Secretary: Mr Peter Wright
Address: 5 The Manor, High St, Highworth, Swindon, Wilts SN6 7EU
Contact Details Tel: 01793 264603 Mob: 07437 437522
Entries Secretary: As above
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 12th February 2018 12.30pm
Races: CS Members Conditions, Mixed Open, Restricted, Combined Services Members Conditions (novice riders), Open Maiden Conditions (2m4f), Open Maiden
First Race: 12.00 am
THe King's troop RHA Members Race will run at 12 noon
Larkhill features one of the seasons most prestigious and famous point-to-point races, the Coronation Gold Cup, at the Combined Services meeting on Sunday. Always a high class race this year’s renewal has attracted a quality entry of 25 horses and with total prize money of £2,000 there will be keen competition to lift the Cup. There has been an excellent entry of 141 horses for the 6 scheduled races and with the going currently on the soft side of good a large turnout of runners is expected. The course has gone back well since the last meeting with bends and the final fence moved. The schooling facilities at Larkhill have been used in recent weeks by leading National Hunt trainers Colin Tizzard, Harry Fry and Seamus Mullins who have appreciated the better going with their own schooling grounds too wet. In addition to the racing organisers have arranged for a total of 22 trade stands to attend with a wide variety of attractions for racegoers to browse and make purchases.
After the traditional Kings Troop race at 12.00 the first point-to-point race, the Conditions Race for Novice Riders, takes place at 12.45. A good entry of 24 horses has been received for this race with Pink Eyed Pedro, Storm Lantern, Tempelpirate and Before the War looking the principal contenders. Pink Eyed Pedro who will be ridden by the promising Connor Brace was an easy winner of a Conditions race at the first January meeting at the course and a repeat of that form should be good enough. Storm Lantern nearly caused an upset at the last meeting when just being beaten by Monsieur Gibraltar and Before the War was finishing well at Milborne St Andrew on his last outing. Tempelpirate is a prolific winner and is starting to build a relationship with Sam Burton.
The Restricted race follows and the two winners of the divided Maiden race at the last meeting may oppose in this event. Both Arcal Fifty and Benjamin Leader were comfortable winners and they may fight out the finish. Other promising sorts to consider are Damby’s Star and Silent Warrior who won the two Maiden races at Cocklebarrow in January. It Has to Be has been very consistent so far this season and Restless Rebel ran well when second at Chipley Park. Gold Decree won a Maiden at Dingley last season but changed hands last August. Good Auld Times won a point –to-point at Moira, Ireland in December and was bought by present connections in January and any market confidence in her should be noted. Benjamin Leader is chosen to continue his upward progress for Mike Daniell.
The Conditions race is next and this has received an entry of 29 horses. Sarazen Bridge was an easy winner of the Intermediate race at the last meeting and on that form may be hard to beat. Others to consider are Fortune Bound who won well at the first Larkhill meeting in December, the choice of the Ed Walker trained pair of Inch Rock or Punter Friendly, Willem who found his form at the end of last season, Bob The Butcher trained by David Brace, Master Sunrise who was placed in two Hunter Chases last season and Pithivier who won a Hurdle for Ben Pauling when owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and who is now with Peter Mason. Sarazen Bridge is the selection in an open looking race.
The Coronation Gold Cup is the fourth race on the card and looks a high class renewal. Both Caid du Berlais and Monsieur Gibraltar from Rose Loxton’s stable have been in excellent form with Harriet Tucker winning 3 races on board in Ladies races. This looks a tougher assignment with the ultra- consistent Full Trottle, last year’s winner Brackloon High, Lilbitluso, Thereyarsee and Bound For Glory amongst their potential rivals. Facile Bien was a comfortable winner at Milborne St Andrew and is certainly improving. William Money has already won three races this season but this is a rise in class for him. Woodfleet ought to come on for his seasonal debut but this is mixing with the best point-to-point horses in the area. Facile Bien is picked to follow up his Milborne win and stake his claim for a Hunter Chase campaign.
The two Maiden races complete the card with the first being a Maiden over 2 and a half miles for horses who have run at least 4 times in a point-to-point. 13 horses are entered with the consistent Troed Y Melin being the standout entry. Placed twice already this season this looks an ideal opportunity for the six year old gelding trained by Chris Honour to get off the mark. Main opposition may come from Ballyjim who was third at the last meeting for trainer Jade Barber, Bastante placed in 2 Irish point-to-points and now with Richard Bandey and Pancrace placed third in a Bumper for Gordon Elliott and now with Teresa Clark.
The biggest entry of the day is for the final race the Open Maiden with a total of 30 horses. Of those with form Kayf Farmer who was second at Chipley Park on his debut looks promising. Hugo’s Horse was placed for Jack Barber last season and is now with Rose Loxton and should be noted. The Jaffna Queen was third at Milborne St Andrew last month and should improve for that run. Of the newcomers notice should be made of the Sophie Lacey trained pair of Interconnected who fell at Thorpe Lodge at the end of last month and Port of Mars, Orchard Lane who was placed in a Bumper for Katy Price and Foxworthy who is out of Candy Creek the winner of the Aintree Bumper in 2009 and the subsequent winner of two Hurdle races for Richard Kelvin-Hughes. A chance is taken with the last named to make a winning debut like his mother.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. Kings Troop Race 12.00 . First point-to-point race 12.45pm Entry Costs £10 per person, children go free.
The renewal of the feature race at the Combined Services meeting at Larkhill, the Coronation Gold Cup, produced a real family success for the Barlow family. Owned by Mark and his daughter-in-law Sarah and ridden by Mark’s son Andrew Brackloon High was a very popular winner and followed up his victory in the same race his in 2017. This was the highlight of an excellent day’s racing where the weather remained dry and a good crowd attended the Wiltshire point-to-point course where the going continued to be on the soft side of good. Other notable achievements were first point-to-point riding successes for Matthew Fielding and Gordon Treacy and a smart performance from the 4 year old gelding Interconnected in the Open Maiden race.
Adrenalin Flight provided Matthew Fielding with his first ever winner when winning the Conditions Race for Novice Riders. Biding his time at the rear of the ten strong field he gradually made progress to pass long- time leader Bridge End and had five lengths in hand at the winning post. Owned by Matthew’s boss Seamus Mullins and trained by Sally Rawlins at Figheldean the gelding who won 4 steeplechases and 2 Hurdles when trained by Seamus provided his son James with his first winner last season. Matthew, 20, from Enford, joined Seamus’s stable straight from school and paid tribute to him for teaching him all he knows about race riding and for allowing him to ride Adrenalin Flight. Sally was keen to give credit to Andy Dicks who rides him at home as well as riding out for Richard Hannon.
After supervising events at Ascot on Saturday Guy Henderson was in a different role at Larkhill when watching his and his wife’s gelding It Has to Be ridden by their son Ed win the Restricted race. A previous winner this season at Wadebridge this was the horse’s first visit to Larkhill but he was a comfortable six lengths winner. Ed who is currently studying law at Exeter does ride out at Paul Nicholls stable when time permits but leaves the work on the seven year old to his mother Sophie and Veronika Hicksova back at home in Dorset.
Alternatif provided Gordon Treacy with his first ever point-to-point winner although he has won two races under Rules. He joined Jade Barber’s stable during the summer but has recently become a part-time work rider to give him other opportunities to ride for other stables and hopes that his Novice status will be used this season. The winner, bought from David Pipe’s stable in 2017, joined Jade’s yard at the beginning of the season and provided her with her second training victory of the season in the Conditions race. Owned by Peter Barfoot and Angela Cooper who were celebrating their first point-to-point winner Peter explained that he had played polo for over 25 years and was Chairman of Cowdray Park until a very serious accident eighteen months ago which curtailed that interest. Drawn to point-to-pointing as a means to keep a connection with horses he explained that his racing colours of bright yellow and green were related to the sweetcorn and other more exotic vegetable business which bears his name.
Brackloon High defied his thirteen years to defeat much younger rivals in the Coronation Gold Cup and to become the first horse to win this most prestigious race two years running since Dawn Street thirty years ago. Although Andrew Barlow put up two pounds overweight he had lost half a stone since his last ride on 27th January to get down to his minimum weight and was looking forward to another square meal. Tracking the leaders Mon Parrain and favourite Full Trottle he went to the front approaching the last and with a bold jump he looked to have the race won easily. However Andrew commented afterwards that he had hit the front too soon and the gelding had to be encouraged to hold off the renewed challenges of Mon Parrain and Thereyarsee. He added that ‘this win means more to us than last year as the importance of the race and the magnificent trophy has now sunk in’
The Maiden race run over two and a half miles was an all the way success for Cool Valley ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas. Trained by Liz Harris at Waltham on the Wolds in Leicestershire and owned by Catherine Wood-Collins who sadly missed her first ever winner as an owner the nine year gelding had not been seen since May 2016 so this was a tremendous training performance. Bought from an advert on the Jumping for Fun website to go hunting this did not prove a success and a return to racing was suggested to Catherine. Tommy Morgan, partner of Liz, explained that the gelding had done a really good piece of work about six weeks ago and he told Sam that he thought he might have found another useful horse. Although it was a long way from their base the conditions of the race suited them perfectly and with stable star Lough Inch on board as a travelling companion the venture was certainly rewarded.
Interconnected provided owners Tom Lacey and Neil Griffith with a smooth victory in the concluding Open Maiden race ridden by Tommie O’Brien. The four year old took advantage of his weight concession to draw clear of his main pursuers Loodeen and Country Legend on the run in and showed an impressive turn of foot. Bought as a foal from his breeder Stephen Kemble in Ireland in 2014 by Neil Griffith who is better known for his horses that he runs under Rules such as Singlefarmpayment he had been pleasing connections with his work at home and made up for his fall at Thorpe at the end of January. He is most likely to be going to the sales at Cheltenham during the Festival.
Prior to the point-to-point racing the traditional King’s Troop race was won by Gunner Laura Moon riding Lagertha. Laura, 20, from Wellington, Somerset was riding in her first King’s Troop race and has been a Gunner for 3 years.