The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Blackmore & Sparkford Vale
Date: 11/3/2018
Pony Racing: Yes
Course: Charlton Horethorne
First Race: 12.30
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 5th March 2018 12.30pm

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

First Race:   12.30 pm


The traditional pre Cheltenham point-to-point held on the Somerset/Dorset border at Charlton Horethorne north of Sherborne is the venue for the Blackmore and Sparkford Hunt on Sunday. A good entry of 91 horses have been received for the 6 races which will then be followed by two pony races. All of the snow has virtually disappeared and the clerk of the course Joe Tizzard is anticipating that the going will be Good to Soft on the day. Always a very popular meeting with owners and racegoers there will be plenty of trade stands to browse, a bar and bookmakers so it should be an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

The racing begins with the Longman Cheese sponsored Hunt Race for which an entry of 13 horses has been received. Monsieur Gibraltar is the standout entry but he does have alternatives and would have to carry 12stone 7lbs in this race. A similar comment applies to the recent Badbury Rings winner Bistouri d’Honore. In their absence it looks an open contest with the Milborne St Andrew Blackwater Bramble likely to be one of the principals along with the consistent Little Billy Boy trained by Annabelle Bacon locally to the course. Others to take into account are the Badbury Rings winners It Has to Be and Doctor’s Differ and the Chipley Park winner Robin de Boss. Theatre Evening finished second in this race last year and should have been awarded the race as the winner carried the incorrect weight. Little Billy Boy is chosen to beat Blackwater Bramble. 

The biggest entry of the day (27) is for the Manor Farm Partnership sponsored Open Maiden race. A number of promising horses hold an entry with the Buckfastleigh runner up Sixteen Letters looking one of the leading fancies. Others with form are the second and third (who dead heated) at the last Larkhill meeting namely Loodeen, Country Legend and Hugo’s Horse and each of them are likely to have come on for their seasonal debuts. River Wye had improved form at the end of last season but this will be his first run in 2018. Cona River was third at Chaddesley Corbett and is another for the short list. Of the newcomers interest should be noted in Kings Brake trained by Richard Mitford-Slade and the Clive Bennett owned Miss Seagreen. Loodeen is selected to follow up his second to the smart Interconnected. 

The Westleaze Agrisales Restricted race follows with another open looking contest amongst the 18 entries. Marie McGuinness holds a strong hand with the runner up from Milborne St Andrew Tackler and the very promising Emperor Renard who won at Ston Easton last season. Others to take into account include Swincombe Toby who won narrowly at Milborne St Andrew, Bean Leath who won at Howick, the Ed Walker trained Wallabrook who won at Buckfastleigh and Sullivans John who won the last race of the 2017 season at Umberleigh. Marie McGuinness’s representative is the selection. 

The Skinner’s Ladies Open may see Monsieur Gibraltar record another success with Harriet Tucker on board but in his absence she may still ride the winner with Bistouri d’Honore a good winner at Badbury Rings two weeks ago. Possible opponents are the consistent Moscow Prices who will be partnered by Lucy Mager, one of the two Ed Walker pair of Inch Rock or The Flying Doc or the Cottenham winner from December Bound For Glory who will be partnered by Hannah Lewis. It is likely that Harriet Tucker will ride another winner in this race. 

The Mens Open Race sponsored by Hopkins Concrete also contains an entry for Bistouri d’Honore but if he opts for the Ladies race then owner Clive Bennett would appear to hold a strong hand with both Rye Cross and Stone entered for him. The former was a good winner at Buckfastleigh beating Dicky Bob and a repeat of that form may be good enough. Thereyarsee was third in the Coronation Gold Cup and may be the one to challenge Rye Cross. Fly West was in tremendous form last season but this is a step up on his seasonal debut. An intriguing entry is Carraig Mor for Christopher Barber who won 2 steeplechases for Alan King and finished second to Saphir du Rheu at Aintree in April 2015. On his best form he would have strong claims but he has only run once since and may be in need of the race. Rye Cross is chosen. 

The meeting concludes with Wessex Area Novice Riders National sponsored by the Bishop family to be run over an extended 3 miles and two furlongs with the veteran Carruthers holding an entry. Robin de Boss may opt for this race rather than the Hunt race and he may be too good for his rivals. Others to take note of are Boher Call who won his Hunt race for George Bingham, De Boitron who won at Badbury Rings, Flights who has already won at the course and Jac The Legend who finished runner up to Robin de Boss at Chipley Park. Victors Serenade who has won five races for Anthony Honeyball is now trained by his wife Rachael and will be ridden by the promising Chloe Emsley but has not been seen since 2016.  

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. Racecards £3.



Pony Results

Two competitive pony races followed with Roisin Leech riding All of My Dreams just getting up to beat Charlie Sprake riding Mr Marshall in the 148 cms race and Freddie Gingell ( grandson of Colin Tizzard) aboard The Jobs Not Straight beating Veno Star ridden by Kelsie Bielby 


An overcast but milder afternoon was a welcome change for racegoers after the cold spell recently experienced and an excellent afternoon of racing was enjoyed at the Blackmore and Sparkford meeting held at Charlton Horethorne. The highlights of the day were a riding double for Martin McIntyre including an impressive pointing debut for the classy Carraig Mor and for two riders, who will be looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival with rides in the Foxhunters, Gus Levinson and Harriet Tucker who both secured victories. 

The Hunt race looked to be between Robin de Boss and Little Billy Boy as they turned into the home straight for the last time but Little Billy Boy ridden by George Hiscock fell at the third last leaving Robin de Boss to win very easily from the only other finisher Hi Bronco. Trained by Jo Hepburn who is the Chief Executive at Wincanton Racecourse and ridden by her son Jamie he was recording his second success for the stable since being bought at Doncaster Sales in May 2017. Trained on his own mostly Jo explained that she does team up with neighbours Guy and Sophie Henderson to do some work and then goes ‘ lickety split at the Fox-Pitts gallops’ . The horse certainly enjoyed being ridden prominently and more successes seem likely for the partnership. 

A large field of 16 horses faced the starter for the Open Maiden race and after Draft Pick ridden by Will Biddick had made a lot of the running he was passed by Toby Maguire ridden by Gus Levinson who went on to record a two length victory. Bought out of Shark Hanlon’s stable last November he had run well on his English debut at Larkhill and had clearly come on from that run. Described by his owner and Gus’s father Charles Levinson as a weak horse when he bought him and still believes that there is much more to come as he strengths. Gus is looking forward to his ride on Premier Portrait in the Foxhunters next Friday but his father did say with a smile that at least with this victory his son was no longer ‘a one trick pony’. 

Swincombe Toby was the first leg of Martin McIntyre’s double in the Restricted race when he secured his first victory for trainer Sally Alner. With usual jockey Lorcan Williams banned and Will Biddick claimed by Ed Walker Sally turned to Martin and he enjoyed a splendid ride aboard the six year old Tobougg gelding and described his jumping as ‘fantastic’. Bred out of a mare and grandam trained by Sally and Robert Alner he had three lengths to spare over his nearest rival Ballybruff and looks a real prospect for owners Malcolm and Kathleen Yeo particularly on better ground. 

Monsieur Gibraltar proved just too good for his five rivals in the Skinner’s Ladies race and drew clear on the run in to record a five length victory over Inch Rock. Ridden again by Harriet Tucker who had previously scored on the gelding at Larkhill she held him up and produced him with an impressive turn of foot after jumping the last. Owners John Gane and Paul Nicholls were present to see the victory but Ian Fogg was not able to attend. His next likely outing will be in a Hunter Chase at Ascot in a couple of weeks’ time and it is probable that Harriet will keep the ride. In the meantime she has the ride on Pacha du Polder to look forward at Cheltenham next Friday in the Foxhunters. 

It is rare that the name Barber does not feature in the winners enclosure at the meeting and this time it was Richard’s other grandson Christopher who took the spoils with his Carraig Mor in the Mens Open race. Martin McIntyre set off in front on the Old Vic gelding and maintained a good gallop all the way to the line to record a ten length victory over Minim Mouse. Previously owned by the Masterson Family and trained by Alan King and subsequently Harry Fry he had very classy form under Rules including running behind Saphir du Rheu at Aintree but had only run once since April 2015 and is clearly fragile. Gifted to Christopher by his previous owners this was a tremendous piece of training and if he can be kept sound he may be aimed at a Hunter Chase. 

Another returning to the racecourse after nearly a two year absence was the veteran Victors Serenade who was an easy winner of the Wessex Area Novice Riders race under Chloe Emsley. Still owned by Michael and Angela Bone and now trained by Rachael Honeyball the thirteen year old still retains his ability and relished the going which was softened by a shower just before the start of the race. Chloe who was recording her fifth career victory of which four have been this season rides the gelding at home and described him as ‘an amazing legend who gave me an incredible ride’. 

Two competitive pony races followed with Roisin Leech riding All of My Dreams just getting up to beat Charlie Sprake riding Mr Marshall in the 148 cms race and Freddie Gingell ( grandson of Colin Tizzard) aboard The Jobs Not Straight beating Veno Star ridden by Kelsie Bielby