The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Blackmore & Sparkford Vale
Date: 12/03/2017
Pony Racing: Yes
Course: Charlton Horethorne
First Race: 12.30 pm
Extra Info

Secretary:   Mrs Caroline Hinks

Address:   Lower Nyland Farm Gillingham Dorset SP8 5SG

Contact Details Tel: 01963 370260   Mob:


Entries Secretary:   As above

Entries to:  The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd ( )

Entries close:   Monday 6th March 2017 12.30pm

Races:   Hunt members, Open Maiden, Restricted, Ladies Open, Mens Open, Wessex Area Members Conditions for novice riders

First Race:   12.30 pm


This popular course situated on the hills above Sherborne on the Dorset/Somerset border is the setting for this weekend’s Wessex point-to-point when the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hold their meeting on Sunday at Charlton Horethorne. Normally held on the weekend before the National Hunt Cheltenham festival local trainer Colin Tizzard who will be running several of his stars next week takes up his annual duty of being the starter for the meeting and this year he will be able to watch his grandson Freddie Gingell take part in one of the pony races which follows the six point –to –point races. The meeting includes the second Wessex feature race The Novice Riders race run over an extended 3 miles and two furlongs. 

The opening race the Hunt Members sponsored by long- time supporters Longman Cheese Sales could see the second appearance in England of Dan McGrue. An impressive winner of a restricted race at Buckfastleigh after winning a bumper in Ireland he could be one to follow this season. However Rose Loxton will not let him have it all his way as both her entries Join Together and Monsieur Gibraltar have won this season and are in good form. Little Billy Boy won a maiden at Great Trethew for Annabelle Bacon but this is quite a step up. Theatre Evening often runs well and could be the one to fill the minor honours. Dan McGrue is chosen to continue the good record that the Barber family have in this race. 

The Open maiden race sponsored by the Manor Farm Partnership from Higher Holton, Wincanton has the largest entry of 23 horses on the card. Of those that have already run Clenagh Castle was a close third at Buckfastleigh on his debut and must have every chance of winning this race. Emperor Renard was third in this race last season and has already been third this season at Chaddesley Corbett. Flights was staying on at Badbury Rings when third to Samuel Jackson and looks to be improving. It Has to Be was travelling well when unseating at MIlborne St Andrew and is another who comes into consideration. Spicy Fruity was placed over hurdles for Gordon Elliott and he should be watched on his potential English debut. Emperor Renard is chosen to use his experience of the course to his benefit. 

The Restricted race sponsored by Westleaze Agrisales has a number of interesting entries amongst the 17 horses. Ballyknock Cloud won at Milborne St Andrew, Palmaria won well at Chipley Park and Little Billy Boy won on his debut at Great Trethew. Bruton won his last race in 2016 but has not run this season and the same can be said about Jonimo who also won last season. Blazing Bouncer was a distant second to Dan McGrue at Buckfastleigh and Chester Copperpot has been running well in his last two races until unseating his rider. Palmaria is a tentative selection in an open looking race. 

The Ladies Open race sponsored by Hopkins Concrete could see a clash between Posh Totty whose game performances have been in evidence in both her two Ladies victories already this season and Karinga Dancer who has won two races for Laura Thomas and was unlucky at Black Forest Lodge on his last outing. Ni Sin E Mo Ainm goes well for her owner/rider Alexandra Bell and could get involved as could Miss Gotaway and Ohio Gold who are both in good form. Posh Totty is in such good form so it would be difficult to look elsewhere. 

The Mens Open sponsored by Wincanton races may see the seasonal debut of Kernel Victor. One of the most consistent pointers in the South West he could be opposed by Jepeck who won easily at Buckfastleigh. Jack Barber has entered Athreeothree and Golden Hoof with the latter a good winner at Badbury the pick of the two entries. Hazel Hill is a fascinating entry from Philip Rowley’s yard and if he travels to Charlton Horethorne he should be noted for the short list. Im All Set won at Badbury Rings and is another in good form. Kernel Victor is chosen to halt Jepeck’s good run. 

The meeting concludes with the Club Members Novice Riders National over an extended 3 miles and two furlongs for which there are entries for Karinga Dancer and Join Together who have already been mentioned. Blazing Whale has been running well for Abbie Hughes and may be the one that all of his rivals have to beat. Sobre Tresor may appreciate the longer trip as might Same   Difference who ran well at Badbury Rings. De Boitron won his last race at Great Trethew and comes into the reckoning.  

First Race 12.30pm Charlton Horethorne off B3145 3 miles NE of Sherborne Postcode DT9 4LJ. Entry Costs £25 per car, £15 for single occupant.


Meeting: Blackmore & Sparkford Vale @ Charlton Horethorne 12th March 2017

Race 1 – Hunt Members:

1st: Dan McGrue (Ire) 2nd: Theatre Evening (Ire) 3rd: Roi de Garde (Fr)

Runners: 3                       Time: 6min 31.1s                        Distance: 8l,5l


Race 2 – Open Maiden:

1st: Flights 2nd: Tree Sparrow 3rd: Amber River

Runners: 11                        Time: 6min 30.7s                        Distance: 4l, 3l


Race 3 – Restricted:

1st: Minim Mouse 2nd: Little Billy Boy 3rd: Palmaria

Runners: 7                        Time: 6min 28.4s                        Distance: 1l, 12l


Race 4 – Ladies Open:

1st: Ni Sin E Mo Ainm (Ire) 2nd: Posh Totty 3rd: Masterleaderman (Ire)

Runners: 9                        Time: 6min 20.1s                        Distance: 2.5l. 5l


Race 5 – Mens Open:

1st: Golden Hoof (Ire) 2nd: The Rubber Man (Ire) 3rd:

Runners: 3                        Time: 6min 34.5s                        Distance: 6l

Race 6 - WA Club Members (3m2f):

1st: Le Clo De La Londe (Fr) 2nd: Join Together (Ire) 3rd: De Boitron (Fr)

Runners: 6                        Time: 7min 37.8s                        Distance: 5l, 5l


Pony Results

The two pony races which followed both produced close finishes with Mr Marshall ridden by Charlie Sprake beating Calypso ridden by Alfie Godfrey by a fast diminishing head and Stretcholt Hermes ridden by Roisin Leech narrowly getting up to beat long- time leader Veno Star ridden by Fergus Gillard.


The overnight rain that fell on Charlton Horethorne on Saturday night eased the ground and made the entrance to the course more difficult for the lorries who mostly had to be towed on and off the course. The day remained dry for the afternoon’s racing where the highlights were a good battle between Ni Sin E Mo Ainm ridden by Alexandra Bell and Posh Totty ridden by Bryony Frost for the Ladies race with the former coming out on top and a short priced double for trainer Jack Barber and Will Biddick. There was a large crowd in attendance and racing was delayed by fifteen minutes before the second race to allow more time for horseboxes and cars to get on to the course. 

Dan McGrue won the opening race, the Hunt race, for his owners Paul Barber, David Martin and David Bennett but the gelding’s jumping was not in the style of a long odds on favourite and he made a number of mistakes throughout the contest. He clearly is a talented horse as he was able to make up ground lost at the fences with the minimum of ease and he had eight lengths in hand from Theatre Evening at the finish. Bought at Ascot last year by Richard Barber for his brother Paul there was a connection to one of Paul’s best horses namely Artifice who had been recommended to him by Tom Nicholson in Ireland. Tom’s son John who trained Dan McGrue to win his bumper race at Roscommon had contacted Paul suggesting he should buy the horse and this duly happened. 

Flights continued the tremendous record of the Sally Alner trained Lorcan Williams ridden partnership when the mare won the Open Maiden race. Held up by Lorcan for most of the race she led at the second last from the long-time leader Amber River and went away to score decisively by four lengths. Bred by Lady Cobham and bought from her by Sally she now runs in a partnership consisting of Mary Smith, Tony Keats and Sally called the Portman Flyers Partnership. Sally recalled that she and her husband Robert trained the dam Motcombe who won two steeplechases for them both at Wincanton when ridden by Andrew Thornton. 

Minim Mouse was another successful mare on the day this time in the Restricted race and held off the challenge of Little Billy Boy who did not help his chances by making a mistake at the last. Bred and owned by Michael Dare and trained by Chloe Newman at Woolminstone near Crewkerne she has according to her trainer grown up from last year and although still rather green she is definitely going the right way. The runner up ran another race of promise and should be noted for next time. 

The Ladies race was a very competitive event with nine of the twelve entries taking part. Ni Sin E Mo Ainm (which is Gaelic for ‘That’s not my name’) took up the running at the fifteenth fence and although pushed all the way to the line by the game mare Posh Totty the gelding still had two and a half lengths in hand. Trained by owner and rider Alexandra Bell at Broad Hinton near Swindon this is only one of two horses that Alexandra has in training. Explaining how she has improved the gelding from his days when he was in training with Neil Mulholland she takes him hacking over the hills and woods surrounding her yard and the smaller yard seems to suit him. A possible long term objective might be the Timico Mixed Open Final at Cheltenham in May. 

The Men’s Open race proved to be a very easy win for the long odds on favourite Golden Hoof ridden by Will Biddick and trained by Jack Barber. Other than a bad mistake at the third fence it was plain sailing for the gelding who had six lengths in hand at the line from the only other finisher The Rubber Man. 

The concluding race, the Novice Riders’ National, over an extended three miles two furlongs was another good race with Le Clo de la Londe ridden by Emma Watson getting the better of Join Together ridden by Lorcan Williams. Previously trained by Kayley Woollacott Emma had bought a half share of the gelding and he is now trained by Stuart Sampson near Cullompton who commented that ‘Emma had given him a peach of a ride and her mount responded every time she asked him for a bit more’

It was a very special weekend for Emma who had ridden a winner on Delphi Mountain at Ottery St Mary the day before and has now ridden five winners in her career. 

The two pony races which followed both produced close finishes with Mr Marshall ridden by Charlie Sprake beating Calypso ridden by Alfie Godfrey by a fast diminishing head and Stretcholt Hermes ridden by Roisin Leech narrowly getting up to beat long- time leader Veno Star ridden by Fergus Gillard.