Secretary: Mrs Caroline Hinks
Address: Lower Nyland Farm, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5SG
T: 01963 370260
or enter online at www.pointtopoint.co.uk
Entry Fee: £30 per horse per race - a free racecard will be given to the Owner at Declaration
Entries Close: Monday 29th February, 12 noon
Races: Members - Open Maiden - Restricted - Ladies Open - Mens Open - Wessex Area Club Members Conditions
This week’s Wessex point-to-point is located on the Dorset downs north of Sherborne when the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hold their meeting at Charlton Horethorne. Always a popular venue with owners and racegoers the quality of horses on show is normally high and this year looks likely to follow in that tradition. 82 horses have been entered for the six scheduled races.
The meeting begins with the Hunt Members race where Join Together looks the standout entry. The winner of a Wincanton Hunter Chase last month he unseated his rider at Fontwell last Sunday but seeks to make amends on his return to point-to-point racing. Subtle Sovereign has been disappointing this season and more danger might come from Champagne Rosie who was an encouraging third at Badbury Rings for her new trainer Stuart Penny.
The Open Maiden race has attracted the highest entry namely 19 horses. Of those with form Jack Barber’s pair of Athreeothree and Rouge Devils must have good chances although the first named does have an entry at Bishop’s Court on Saturday. Rouge Devils who fell at the second last at Badbury Rings when disputing the lead must have a good chance of putting that error behind him and provide another winner for Will Biddick. Delineate was third when unseating his rider three from home at Larkhill in February and could run well and of the newcomers interest should be taken of Limoncello a 4 year old trained by Jane Williams who receives a weight allowance of a stone and a half from his main rivals.
The Restricted race features several horses that have already won this season including the impressive Swincombe Scorchio who trounced his rivals in a Maiden at Larkhill in February. Bill and Barn the winner of his only race at Milborne St Andrew is another to consider as is Thereyarsee who won a maiden at Larkhill in January beating Swincombe Scorchio. Minella Selfie won at Badbury Rings and Downtown Manhattan who won his only race when making all at Bishops Court last season come into the reckoning but Swincombe Scorchio is selected to continue his rise through the ranks.
The Ladies Open race has a high class entry of 14 horses with Jack Barber entering both Aikideau the winner at Larkhill in February and Queen’s Bay the game winner at Milborne St Andrew. Of their potential rivals Minella Fifty has run well in Ladies races, Rotablade has already been successful for his novice owner/rider Izzi Djivanovic at Larkhill and Grandturgeon may make the long trip down for rider Jane Williams who has had previous success at Charlton Horethorne. Jack Barber’s chosen representative looks the likely winner.
The Mens Open race also has an entry of 14 horses with Queen’s Bay holding an entry in this race as well as the Ladies. Jack Barber may saddle Ghizao an early faller at Badbury Rings but prior to that an impressive winner at Barbury Castle in December. You Too Pet has run well in both his races this season as has Iberico who won a Novice Riders race at Cocklebarrow. Kernel Victor is a progressive horse who will be taking on Open horses for the first time and it will be interesting to see how he gets on. If he runs in this race Ghizao is taken to return to his best form.
Ghizao also holds an entry in the final race the Club Members Riders Conditions and if this is his chosen race then he should be the likely winner. Both Kernel Victor and Iberico are also entered in this race and it will be interesting to see which race connections choose. Jack Barber has entered Buck’s Bond who on his best form would be a danger as would Jepeck who was an easy winner at Buckfastleigh last month. Swallowshide has run well in his last two races and comes into consideration along with Foynes Island who may make his seasonal reappearance for trainer Louise Cabble.
Hunt Members (5 ran)
1 Join Together 1/2F Miss B Frost; 2 Theatre Evening 10/1 T Bishop; 3 Champagne Rosie 4/1 L Drowne. 6mins 41s. 4l, 12l. (Rose Loxton)
Open Maiden (14 ran)
1 Athreeothree 4/5 W Biddick; 2 Don’t Wait For Me 33/1 D Andrews; 3 Emperor Renard 14/1 S Houlihan. 6mins 58s. ½l, 1l. (Jack Barber)
Restricted (8 ran)
1 Bill And Barn evensF W Biddick; 2 Swincombe Scorchio 9/4 Stan Sheppard; 3 Tikkeche 25/1 J Newman. 6mins 41s. 3l, 12l. (Jack Barber)
Ladies Open (8 ran)
1 Minella Fifty 4/1 Miss T Pook; 2 Aikideau 4/6F Miss B Frost; only two finished. 6mins 37s. 30l. (Claire Hitch)
Mens Open (5 ran)
1 Iberico evensJF S Jukes; 2 Ghizao evensJF W Biddick; 3 Foynes Island 11/2 D Andrews. 7mins 00s. 2l, 2l. (Kirsty Adcock)
WAPP Club Members (6 ran)
1 Jepeck 7/4 Jamie Thomas; 2 Kernel Victor evensF J Newman; 3 Alright John 12/1 N Lawton. 6mins 47s. 1½l, 20l. (Kayley Woollacott)
The two pony races then followed the point-to-point card with Calypso ridden by Ben Godfrey and sponsored by Racetech supplemented his Larkhill victory when cosily winning the 148 cms race from Hawkesfield Flyer ridden by Fergus Gillard. Fergus then had to settle for the runner up spot again in the 138 cms race when Veno Star was beaten by Churchill ridden by his new pilot for this season 10 year old Olive Nicholls, daughter of trainer Paul.
It was a cold but mainly dry day at Charlton Horethorne on Sunday when the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale held their annual point-to-point with the occasional hail flurries thrown into the mix. A good crowd watched some quality racing with the highlights being a double for Jack Barber and jockey Will Biddick and a bold jumping performance from Minella Fifty to win the Ladies race for owner Claire Hitch.
The Hunt race was won in the end quite comfortably by Join Together ridden by Bryony Frost for owners Ian and Wendy Fogg. Approaching the second last Theatre Evening ridden by Tom Bishop looked to have the race at his mercy but was headed at the last and was beaten by four lengths. The winner holds an entry in the Cheltenham Foxhunters along with stable mate Current Event and trainer Rose Loxton is uncertain at this stage if he will be given the chance to run in the Cheltenham race.
The biggest field of the day of fourteen horses ran in the Open Maiden race. There was no real pace for the first circuit of the race with all of the field still standing as they jumped the final open ditch. As the field turned for home approaching the third last Athreeothree ridden by Will Biddick had taken it up but was being challenged by the 4 year Limoncello who fell at that fence. Athreeothree maintained his lead to the line but was chased by Don’t Wait for Me and Emperor Renard who both ran most encouraging races on their debuts this season. The winner, named after the famous road that runs from Hampshire into Devon, is owned by Terry Hamlin, John Snook and Martin Dare and trained by Jack Barber was bought by Jack originally in June 2014 at the Landrover Derby sale and subsequently at the Doncaster sales in May 2015 when the original partnership decided to sell after his first season.
The Restricted race saw a smart performance from Bill and Barn and completed Jack Barber and Will Biddick’s double. Explaining afterwards that he had changed his tactics at the last minute Will rode a waiting race on the winner and did not get involved until the fourteenth fence. Tracking market rival Swincombe Scorchio Will took it up at the second last and stayed on well to record a three length success. The winner is now likely to be moving to Paul Nicholls for a career under rules and on the evidence seen the five year old looks an exciting prospect for connections.
Jack was expected to complete a treble in the Ladies Open race with Aikideau starting an odds on favourite. However the horse did not seem to enjoy the testing ground and made a bad mistake on the final circuit which did not help his chances. In the meantime Minella Fifty had been jumping boldly in front and looked to be in control when his only serious rival Rotablade fell at the last fence. Claire Hitch who owns and trains the gelding on Exmoor said that ‘ Taylor (Pook) gave him a peach of a ride and should have a big future as a rider’ Her normal rider Charlotte Prichard had been claimed to ride at Garnons but Claire was thrilled with the way Minella Fifty had jumped for Taylor.
The Men’s Open race was won in good style by Iberico ridden by Sam Jukes. Having already won on Stone at Didmarton the previous day this was a good weekend for Sam, trainer Kirsty Adcock and owner Clive Bennett. Paying her first ever visit to Charlton Horethorne Kirsty explained that ‘ it was a 3 hour journey here but we were looking for a left handed flat track and this fitted the bill exactly’ Sam ,who works for Kirsty, is based near Ledbury was recording his fifth career victory.
The final race of the day proved to be a tussle between Jepeck ridden by Jamie Thomas and Kernel Victor ridden by Josh Newman with the former coming out on top by a length and a half. Trained by Kayley Woollacott who was paying her first visit to the course and owned by John Pike the gelding stayed on strongly on the run in. John was delighted with his improving winner and said that ‘this was his eleventh winner in two and a half years of having horses with the Woollacotts’. The runner up ran a game race in defeat following the sad news that one of his joint owners Ray Targett had died last week.