Secretary: Mrs Jane Stockdale
Address: Malyan Portman Road Pimperne Balndford Dorset DT11 8UL
Contact Details Tel: 01258 455412 Mob: 07732 279070
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 19th February 2018 12.30pm
Races: CA Members Conditions, 5yrs + Open Maiden, Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, CA Members Conditions (novice riders)
First Race: 12.00 am
The point-to-point meeting to be held on Sunday is the very popular Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) at Badbury Rings near Wimborne. Not only will there be six competitive point-to-point races but also a wide variety of trade stands and food outlets as well as a Silent Auction which is already live online at www.jumblebee.co.uk/caweldmar. The meeting has attracted an excellent entry of 128 horses for the races and an excellent day’s racing is in prospect. The course is reported to be in good condition ahead of its first meeting of the season with the current going report of Good, Good to Soft in places.
The meeting opens with the Countryside Alliance Club Members Conditions race sponsored by Savills for which a large entry of 31 horses has been received. Claire Hitch has entered the prolific winner Minella Fifty who is returning from a bad injury sustained in 2017 and the promising Every Breakin Wave who won his last three races in 2017 and her chosen representative should be noted. Others to consider are Badbury regulars Boygojumping and Little Cornham who always run well at the course. Alan Hill has entered Changeofluck who won three of his four races last season and was placed in a Stratford Hunter Chase on his other start. En Passe won his Members race at Cocklebarrow last month and will be fit whereas Lotus Pond won a competitive race over a longer trip at Barbury Castle again in January. Flights and Sonny the One will also have their supporters in a very open looking race. If Alan Hill decides to make the journey from his Oxfordshire base then the hint should be taken.
The Wessex National Mens Open race sponsored by Westover is the first of two Wessex Feature races to be held this season and the race has prize money of £1000. A high quality entry of 22 horses has been received with Caid du Berlais trained by Rose Loxton the top rated horse. The winner of two Ladies races at Larkhill this season he has been rejuvenated by moving to a smaller yard and he could be too good for his rivals. These may be headed by another former Paul Nicholls inmate Bistouri d’Honore now trained by Mike Felton who ran a promising race at Larkhill behind the subsequent winner of the Coronation Gold Cup Brackloon High. Both Minella Fifty and Lotus Pond also hold entries in this race as does William Money already a winner three times this season for Connor Brace. Herbert Park the winner of three Hurdle races for David Pipe and now trained by Ray Alford is an interesting recruit to pointing and his performance should be noted.
The Club Members Conditions race for Novice Riders has attracted 22 entries and this looks an easier option for William Money. He is likely to be opposed by Boher Call the winner of the Hunt race at Milborne St Andrew and Robin de Boss the winner of a Novice Riders race at Chipley Park for Jamie Hepburn. Before the War was staying on well at Milborne and ought to run another good race for Abbie Hughes whereas Sonny the One was a creditable second at Milborne to Facile Bien. Ballybough Gorta has previously won on the course but has changed hands since. Universal Soldier was another prolific winner from last season for James Bowen but he too has moved to another yard. William Money is chosen to continue his good form.
The Ladies race sponsored by Skinner’s also contains an entry for Caid du Berlais and if this is his selected race then he ought to be too good for his rivals. Alan Hill has entered the very consistent Start Royal and he might give the favourite a race. Others to consider are Karinga Dancer who has established a good partnership with his trainer and rider Laura Thomas, Top Smart who has already won a Ladies race at Higham this season, The Flying Doc who was second at Milborne St Andrew and if he regains his form from last season Aikideau. The lightly raced Polisky is another to consider on his best form.
The Restricted race has attracted 21 entries and the two winners of the Maiden races at Cocklebarroiw may oppose each other. Silent Warrior won the two and a half mile race whereas Damby’s Star won the three mile race. The latter is slightly preferred. Belharbour Two was a good second to The Two Amigos at Wadebridge and this is certainly one for the short list. Nuevo Molino won at Chipley Park and is on the upward curve as is Kit Barry who won a Maiden at Woodford last season. Swincombe Toby won at Milborne narrowly and Restless Rebel was the runner up in his Hunt race at Chipley Park. Tackler who was the runner up in the Restricted at Milborne deserves a victory and this could well be his race.
The meeting concludes with the Maiden race for horses with a Wessex qualified certificate. Dragon de la Tour holds the best form of those that have raced and may be good enough. Doctor’s Differ finished the runner up in a Maiden at Holnicote last season and may improve. Justu was consistent last season and may run into a place. Of the newcomers 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 stands out and if declared is selected. African Tiger would have been placed at Wincanton last season for Harry Fry but for falling at the last and this gelding now trained by Graham Foot is another to note.
Badbury Rings, 4 miles NW of Wimborne off B3082 Postcode DT11 9JL. Gates open at 10.00am with first race 12.00. Entry Costs: £30 per car plus a free racecard. £15 per car (single occupant) and for each pedestrian.
The drying wind at Badbury Rings produced a change in the going to firm for the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) meeting held on Sunday but although it was cold it was sunny all day and the good crowd enjoyed an excellent afternoon of racing. Five of the six races were won by horses trained in the Wessex area with the highlights being a smooth success for Caid du Berlais ridden by Will Biddick in the Wessex National Mens Open race , a second career victory for Kiana James- Thomas in the Novice Riders Race and a first ever double for local rider George Hiscock.
George began the day with a comfortable victory in the Club Members Conditions Race aboard Boygojumping owned by local vet Martin Peaty together with his wife Kathryn. Relishing the faster going the six year old gelding was recording his third career at Badbury Rings and had too much in hand for Trueflyingcolours ridden by Katy Lyons. Another tilt at a Hunter Chase is likely to be on the cards for this improving gelding.
Caid du Berlais beat the only other finisher Mr Sawyer in the Wessex National Mens Open Race by an official distance of six lengths. This was the first time he had been ridden by the champion jockey Will Biddick who described his winner as having ‘lots of gears’ and that today had been ‘all about riding him in a race and getting to know him’. Watched by one of his owners Chris Barber, son of Paul Barber, his next outing is scheduled to be in the Cheltenham Foxhunters where he will be partnered again by Will. Clearly acting on this faster surface he should run a big race at the Festival now that his enthusiasm for racing has been rekindled by his trainer Rose Loxton.
Owner Janet Ackner certainly experienced the highs and lows of owning and training horses for after her horse Anolysse Moriniere had fallen in the first race with jockey Nathan Vergne breaking his collarbone she then saw her horse in the Mens Open Golden Doyen pull up injured. However her fortunes changed with the success of De Boitron ridden by Kiana James-Thomas in the Novice Riders race. By coincidence Kiana’s only previous winner had come on this horse exactly 12 months ago at Great Trethew in Cornwall. Kiana who works for Janet who looks after 16 hunters in the Devon and Somerset Staghounds country revealed that she carried four stone of lead in the saddle. The gelding was sent down by Yorkshire trainer Sue Smith to go hunting with permission to run in point-to-points and he is certainly an excellent schoolmaster for Kiana.
Caid du Berlais’s previous rider Harriet Tucker notched up another victory, her fourth of the season, when she rode Bistouri D’Honore to victory in the Skinner’s Ladies Open race. Following long- time leader Aikideau ridden by Katy Lyons Harriet took up the running at the third last and drew clear to win by ten lengths. Now owned by the Maverick Partnership which consists of trainer Mike Felton and his wife Lucy, Tom and Mary Ryall and Paul Nicholls he was acquired from Paul’s yard at the end of last season to run in point- to-points and he could be a force in Ladies races for the rest of the season. The horse had previously made his racecourse debut at Badbury Rings but that did not end so happily as he unseated Stan Sheppard at the first fence!
The Restricted race provided the only winner for a horse trained outside the Wessex area when Silent Warrior trained by Elizabeth Brown and ridden by Nick Phillips made virtually all the running and won by 10 lengths. Acquired from Charlie Longsdon the faster ground seemed to suit the six year old who his trainer described as a nervy individual who has needed to have a hood on him whilst standing in the lorry and is accompanied by a Connemara pony. Nick Phillips, who is having a good season so far, was recording his fifth victory of the campaign.
George Hiscock, 26, recorded his first career double when winning the Maiden race on his father Dick’s Doctor’s Differ. Trained by George near Plush he was bought at Ascot for £1200 in March 2017 having run only once in an Irish point-to-point where he was pulled up on heavy ground. He ran just the once for George last season when finishing second in a maiden at Holnicote in May. He was another horse to appreciate the faster going which he had been waiting for. George’s partner Charlotte Brown was keen to give credit to Ange Barrow for the work she has done with the horse since last season. George, who rode his first winner on Master Billyboy at Littlewindsor in April 2010, has now ridden 13 winners in his career so far.