Secretary: Mr J H Young
Address: Ford Farm, Burley Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7TB
T/F: 01590 622515
M: 07771 540919
or enter online at: www.pointtopoint.co.uk
Entry Fee: £30 for a single race, £15 per additional race same horse
Entries Close: Monday 22nd February 2015, 12 noon
Races: Intermediate - Open Maiden - Mixed Open - Club Members for Mares & Fillies - 4,5,6 year old Maiden (2m4f) - Novice Riders - Restricted
The Wessex point-to-point calendar reverts back to Larkhill for their fifth meeting of the season when the New Forest hold their annual meeting. There will be pony racing before the point-to-point starts which will the first in the Wessex area for the season and after racing a charity race is scheduled. The New Forest are featuring a Mixed Open sponsored by Volvo over the reduced trip of two and a half miles which is a new innovation for this season and they have been rewarded with a good entry of twenty one horses including the multiple winners Current Event, Findlay’s Find, Cygnet and Mr Mercurial. Overall there is an entry of 131 horses for the seven race card on ground which is currently described as good, good to soft in places.
The Intermediate race starts proceedings and of the twelve entries The Gunner Brady boasts the most recent winning form having been successful at Charing for rider Darren Edwards. Cracking Habit who won two of his three races last season and Mystery Edition who won the first race of this season at Black Forest Lodge are two others to consider but Le Clo de la Londe is taken to improve on his races this season with the likely better ground to be in his favour and give trainer Kayley Woollacott another winner.
The Open Maiden has received the highest entry of 37 horses and there is every chance that the race will be divided on the day. Of those with form In the Tub runner up to Master Baker at Milborne St Andrew has obvious chances particularly as his conqueror won again at Buckfastleigh, Goodnitesweetheart ran a race of tremendous promise on her debut at Larkhill and Darkgesture placed three times already and comes into consideration. Tom Lacey may run Pinnacle Peter and his runners should always be respected. Many of the field are new to point-to-point racing so a watching brief of the newcomers is advised
The Mixed Open race may see the return of Current Event who won three Hunter Chases last season. Likely to be ridden by champion rider Will Biddick he looks to be the one to beat but Findlay’s Find and Mr Mercurial are expected to give him a race. Cygnet who has won 10 races under Rules comes into the equation as does Joker Choker, placed in a two mile Hunter Chase at Stratford last May and Seigneur Des Bois who was second to Alskamatic in a Ladies Open at Larkhill. An interesting recruit to point-to-pointing might be Tony Star now trained in Wales by Michael Bowen who won a novice chase at Ludlow in January 2015 beating the talented but ill-fated Theatre Queen. A reproduction of that form could make him a potential challenger to Current Event.
The TBA Club Members race may see a quick reappearance for Posh Totty, the winner of a Novice Riders race at Badbury Rings last Sunday. Knight Blaze who finished fifth at Badbury may re-oppose but Cutlass Silver who has won six races in her career might be the one to follow Posh Totty home.
The Open maiden for younger horses over two and a half miles sets more posers for punters with little form to consider. Goodnitesweeetheart also holds an entry for this race and she could step up on her debut second. Dunn’s River placed on his point-to-point debut should improve but Tom Lacey’s four year old newcomer Agamemmon could be the one to beat as he gets weight from all of his rivals.
The Restricted race looks an interesting race with previous winners at Larkhill Swincombe Scorchio, Thereyarsee and Wotzizname all entered. Of these the first named was impressive when winning his maiden and may follow up. Innocent Girl who thrashed a field of maiden mares at Barbury Castle in December was not disgraced when beaten by Kernel Victor at Milborne St Andrew and that form was franked when Kernel Victor won again at Buckfastleigh on Sunday. Mystery Edition also holds an entry in this race and LetsKeepit Simple won at Charing. Will Biddick is likely to ride either Swincombe Scorchio or Innocent Girl and his choice is selected.
The meeting ends with the PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders for which 24 horses have been entered. Cygnet holds an entry for this race and he could be the one to follow. Premier Portrait has won each of the races he has contested this season for his rider Gus Levinson although he lost the last race when he omitted to weigh in. Jakros gave James Jackson-Stops a great ride at Milborne St Andrew when winning the Novice Riders race. Squadron and Triangular gave their first time riders Ceri Reece and Naomi Sims enjoyable rides in a Ladies race at Larkhill earlier this month and could both run well. Cygnet is selected to give Michael Bowen’s stable a welcome winner.
Prior to the point to point racing there were two competitive pony races with maximum fields taking part. The 138 centimetre race was won in good style by Megan Bevan, 11, aboard Mayday Black Mink. Megan who comes from Witham Friary rides out for Sarah Gould before going to school at King Arthur’s at Wincanton.
The 148 centimetre race was won by Calypso ridden by Ben Godfrey, 15, who just beat Aries ridden by Albi Tufnell, 14 by a very narrow margin. Ben, who is the recipient of this year’s Racetech sponsorship award, lives in Lopen and attends Wadham School in Crewkerne, Somerset.
A bitterly cold day greeted racegoers at Larkhill on Sunday when the New Forest Hounds held their point-to-point. The ground was faster than previously seen at the Wiltshire course this season with a number of the winners appreciating the better surface and putting in improved performances. Will Biddick rode a treble for three different trainers but suffered a surprising reverse in the Restricted Race and Gus Levinson notched up his fourth winner of the season aboard on Premier Portrait in the Novice Riders race.
The day began with Page Fuller comprehensively winning the Intermediate race aboard Carrigkerry. Bought unraced as a 5 year old by Charlotte Fuller he has now won three races for them despite breaking a hip two years ago and definitely appreciated the better ground despite having a high knee action. Charlotte added that he is likely to run in Club Members races in the future as they have other Ladies horses for Page to ride in the future.
Will began his treble when winning on Tom Malone’s strong gelding In The Tub in the 17 runner 3 mile maiden race. Well beaten by Master Baker at Milborne St Andrew he showed the benefit of his first run in England when jumping into the lead at the last and stayed on well to beat Rakasba ridden by Daniel Sansom by two lengths. Tom, the well -known bloodstock agent, said that he had bought the gelding about two months ago having been placed in maiden races in Ireland and is hoping that his future might be under rules.
The feature race, the 2 and a half Mixed Open race, proved to be the second leg of Will Biddick’s treble when Current Event defied his twelve pound penalty and his absence from the racecourse this season to win by six lengths from Third Chance ridden by Martin McIntyre. This however does not tell the story of the race as Grand Gold ridden by Page Fuller was still leading at the last and the favourite looked in some difficulty when Grand Gold capsized at the fence leaving Current Event to win. Watched by his enthusiastic owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani who was paying his first ever visit to Larkhill the gelding has some ambitious future plans with the Cheltenham Foxhunters and the Aintree Foxhunters on the horizon. Rose Loxton the trainer of Current Event commented that ‘this was a lovely race as a prep run on good ground and he should come on from this’
The Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares only race provided the final leg of Will’s treble when Posh Totty easily won the race. Despite only winning at Badbury Rings a week ago the mare was never in any trouble and had twelve lengths to spare at the line. This was the mare’s eighth career success and she has certainly given her connections much fun since being bought after finishing runner up in a maiden race at Umberleigh in June 2013.
The young horse maiden race was full of incident with four of the twelve strong field eliminated by the fifth fence. At the finish On Alberts Head ridden by Jamie Thomas was too good for Dunn’s River ridden by Will Biddick and won by six lengths. Trained by Kayley Woollacott she said that the first time hood and the better ground brought about an improved performance from the six year old. She added that she had tried to buy the gelding before when he was trained in Ireland by Shark Hanlon and then managed to buy him out of Laura Young’s yard after he had run a couple of times for that handler.
The Restricted race proved to be the biggest surprise when the long odds mare Innocent Girl was well beaten by Cousin Pete ridden by Nick Phillips. Innocent Girl set off in front until being headed by Cousin Pete on the climb to the thirteenth fence. By the time the pair reached the last ditch the writing was on the wall for the favourite and Cousin Pete ran out an easy winner. Owned by Nick’s mother Scilla she was quick to pay credit to Debbie Brown who has been responsible for nursing the gelding back to full health. Last seen in January 2014 he has had both leg and wind problems but if he can be kept sound he looks an exciting prospect for the Phillips family.
The final race the Club Members race for Novice Riders saw Premier Portrait notch up his fourth victory this season under his promising rider Gus Levinson. Despite not having raced on this surface this season he stayed on well to beat Cygnet and Garstin by two lengths and a half a length. This time there were no dramas about weighing in by Gus as he had lost his last race at Chipley Park by failing to weigh in.