Secretary: Mrs Victoria Cobden
Address: The Bungalow, Westbury Manor Farm, West Meon, Peterfield Hants GU32 1ND
Contact Details Tel: 01730 829313 Mob: 07721 488953 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries to: The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 5th December 2016 12.30pm
Races: Hunt, Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, CA Members Conditions
First Race: 11.30am
The first of seven scheduled point-to-point meetings to be held at Larkhill Racecourse, near Salisbury will take place on Sunday 11th December. This is the opening meeting of the Wessex point-to-point season where 22 meetings are due to be held across the counties of Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire from December to May 2017. Larkhill is one of the premier point-to-point courses and always provides a fair test for horses and riders. A highly respectable entry of 92 horses has been received for the 6 scheduled races with racing due to start at 11.30am.
The two Open Races look to produce some particularly exciting races. The Ladies Open Race has attracted a high quality entry of 15 horses. From last season the three that stand out are Aikideau, the winner of four Ladies races for his enthusiastic four owners, ridden by Bryony Frost and trained by Jack Barber, Berties Dream also the winner of four Ladies races when ridden by champion lady rider Gina Andrews and Grand Gold the winner of two races for the Fuller family. Others to consider are the evergreen Carruthers, who will be ridden by Lucy Bradstock and Victoria Pendleton’s purchase from Paul Nicholls’ stable, Vesperal Dream, the winner of six races when trained at Ditcheat. Aikideau and Berties Dream are likely to be fighting out the finish with slight preference given to Aikideau.
The Mens Open race sponsored by Moore and Blatch Solicitors for which 21 horses have been entered has some real quality entries. Barel of Laughs from Philip Rowley’s stable ran well in defeat when beaten at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase meeting in May by Pearlysteps, Consigliere has won already this season at Cottenham, supplementing his five successes from last season for trainer Alan Hill. Premier Portrait has been a revelation for his young rider Gus Levinson and has already won this season at Black Forest Lodge, Real Milan who provided Jack Jones with a memorable season last year and Ceasar Milan, a former Paul Nicholls inmate and now trained by Rose Loxton for the Stewart Family. However the two to take against the field are the highly promising Ask the Weatherman who only raced twice last season but was most impressive in both of his races and Lilbitluso who went from strength to strength last season culminating in a win at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening before meeting his only defeat in the John Corbet at the Stratford Hunter Chase day. Preference is for the last named, but this should be a race from which numerous winners come during the new season.
The meeting opens with the Hunt Members with the welcome return of Kate Buckett to point-to-point training ranks having relinquished her National Hunt licence. She has entered Upham Running who was the winner of a hurdle at Fontwell and if he can reproduce his best National Hunt form this should be good enough to beat his three potential rivals the best of which might be Shantou Breeze trained and owned by Michael Madgwick and likely to ridden by his grandson Lance.
The Restricted Race has an entry of 10 horses with the promising Amzac Magic trained by Jack Barber heading the entries. The winner of his only race at Chaddesley Corbett last season he could be one to follow for the season. Bullzeye the winner of a maiden at Dingley could be interesting for his new connections who include Guy Disney as might be Coolharbour Joe, the winner of an Irish point-to-point at Bellurgan Park and Emperor Arcadius who is now trained by Stuart Penny, whose Larkhill runners should always be respected. However Amzac Magic’s main threat might come from Creative Inerta who finished his season by running a commendable third in the Aintree Bumper in May. Now owned by Norman and Monica Tory he could give the selection the most to do.
The biggest entry of the day are the 25 horses for the Countryside Alliance Club Members Conditions Race. Of those with form from last season the Sally Alner trained Thereyarsee improved and won his last two races as did Captain Probus for Jack Barber. Richard Bandey might run the progressive Woodfleet for owner Anna Reed whereas Luke Harvey has entered Porlock Bay, the winner of the Intermediate race at Black Forest Lodge last month. Same Difference the winner of the 2013 Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival is an intriguing recruit to point-to-point racing for James Young as is Golden Hoof the winner of four races for Nicky Henderson and now with Jack Barber. Thereyarsee can get Sally Alner and owner Bill Dupont’s season off to the best possible start.
The meeting concludes with the Open Maiden race sponsored by Equestrian Fencing for which 17 entries have been received. Of those with form Classical Milano should improve on his two outings in 2016, Bee Crossing who was placed third in her only race for local trainer Harriet Waight and Magic Symphony placed twice for trainer Richard Bandey. However there may be more interest from the two possible runners from Robert Waley-Cohen and in particular Facile Bien, placed in all his starts in Ireland. Tom Malone may introduce Orchardstown Cross placed in his only Irish point-to-point and Apple’s Queen may debut for Sally Alner. Facile Bien is a tentative choice for this race.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QR. First Race 11.30 am. Entry Costs £10 per person.
Race 1 – Hunt Members – 1st Shantou Breeze – L. Madgwick – 4/5F, 2nd Tommo – O.Wedmore -4/1, 3rd Upham Running – Miss G Andrews – 11/10
Runners 3 Time 6min 11secs Distances 6l & a Dist
Race 2 – Ladies Open – 1st Aikideau – Miss B Frost – 2/1, 2nd Grand Gold – Miss P Fuller – 5/4F, 3rd Trueflyingcolours – Miss K Lyons – 20/1
Runners 8 Time 6min 4 secs Distances 6l & 3l
Race 3 Mens Open – 1st Real Milan – Jack Jones -10/1. 2nd Barel of Laughs – Alex Edwards – 9/4, 3rd Ceasar Milan – L. Williams – 12/1
Runners 10 Time 6 min 1 secs Distances 12l & 8l
Race 4 Restricted – 1st Coolharbour Joe – M.McIntyre – 7/2, 2nd Amzac Magic – C.Barber – 4/5F, 3rd Isthatthetruth – Alex Edwards – 4/1
Runners 5 Time 6 min 25 secs Distances2l & 8l
Race 5 Club Conditions Race – 1st Anquetta – Sam Waley-Cohen – 8/1, 2nd Porlock Bay – Miss G Andrews -9/4F, 3rd Oliver James – F.Henderson -20/1
Runners 15 Time 6 min 4 secs Distances Neck & 5l
Race 6 Open Maiden – 1st Titans Approach – M.McIntyre – 8/1, 2nd Orchardtown Cross – L.Mahon -2/1, 3rd Gilliamstown – H.Wallace-50/1 Runners 10
Time 6 min 10 secs Distances 6l & a dist
An exciting afternoon’s racing took place at Larkhill last Sunday when the Hursley Hambledon held their point-to-point. The weather was kind to racegoers who were able to enjoy the racing in dry and pleasant conditions with the rain that fell the day before easing the ground to what riders described as good going. The Mens Open race had a dramatic conclusion, Aikideau was a smooth winner of the Ladies Open race and the riding honours went to Martin ‘Fly’ McIntyre who secured a double.
The Moore Blatch Mens Open race was a high quality affair with several National Hunt winners amongst the ten strong field. The race turned into a virtual match over the last three fences with Lilbitluso ridden by replacement jockey Will Biddick substituting for the injured John Matthias duelling with Real Milan ridden by Jack Jones. They were still locked together at the last fence with Real Milan possibly looking if he was getting the better of the argument when Lilbitluso fell at the fence leaving Real Milan to come home for an easy victory. Real Milan has been a revelation for the Jones family who train near Ross-on-Wye for whom this is their only horse. Bought out of Donald McCain’s yard he ran some good races last season before winning three races at the end of last season for his novice rider. Trained by Nick Jones he reported afterwards that he thought that he might be a better horse this season and is a laid back character who ‘could be ridden through the middle of Gloucester without turning a hair’. He ran well in the Coronation Gold Cup last season and this could be a target for the gelding. His young rider, 21who is now a pupil assistant for Kim Bailey was securing his fourth career victory.
Aikideau got Champion trainer Jack Barber’s season off to the best possible start by comfortably winning the Ladies race under Bryony Frost. The leading horse in the Wessex area for last season picked up where he finished off and despite being faced by another strong field headed by favourite Grand Gold the gelding relished the good ground and won by six lengths. Bryony said that she thought the leaders had gone off too fast but when asked to win his race from the second last the result was not really in any doubt. The plan is to continue to target Ladies races in the area and on this form he will be hard to beat. Victoria Pendleton introduced her new horse Vesperal Dream in this race but he did pull hard and then crashed through the wing of the eighth fence. Fortunately both rider and horse were unharmed.
The meeting began by Shantou Breeze winning the Hunt Members race for Michael Madgwick and ridden by his 21 year old grandson Lance. Tracking the leader Tommo until the 13th fence the mare took it up and held off the renewed challenge of Tommo ridden by Oz Wedmore to win by six lengths. Trained by Michael at his base in Denmead, Hampshire where he holds a dual licence this is his only point-to-point horse who is proving to be a good schoolmaster for Lance who is now his assistant trainer. This was Lance’s second career win.
Martin McIntyre’s first winner came courtesy of Coolharbour Joe who held off the Jack Barber trained Amzac Magic by two lengths in the Restricted race. Will Biddick gave up his other rides following his earlier fall and Amzac Magic was partnered by Jack’s cousin Christopher Barber. The winner trained by Peter Hammersley at Appleby Magna in Leicestershire is his first venture into point-to-point racing as he is much better known in Arab racing circles where he currently has 18 Arab horses to race. Explaining that he had not been to Larkhill since they last held an Arab meeting Peter said that ‘ he was thrilled to bits and the round trip of over 300 miles was well worth it’ He added that his normal rider Max Kendrick was unavailable and Fly had been recommended to him in view of his past Enda Bolger connections.
Fly completed his double in the last race of the day the Open Maiden when partnering the Ben Clarke trained Titans Approach to a comfortable win. Owned by three local Crewkerne businessmen Alex Baldock, Adrian Patterson and Richard Cooper who are known as the Chair Partnership the gelding had been bought by Ben at the Doncaster August Sales for £7,000. Previously trained by Graeme McPherson he had been placed in a bumper, over hurdles and fences and used his experience to beat Orchardstown Cross owned and trained by Tom Malone for whom this was a most promising run. Ben who is based at Woolminstone near Crewkerne has nine horses in his stable and hopes that Fly will be available to ride most of these this season.
The Members Conditions race attracted the biggest field of 15 facing the starter with Anquetta ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen just holding off the attentions of Porlock Bay ridden by Gina Andrews by a neck. The winner who has won six chases in his long career was bought by Robert Waley-Cohen in 2013 and triumphed for him at Market Rasen in a valuable race in 2014. Now at the vintage stage of his career and described by his rider as a ‘ wily old fox’ he showed that he could just last home over three miles and remains competitive in these sort of races. His owner explained that he was just not right last season but hopes that those problems are now behind him.