Secretary: Mrs Mandy O'Hare
Address: Collins Farmhouse, 55 High St, Durrington, Salisbury, Wilts, SP4 8AQ
Contact Details Tel: 01980 655556 Mob: 07789 544498 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 2nd January 2017 12.30pm
Races: LCR Members, Ladies Open, 5 years + Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, LCR Members (Novice Riders)
First Race: 11.30am
Larkhill hosts its second meeting of the season when the Larkhill Racing Club hold its meeting on Sunday. This is an ideal opportunity to blow away the cobwebs from the Christmas and New Year holiday period at a course where competitive racing is guaranteed. An excellent total of 117 horses have been entered for the six races and with the recent arrival of rain at the course the going is currently good and hopefully will be maintained prior to the meeting.
The two Open races look high class potential contests. The Ladies Open may see the return of Aikideau who was successful at the first meeting this season and should continue to do well in 2017. Trainer Jack Barber may however be represented by the tough mare Posh Totty the winner of four races last season and whichever one is his representative should be respected. However the opposition could include another determined mare in the shape of Dabinett Moon who was the winner of five of her races last season. Popaway is a third mare who is the model of consistency for trainer Pauline Harkin and who will have her supporters. However Master Baker was one of the most progressive horses from last season winning five of his six starts and is chosen to continue on his climb up the ladder for connections.
The Mens Open race is another high quality event and if the rain continues we may see the highly regarded Ask the Weatherman who only raced twice last season but was hugely impressive on both occasions. It is hoped that he will go on to contest the leading races of the season including the Foxhunters and this would be a first step for his targets for 2017. He will not have everything his own way as amongst his potential rivals are Sacre Toi, who defied a welter weight burden when winning at Cotley last season, Shy John who ran well at Barbury Castle when runner up to Iberico, Flicka’s Witness, the winner of four races last season and Jepeck who also won his last four races in 2016. Teresa Clark may introduce Willem who has been running for David Pipe without winning and his performance should be noted. If Ask the Weatherman is declared then he should be too good for his rivals.
The meeting starts with an open looking Club Members Conditions race for which 21 horses have been entered. Jack Barber has entered Dunn’s River and Athreeothree both of whom were on the upgrade in 2016. Boygoesjumping will lack nothing in fitness having already won a Restricted race and has been second in his other race whereas For A Change won a Restricted race at Alnwick in December. Anquetta won at the last Larkhill meeting but has since been beaten at Chaddesley Corbett and Upto Ollie was successful in three of his races last season. However the two that may fight out the finish could be High Hatton a highly creditable third in the John Corbet Hunter Chase at Stratford behind Quiet Account and Lilbitluso and Tom Barton who reeled off three successes in 2016 including one at Larkhill and remains on the upgrade. Tom Barton is a tentative selection.
The Restricted race has an entry of 20 horses with Avidius Cassius having potentially the best form from last season. Placed in four of his six races last season he should be included on the short list. Others to consider are Creative Inerta who finished his initial season when placed third in the bumper race at Aintree, Themanfromcork who won his maiden at Larkhill in 2015, V Neck the winner of a maiden for Richard Barber in 2013 but not seen since April 2014 after three races for Paul Nicholls and Swivel the winner of 6 races on the flat but still eligible for Restricted races. A chance is taken with Emperor Arcadius who was very consistent last season but lost Katy Lyons at the third fence for new trainer Stuart Penny at the last meeting.
The Novice Riders race also contains an entry for Posh Totty and if this is the chosen race for the mare then she would be the selection. However as Christopher Barber broke his collar bone at Chaddesley Corbett she may not take up her entry. Thereyarsee improved last season and could be a winner for Lorcan Williams although he may have to choose between this gelding and Ceasar Milan who was running on in the third place at the last meeting for him. Horizontal Speed, the winner of 6 races for Philip Hobbs looks a good ride for Gareth Henderson and Many Stars, the winner of an Open race at Godstone for David Maxwell last season could run well for Kim Smyly’s stable. Blue Benny who is a first venture into point –to –point racing for Charlotte Stockdale who has been eventing last summer and was bought out of David Kemp’s yard in May.
The Open Maiden race for which 26 horses have been entered is a race where there is not much form to go on. Magic Symphony sets the standard and may put his performances from 2016 to give trainer Richard Bandey his first winner of the season. Bee Crossing for local trainer Harriet Waight was still in contention when unseating her rider at the third last at the Hursley Hambledon meeting. Newcomers to consider are the Robert Waley-Cohen owned Lucarno Express, the Jack Barber trained Ballyjim for owner Bill Dupont and the ex-French Apple’s Queen who has been placed in France and is now in the care of Sally Alner. Dynamic Island was the runner up at Alnwick before falling at the first at Chaddesley Corbett and might the one to give Magic Symphony the most to do.
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.
Meeting: Larkhill Racing Club @ Larkhill Racecourse 8th January 2017
Race 1 – Larkhill Racing Club Members:
1st: Subtle Sovereign (Ire) 2nd: Squirrel Esquire 3rd: Tom Barton
Runners: 12 Time: 6min 11.0s Distance: 4l, 2l
Race 2 – Ladies Open:
1st: Aikideau (Fr) 2nd: Master Baker 3rd: Dabinett Moon
Runners: 5 Time: 6min 13.2s Distance: 1/2l, 6l
Race 3 – Open Maiden 5yo&up:
1st: Apple’s Queen (Fr) 2nd: Gilliamstown (Ire) 3rd: Delineate (Ire)
Runners: 13 Time: 6min 18.2s Distance: 4l, 8l
Race 4 – Mens Open:
1st: Ask the Weatherman 2nd: Ceasar Milan (Ire) 3rd: Shy John
Runners: 12 Time: 6min 03.7s Distance: 8l. 10l
Race 5 – Restricted:
1st: V Neck (Ire) 2nd: Queen’s Law 3rd: Mirs Choice (Ire)
Runners: 18 Time: 6min 16.1s Distance: 1l, 15l
Race – Club (Novice Riders):
1st: Thereyarsee 2nd: Horizontal Speed (Ire) 3rd: Posh Totty
Runners: 12 Time: 5min 13.9s Distance: 1/2l, 3l
The weather played a major part in the running of the Larkhill Racing Club point-to-point with mist and fog clearing just before racing commenced but returning to envelop the course for the Men’s Open race and the Restricted race. That deprived racegoers of the spectacle of Ask the Weatherman spread-eagling a classy field for the Mens Open race and the drama which took place in the Restricted race. Jack Barber was the trainer to follow with three winners for his stable with Sally Alner successful with two of her charges. The riding honours were shared between Will Biddick and Lorcan Williams who both rode two winners, the last named securing his first ever double.
Ask the Weatherman set off in front in the Southern Counties Auctioneers Mens Open Race with champion rider Will Biddick determined to make it a proper test for his rivals. The winner of seven of his eight point-to-point races before this season he has been held in high regard by his owners Paul Barber and David Martin and trainer Jack Barber. He was briefly challenged for the lead by Anquetta ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen after the twelfth fence but galloped on remorselessly with his rivals trailing in his wake. At the line after the runners had come back into view there was eight lengths to spare from Ceasar Milan ridden by Lorcan Williams. Explaining his absence from the course last season after winning in January 2016 Paul Barber said that he pulled a muscle in his shoulder and it had taken him over six weeks to get over this. By then most of his targets had passed so a decision was taken not to run him again. He may have another run in a Hunter Chase before he takes his chance in the Cheltenham Foxhunters in March for which he will be, on this performance, one of the leading English hopes to lift the prize.
The Ablington Farm Ladies Open Race turned into a real battle between Aikideau, Dabinett Moon and Master Baker. Aikideau ridden by Bryony Frost seeking to follow up his victory at the previous meeting mastered the mare Dabinett Moon at the last fence and then had to be kept up to his work as Master Baker ridden by Jo Buck mounted his challenge. Shouted home by his four enthusiastic owners Aikideau held on by a fast diminishing half a length at the line with his rider saying afterwards that she was confident that she would win. As the leading horse in the Wessex area last season he has certainly started well in his defence of his title.
The Woolley and Wallis Restricted race was run in the worst visibility with eighteen runners setting off in thick fog. At the eighth fence Creative Inerta fell and brought down five of his rivals. V Neck ridden by Will Biddick who was at the rear of the field and managed to avoid the melee appeared in front when the field came back into view and held off the attentions of Queen’s Law ridden by Rob Jarrett to win by a length. Trained by Jack Barber for his aunt Charlotte Barber he should have been ridden by Christopher Barber but he was still recovering from breaking his collarbone at Chaddesley Corbett after Christmas. Christopher explained that the horse had been one of the last winners for his grandfather Richard at Bratton Down in May 2013 before having three races for Paul Nicholls and then suffering a leg injury. He then had been employed as a lead horse for the late Graham Roach’s youngsters before being given to Christopher to ride this season. Christopher did say that ‘it was very kind of Paul Nicholls to give me such a nice horse to ride and I am looking forward to riding him once my collarbone has fully mended’
The opening race, the Larkhill Racing Club Members Conditions Race, was another dramatic contest with four of the twelve strong field having departed by the eighth fence including the two representatives from Jack Barber’s stable. It was a former inmate of the Barber yard, Subtle Sovereign ridden by Martin McIntyre, who ran out a game winner from Squirrel Esquire and Tom Barton. Clearly relishing the change of scenery and enjoying his hunting with both the Taunton Vale and the West Somerset he has been rejuvenated by Teresa Clark and was securing his sixth career victory at Larkhill. Bought privately by the ten strong Notre Cheval Partnership headed by Phil Browne in July last year he has always shown ability but had looked jaded towards the end of last season. Teresa was elated with the success and put the change of routine and regular hunting as the main reasons for bringing him back to his best form.
Sally Alner’s double started when the former French trained Apple’s Queen made a promising English debut when winning the Open Maiden race under a polished ride from Lorcan Williams. Bought at Ascot in April on the recommendations of Felix De Giles he had been placed in a chase in France and had also run in a cross country race there. Now owned by a partnership of Nicky Turner, Percy and Anne Tory and first time owner Kevin Lloyd from Wimborne he is the replacement for Garstin. Sally who is recovering from a broken leg suffered the day after Boxing Day was ably represented by Ali Trim who has stepped up to take charge of the horses whilst Sally recuperates.
Sally’s day was brightened further with the success in the Novice Riders race of what was described as ‘her baby’ Thereyarsee caught the long time leaders Horizontal Speed ridden by Gareth Henderson and Posh Totty ridden by Ed Doggrell on the run in by a well - timed challenge under Lorcan Williams riding only his third career victory and his first double. Lorcan, 17, who hails from Amroth near Tenby rode his first winner at Ystradowen in Wales last April on Nicholasville and is now attached to the Paul Nicholls yard. Recommended to Sally Alner by Stan Sheppard and Andrew Doyle he has recently passed his driving test and has been able to take himself down to Dorset to school Sally’s horses. Lorcan said ‘I thought the leaders had gone off too fast and always was confident that I would catch them’, The winning distance was only half a length at the line with another three lengths back to the third.