Symonds
Address: Willowbrook House, 41 Corton, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 0SZ
T: 01985 850883
M: 07990 707139
enter online at www.pointtopointentries.co.uk
Entry Fee: £30 for a single race, £15 per aadditional race same horse - Chqs payable to 'CA Dorset'
Entries Close: Monday 15th February @ 12 noon
Races: Club Members Conditions - Mens Open (Wessex Feature Race) - Club Members Novice Riders - Ladies Open - Restricted - 5 year old & over Maiden Conditions.
The first of two meetings to be held at the splendid setting of Badbury Rings will be held on Sunday when the Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) sponsored by Savills hold their annual point-to-point. It is the 10th anniversary of the meeting and to celebrate there will be the promotion of rural crafts and skills in the Celebration Tent where there will be 3 cookery demonstrations using game, plus print making, jewellery making, hurdle & basket making & textiles. There will be craft activities for the children & face painting. The main highlight of the racing will be the Westover Wessex National Mens Open race which is the feature race of the Wessex season and carries total prizemoney of £1000. A strong entry of 142 horses has been received for the 6 races and competitive racing looks assured.
The racing begins with the Club Conditions Race for which 27 entries have been made. Harpsy Cord may make the long trip from West Wales and has won his last three races in 2015 for rider John Mathias, Midnight King may come from Warwickshire for his seasonal debut and Jepeck who has run well in his two races so far this season are three to consider. However Peeping Thom was impressive when winning at Larkhill and may continue his upward surge.
The feature race, the Mens Open race, follows next and may see the reappearance of the classy Current Event, the winner of three Hunter Chases last season. Still trained by Rose Loxton he changed hands during 2015 and this may be a stepping stone to more ambitious targets in 2016. His rivals may include Templebraden, runner up in the Coronation Gold Cup , Ghizao, impressive at Barbury Castle in December but disappointing on his latest outing at Larkhill, the winner of the Lord Hyde of Ashton race at Cocklebarrow, Ace High and Divine Intavention who missed his seasonal debut at Larkhill as the ground was too soft for him. However Current Event ought to be too good for his rivals.
The Novice Riders race may see another ride for Victoria Pendleton as Supreme Danehill bought for her to ride is amongst the 24 entries. The form horse is Premier Portrait who has won each of his races he has run in for Gus Levinson but unfortunately lost his last race as the rider failed to weigh in. He could well put that disappointment behind him but Jack Andrews may have other ideas as he hopes to ride his Higham winner Done a Runner. Carruthers is giving Lily Bradstock some good experience in her first season of point-to-point racing and Rob David, who rode his only winner to date at Holnicote in 2014, will be hoping his first ride for his employer Jack Barber will be a successful one if he rides the game mare Posh Totty.
The Ladies Open may see the return of Sagalyrique, the winner of the 2015 race for Angela Rucker. Not seen since winning on the first day of the season he has already shown his liking of the Badbury Rings course and may prove too strong his rivals. Benedictus is on a retrieval mission after disappointing at Larkhill but could give Bryony Frost a good ride. The evergreen Master Medic and Seigneur des Bois both runners up in their last races should be considered as well as Melt the Silver who has not seen the racecourse since 2014 but was highly rated when last seen.
The Restricted race for which 26 horses have been entered features a number of previous winners this season. Two of three maiden winners from the South Dorset meeting namely Tommo and Master Baker are included within the entries. Both acted on the soft going with the latter named impressive in demolishing his rivals in the 3 mile race. Others to consider are Pauls Conn a winner at Chipley Park, Captain Probus who won at Barbury Castle and Sutton Storm, a winner at Wadebridge. More danger might come to Master Baker from Steel Brush who won well at Kingston St Mary last season but has not yet run this season.
The Maiden race concludes the meeting and if Master Baker wins the previous race In the Tub, the runner up at Milborne St Andrew might be the obvious selection. Tom Barton placed twice at Larkhill looks the natural danger but notice should be made of the running of Guerrilla Tactics who has been placed in a point-to-point in Ireland and Rouge Devils who will be having his first race for Jack Barber having run in a Bumper for Paul Nicholls. Amongst his four owners is Sir Alex Ferguson the former Manchester United manager who has always had an interest in horse racing.
CA Club Members (16 ran)
1 Little Cornham 10/1 ( L Drowne); 2 The Flying Doc 3/1 (W Biddick); 3 Champagne Rosie 10/1 (L Muspratt). 6min 31s. Hd, 5l. (Keith Cumings)
Mens Open (9 ran)
1 Im All Set 8/1 (S Houlihan); 2 Divine Intavention 4/1 (M Wall); 3 Tin Pot Man 4/1 (G Hiscock). 6min 36s. 5l, 8l. (Claire Hitch)
CA Club Member (Novice Riders) (13 ran)
1 Posh Totty 4/5 (R David); 2 Swallowshide 8/1 (B Hicks); 3 Gale Force Lucey (W Gordon). 6min 30s. 6l, 12l. (Jack Barber)
Ladies Open (10 ran)
1 Benedictus 4/5 (Miss B Frost); 2 Trueflyingcolours (Miss Heidi Lewis); 3 Ballypatrick (Miss K Lyons). 6min 37s. 2l, 6l. (Jack Barber)
Restricted (17 ran)
1 Winter Soldier 3/1 (J Mathias); 2 Doyen Dynamo 7/2 (W Biddick); 3 Tikkeche 25/1 (M McIntyre). 6min 36s. 4l, 15l. (Richard Mitford-Slade)
Maiden 5yo&up (Div 1) (9 ran)
1 Minella Selfie 6/1 (Ben Clarke); 2 Jolly Good Pepper 10/1 (T Bishop); 3 Waitnc 8/1 (L Drowne. 6min 53s. 25l, ¾l. (Ben Clarke)
Maiden 5yo&up (Div 2) (8 ran)
1 Guerrilla Tactics 5/1 (Miss V Wade); 2 Road To Success 7/1 (L Trott); 3 Tom Barton 1/2 (Stan Sheppard). 6min 52s. ShtHd, 12l. (Camilla Scott)
The first signs of spring were in evidence at a dry but cloudy Badbury Rings near Wimborne when the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) celebrated their tenth anniversary with skylarks singing above the Rings and the course in excellent condition with the ground described by many riders as the best they had ridden on all season. Jack Barber trained two winners and Claire Hitch had a bitter sweet success when Im All Set won the Wessex National Men’s Open, the Wessex feature race. Rob David had a memorable day in the saddle and Vicky Wade had a thrilling success in the final race of the day.
The Club Members Conditions race opened proceedings and the race developed into a duel between Little Cornham ridden by Lee Drowne and The Flying Doc ridden by Will Biddick over the last two fences. Little Cornham relishing the better ground just prevailed by a head to give his connections his eighth career point-to-point victory. Andy Pollard, one of the owners, said that ‘ he would probably go next to Cothelstone for his Hunt race where he has already won four times and that it was worth the journey to come to Badbury’.
The Wessex National Mens Open had an early dramatic incident when both Ohio Gold ridden by Martin McIntyre and the favourite Ghizao ridden by Will Biddick both took off too early at the second fence and paid the penalty by falling. This left Divine Intavention ridden by Mark Wall to attempt to make all and at one stage it looked likely to succeed. However Sean Houlihan aboard Im All Set closed down the leader and took it up between the last two fences and drew away to win by five lengths at the line. Owned by Claire Hitch, Phil Rawle and Keith Parkin who is Claire’s farrier Im All Set enjoyed the better ground and confirmed much of the promise he had shown last season when notching up three wins. Whilst Claire was naturally pleased with her winner she ruefully remarked that ‘she had just had the ups and downs of racing within half an hour ‘as sadly the mare she had run in the Club Conditions race Fountains Mary had broken her pelvis and could not be saved.
The Novice Riders race will be a race that Rob David, 21, will remember for the rest of his riding career. Riding the game mare Posh Totty for his boss Jack Barber he declined the early pace and did not start to make up ground until after the fifteenth fence. The mare was always travelling well and had six lengths in hand at the line from Swallowshide ridden by Ben Hicks. This was Rob’s first ride for Jack who he joined in 2015 and on this evidence more look sure to follow. Born in Porlock he had his first winner in 2014 at his local course Holnicote aboard Took My Eye trained by Liz Scott. Describing the experience as ‘unbelievable’ he added that he does ride the mare at home and was ‘glad to have got her off Will’
The Ladies Open was the second leg of the double for trainer Jack Barber when Benedictus confidently ridden by Bryony Frost stayed on well to beat Trueflyingcolours ridden by Heidi Lewis by two lengths. Still last jumping the final ditch Bryony did not panic and smoothly produced her mount to lead at the last to win in fine style. Her father Jimmy joked in the winner’s enclosure that ‘Graham Bradley must be her father rather than me’ recalling the stylish way that Graham Bradley used to ride his many winners under rules. Bryony commented that her mount was ‘spot on’ at his fences and certainly was back to his best form after disappointing at Larkhill earlier in the season. Bryony has now won three Ladies races for Jack’s stable on different horses.
The biggest field of the day, 17 runners, contested the Restricted race and this proved to be a duel between Winter Soldier ridden by John Mathias and Doyen Dynamo ridden by Will Biddick with the former winning by four lengths. Owned by Ces Mitford-Slade and Lucy Johnson the Apple Tree gelding is certainly a progressive sort with connections contemplating a Hunter Chase campaign later in the season. Explaining his poor run at Larkhill Ces said that’ the horse was hanging and a trapped nerve was diagnosed which has been put right’. Both the winner and the runner up look ones to follow during the season.
The Maiden race was divided on the day and Ben Clarke and his partner Harriet Brown came within inches of winning both divisions. Ben rode Minella Selfie to win the first division by twenty five lengths but the result might have been different if Rouge Devils ridden by Will Biddick had not fallen at the second last when disputing the lead. Owned by a syndicate consisting of Harriet, Rebecca McMullan and Pat Coombes both from Chard and Mick and Sarah Holmes from Dorchester the winner had been bought privately in Ireland by Ben and Harriet. Ben said ‘he has had a wind operation since running at Larkhill and this has helped him. We might aim him for a Bumper at Exeter later in the season’
The second division featured a tremendous race between Guerrilla Tactics ridden by Vicky Wade and Road to Success (trained by Ben Clarke) ridden by Liam Trott. Guerrilla Tactics had been jumping superbly in front most of the way and just prevailed by a short head at the finish. Owned by the Exmoor Partners and trained by Camilla Scott he had been bought by John Atkins at Doncaster last September as the replacement for Southwestern who raced in their colours for many seasons. Recalling the setting up of the partnership some nineteen years ago John advised that’ he was the last of the original partners left as sadly Brian Halford had recently died and that every horse they have run has won for them’