Secretary: Mrs Jane Stockdale
Address: Malyan Portman Road Pimperne Balndford Dorset DT11 8UL
Contact Details Tel: 01258 455412 Mob: n/a
Entries Secretary: Mr James Symonds
Address: Willowbrook House 41 Corton Warminster Wilts BA12 0SZ
Contact Details: Tel: 01985 850883 Mob: 07990 707139
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 20th February 2017 12.30pm
Races: CA Members Conditions, 5yrs + Open Maiden, Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, CA Members Conditions for novice riders
First Race: 12.00 am
The first of two meetings scheduled for the attractive setting of Badbury Rings near Wimborne takes place this coming Sunday when the Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) hold their meeting. A very popular meeting with owners, riders and spectators a total of 99 horses have been entered for the six races which features the first of two Wessex feature races this season when Westover sponsor the Wessex National Men’s Open race. Savills are the main sponsor for the meeting which will feature a wide number of trade stands and food outlets for all participants.
The Wessex National Men’s Open is the second race on the card and looks a competitive race. Full Trottle from Laura Thomas’ s stable has been in fine form this season and may be the one to beat. Others with chances must include Steeltown from Kayley Woollacott’s yard whose stable is starting to hit good form, Roseyroo who has not been seen since finishing a close second in a Mares Hunter Chase at Cheltenham in May 2015 and Daymar Bay the winner of a Hunter Chase at Ludlow last season. Sally Alner has entered the progressive Apple’s Queen, the winner of a maiden and a restricted already this season but this is a major step up. Golden Hoof from Jack Barber’s stable was running a good race until falling at the last at Milborne St Andrew and may give Full Trottle the most to do.
The meeting begins with the Club Members Conditions race for which 23 horses have been entered. This looks a wide open contest with Roseyroo holding an entry as well as the Men’s Open as does Golden Hoof. Too Late to Sell won a similar race at Larkhill last Sunday and if he reappears then the hint should be taken. Others to bear in mind are the progressive Boygojumping, Little Cornham who won this race last year when ridden by Lee Drowne, Sidbury Hill who could not get involved in the Coronation Gold Cup last weekend and Perfectly Willing who missed last season. Tom Barton has been placed in both his outings this season and is chosen to continue the good form of his trainer Sally Alner.
The Novice Riders race may see the reappearance of the evergreen 16 year old Presentandcorrect. The winner of his last two races last season for owner/trainer Tim Sage and a victory for him would be very popular. He may have to concede however to Tempelpirate, the prolific winner of fourteen races to date and already a winner this season at Barbury Castle. Others to consider are the genuine Triangular who is likely to be ridden by Ben Godfrey on this occasion, Daymar Bay who holds an entry in the Men’s Open race and is to be ridden by Christopher Barber and Ballybough Gorta who ran well at Chipley Park when partnered by Ed Henderson.
The Ladies Open race for which 10 horses are entered may see a battle between the tough Posh Totty, the winner of the Ladies race at Milborne St Andrew, Karinga Dancer who has already won two races this season for Laura Thomas , Bound For Glory the winner of a Ladies race at Cottenham in Novemberand another gutsy mare in the shape of Popaway who won a Ladies race at Thorpe Lodge. Posh Totty won at this meeting last season and is selected to defy her rivals.
The Restricted race looks a competitive race with 17 horses entered including the winner of the 2 mile 4 furlong maiden at Milborne St Andrew Master Tradesman and he must have a good chance if he sees out the extra half mile. Palmaria was an easy winner at Chipley Park for trainer Caroline Keevil and she must have an excellent chance of following up. Tackler is a welcome entry for the Marie McGuinness having suffered a nasty injury at Larkhill on his only outing last season. Inch Rock was a good second at Chaddesley Corbett for trainer Ed Walker who also has Micks Lad entered. The winner of an Irish point to point at Ballydurn in April 2014 he was then sold for a huge sum of money but his form for Mick Channon and Dan Skelton has been disappointing so it will be interesting to see if a return to point-to-pointing recaptures his smart Irish form. Guerrilla Tactics won at this meeting last season and is one to put on the short list as is Billy Biscuit who ran with promise at Chipley Park.
The concluding Maiden race sees King Calvin and Flights renew rivalry after finishing second and third at Milborne St Andrew behind Master Tradesman. Both now step up to a three mile trip and it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the extra distance. Another participant in that Milborne St Andrew race was It Has to Be who was a close third when unseating his rider at the third last and he must have chances. Of the newcomers The Pooler for Marie McGuinness looks of interest and Evening Stanley raced for Oliver Sherwood before being sold to Graham Foot at Ascot last May.
Meeting: Countryside Alliance (Wessex) @ Badbury Rings
26th February 2017
Race 1 – CA Club Members Conditions:
1st: Golden Hoof (Ire) 2nd: Same Difference (Ire) 3rd: Boysgojumping
Runners: 10 Time: 6min 14.3s Distance: 12l 2½ l
Race 2 – Mens Open:
1st: Im All Set (Ire) 2nd: Mr Sawyer 3rd: Tin Pot Man (Ire)
Runners: 5 Time: 6min 27.0s Distance: 3l, 4l
Race 3 – CA Members (Nov Rdrs):
1st: Tom Barton 2nd: Tempelpirate (Ger) 3rd: Falcon Island
Runners: 6 Time: 6min 26.3s Distance: 8l, 8l
Race 4 – Skinners Ladies Open:
1st: Posh Totty 2nd: Bound for Glory (Ire) 3rd: Third Chance (Ire)
Runners: 4 Time: 6min 12.4s Distance: 1.5l. 3l
Race 5 – Restricted:
1st: Master Tradesman (Ire) 2nd: Guerrilla Tactics (Ire) 3rd: Askers Lad
Runners: 7 Time: 6min 18.2s Distance: 3l, 12l
Race 6– Maiden Conditions 5yo&up:
1st: Samuel Jackson 2nd: Doctor Tiger 3rd: Flights
Runners: 10 Time: 6min 22.3s Distance: 2l, ½ l
A cloudy and breezy day with minimal rain greeted racegoers who attended the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) meeting at Badbury Rings where the overnight rain had eased the ground which riders reported as being good and good to firm in places. It was a day that rider Sean Houlihan will remember as he rode his first ever treble and there were training doubles for Jack Barber and Ces Mitford-Slade (his first ever).
Jack saddled his first winner on the day when Golden Hoof easily won the Club Members Conditions race ridden by champion rider Will Biddick. After Little Cornham was hampered and lost his rider George Hiscock on the bend after the fifteenth fence it was plain sailing for Golden Hoof who had twelve lengths to spare from Same Difference at the line. Bought by Jack at Doncaster last May out of Nicky Henderson’s stable he is now owned by a partnership consisting of Len and Rose Vickery in whose colours he runs, Graham Cotton, Helen Hall and Robert Trevarthen. He suffered a very nasty fall at Milborne St Andrew on his last appearance and thanks to the quick intervention of his trainer and rider his life was saved. He seemed to have had no adverse effects from the fall after schooling sessions and jumped well to record an easy victory.
The Wessex National Men’s Open race, one of the two Wessex feature races this season, gave trainer Claire Hitch a change in fortune when her charge Im All Set gave Sean Houlihan his first winner on the day. Having unseated his rider at the first fence on his seasonal debut at Wincanton his saddle slipped on his next intended outing at Barbury Castle and he was withdrawn without coming under orders. This time he was able to defy the Welsh challenge from Mr Sawyer and had three lengths in hand at the winning post. Own by Claire, her farrier Keith Parkin and farmer Phil Rawle she was quick to praise the work of Heidi Stevens who looks after the horse at home. A Hunter Chase may be on the agenda for the winner later in the season.
The Club Members race for Novice Riders was won quite comfortably by Tom Barton trained by Sally Alner and ridden by Lorcan Williams. Owned by the Four Dames Partnership consisting of Anne Tory, Diana Dampney, Patsy Todd and Hilary Cox he relished the going with his trainer reporting this as ‘just spot on’ for her charge. His young rider, the leading Novice Rider in the country, indicated that there was ‘more in the tank’ to comfortably beat the prolific Tempelpirate by eight lengths.
The Skinner’s Pet Foods Ladies race was won by course specialist Posh Totty who was ridden by Bryony Frost who held off the challenge of Bound For Glory ridden by Hannah Lewis by a length and a half. Recording her sixth career victory at Badbury Rings she relished this faster ground and as her trainer added with a smile that ‘she is like a little motorbike round the bends’. She will be continuing with Ladies Races this season in view of the weight she carries and on this form she will be tough to beat.
The Subaru Restricted race was won by Master Tradesman who was supplementing his win at Milborne St Andrew. Settled behind the leaders his rider Sean Houlihan bided his time but came with a well- timed challenge to catch leader Guerrilla Tactics and win by three lengths. His trainer Ces Mitford-Slade had no worries that his charge would not stay the full three miles particularly over the better ground. Commenting on how he has improved since arriving from Ireland Ces felt that he has now grown up and having won at Milborne he jumped off the lorry knowing what the job is about and realising that he was ‘the king’. He might be aimed at a Novice Hunter Chase as he progresses with race Ces sponsors at Taunton on 6th April as a possibility.
Sean completed his treble and Ces his double when Samuel Jackson held off the late challenges of Doctor Tiger and Flights in the concluding Maiden. Trained last season by Kayley Woollacott for Ces and Lucy Fielding Johnson he was green on his two races and although showing signs of inexperience he was able to go one better than his half-brother Winter Soldier who had finished second in the same race in 2015. Sean, 21, who is stable amateur to Philip Hobbs’ powerful stable at Bilbrook, near Minehead, described the day as ‘the best day in his riding career’