Secretary: Mrs Elizabeth Marriott
Address: Wyndham Farm, Silton, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5AE
Contact Details Tel: 01747 840062 Mob: 07771 528763
Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 16th April 2018 12.30pm
Races: Members, Ladies Open, Open Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, Young Maiden 2m4f
First Race: 2.00pm
With another washout in Wessex last weekend, local trainers will be keen to get their horses back out on the course and the Lycetts South & West Wilts meeting at Larkhill looks to have benefitted with 122 entries. The Willowbrook Challenge Charity race in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance kicks of the activities with 9 set to face the starter over 12 furlongs. Owner Donald Hinks may have stolen a march on the remaining contestants recruiting his own Cucklington already a 4 time winner under rules this season for Colin Tizzard. Hopefully Harry Cobden, the horse’s regular rider will be discussing best riding tactics! Donald’s opponents include race regular Selina Kirkbride and veteran rider John Mead who has the choice of two mounts.
The first race, the Hunt Members, includes the 3 time course winner, Trueflyingcolours trained by Stuart Penny. He hasn’t won since taking a Ladies Open here in 2015 but if the ground continues to dry he may find it more to his liking than last time at Badbury Rings. Opposing him are the mare, Gayatri who showed up well for a time 2 weeks ago at Badbury Rings for trainer Caroline Hobbs, and Thepremierbroker who won an Irish point in March before being purchased by Mel Smith Bloodstock to join Bea Coward to replace the sidelined Arcal Fifty.
The first maiden has attracted 26 entries including Foxworthy for the Ed Walker stable. He may have finished closer than 3rd but for a mistake 3 out here 3 weeks ago and should improve. On that occasion Imogen’s Thunder finished one place ahead of him. Rose Loxton has Hugo’s Horse for owner Andy Stewart and he was unlucky to run into the promising Muse of Fire last time he ran here with Sixteen Letters unseating in the same race. He may however wait for the younger maiden later on the card. Teresa Clark has promising pair, Pancrace and Port Navas entered and either would be entitled to build on their previous runs. Alan Walter’s River Wye put in her most promising run to date when last seen when second at Trebudannon last May. Smoke Man finished second on his only start to date and should improve while any Tom Lacey debutante merits respect. His The Triple Pillar is out of useful NH mare Issaquah, herself twice placed at the Aintree Festival, and being a 4yo he would be in receipt of up to 21lbs from his older rivals.
Ashton Farms Ltd continue to sponsor the Ladies Open and this looks to be a decent contest with 16 entries headed by Mike Felton’s Bistouri d’Honore who won nicely at Badbury Rings when taking the Novices Riders race under Ed Doggrell. He had earlier taken a Ladies Open at the same course and previously been a fair second at Larkhill in January. Subtle Sovereign has yet to run this season due to cancellations but has won 6 times at the track including his seasonal debut last year. He has also stuck up a great partnership with jockey Lucy Mager. Sidbury Hill won twice here last season while another dual course winner, Storm Lantern was unlucky not to win a Ladies Open here in January under owner/jockey Jo Harbison.
The Lycetts Men’s Open boasts a healthy 30 entries including the useful Different Gravey. Formerly once rated 160 with Nicky Henderson, he has taken to pointing well this season recording victories at Didmarton and here at Larkhill. On the latter occasion Sally Alner’s 4 time course winner, Thereyarsee unseated when still in contention. Thereyarsee had earlier routed the opposition in a 30 length romp at the course in a Conditions race in January. Classy mare Fishy Story may well have won the Men’s Open at Milborne St Andrew last time but for unseating three out. Former Jamie Snowden inmate, Ardkilly Witness just failed to reel in Curraigflemens last time at Horseheath and could improve while Carrig Dubh was second in a confined here last time. Universal Soldier clocked up 5 wins last term under James Bowen and has been running well for new handler Matt Hampton this season.
The second Maiden is for younger horses and Rose Loxton may choose this option for Hugo’s Horse. A big danger would be Ed Walker’s unraced My Dixie who is well-bred being a half-sister to My Dance a dual winner under rules for Anthony Honeyball. Ed also has another well-bred debutante in Gio’s Girl. She is out of the mare Programme Girl who was a multiple winner under rules for Alan Swinbank. Others to consider are Sixteen Letters, and Sally Alner’s Truly Spoken and two further debutantes, Soraya and Rob the Getaway.
The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate is an additional race to the card due to other fixtures being lost. It has 13 entries which include Claire Hitch’s Every Breakin’ Wave, a three time winner last season and Teresa Clark’s Umberleigh winner, Give Us Peace. Both may enjoy the ground as it dries out as might the mare Our Milly Acres. Teresa also has Mistress Massini who put in a good performance when making all to land a Restricted at Barbury 2 weeks ago. Micky Stark made light of the heavy conditions last time at Buckfastleigh to win nicely under Zoe Hawkins. Silent Warrior was not disgraced in 3rd last time here behind 2 useful horses while The Drone was in winning form when last seen in May.
The finale is a Restricted race and this could be between the 5yos, Top Garry who took his maiden nicely under Page Fuller at Garthorpe in February and Danseur du Large a winner at Ston Easton from subsequent scorer, Ann Maries Reject. Others to consider are George Hiscock’s Doctor’s Differ who won his maiden well at Badbury Rings in February while Restless Rebel seems to save his best runs for Chipley Park.
Larkhill Racecourse is 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. The Charity Race is at 1.15pm with the first point to point race at 2pm. Entry Costs £10 per person.
1 Trueflyingcolours 2 Thepremierbroker
1 Foxworthy 2 Lure des Pres 3 Moonlight Flyer
1 Subtle Sovereign 2 Bedrock Fred 3 Russian Conquest
1 Different Gravey 2 Bistouri d'Honore 3 Sidbury Hill
1 Sixteen Letters Finished alone
Dead Heat 1 Bleu Benny 1 Whatastormnorm 3 Give Us Peace
1 Delineate 2 Doctors Differ 3 Baltazar du Seuil
Spring arrived at Larkhill and a good crowd enjoyed some fine warm weather at the South and West Wilts point-to-point. On going described officially at good, good to firm in places the meeting was dominated by champion jockey Will Biddick who rode three winners and Martin McIntyre who rode a double. At the other end of the spectrum Hollie Greene rode her first ever winner in her first season of riding in point-to-points
Martin began the day by steering the ever popular Trueflyingcolours to a five length victory in the Hunt race over his only rival Thepremierbroker ridden by Lorcan Williams. Recording his fourth career win at Larkhill on a surface he would much prefer the gelding was giving trainer Stuart Penny a belated first winner of the season. Assistant trainer Teona Hammond dedicated the victory to the memory of Brian Young who had been a staunch supporter of Stuart’s stable over many years. She added that to keep the horse’s interest (this was his 40th career race) he has been doing a variety of activities including leading the ponies and jumping logs in the woods.
An eventful Maiden race followed with only five of the twelve starters finishing the race. Sinour ridden by Rilly Goschen established a clear lead for much of the race but appeared to be weakening when falling at the third last. This left the slow starting Foxworthy who had been making steady headway clear and he maintained a commanding advantage all the way to the line in the hands of Will Biddick. Bred by owner Richard Kelvin-Hughes out a useful mare called Candy Creek the imposing gelding had shown promise on his debut three weeks and would have been closer to the winner that day except for a bad blunder at the third last. A late developing six year old he should go on to better things.
Subtle Sovereign on his belated seasonal debut showed his love for Larkhill to be undiminished when scoring for the seventh time at the Wiltshire course when winning the Ladies race under Lucy Mager. Owned by the nine strong Notre Cheval Partnership and trained by Teresa Clark the gelding had been an intended runner in his Hunt race at Kingston St Mary but when that meeting was called off this race on ground that he would prefer was chosen. He was followed home by Bedrock Fred ridden for the first time by Aine O’Connor who made a miraculous recovery from a bad mistake at the third fence.
Will Biddick notched up another winner when taking the Mens Open race on board Richard Kelvin-Hughes‘s Different Gravey trained by Ed Walker. Previously a high class horse when trained by Nicky Henderson he had rather lost his way under Rules but a spell of hunting with Polly Walker and a different environment has transformed him back into a confident individual. He held off the challenge of Bistouri D’Honore ridden by Ed Doggrell by three lengths with another ten lengths back to Sidbury Hill. There are no firm plans for the winner but Richard hopes that they might be able to get another run into him before the season ends.
Will’s treble came courtesy of Sixteen Letters in the young Maiden race. Facing only one opponent who unseated her rider at the eighth fence this was a bloodless victory. Previously owned by the late Richard Woollacott owner John Symes was persuaded by Richard to buy him as both of the horses John ran last season had been retired. John revealed that this was the first time Will had ever ridden for him and quipped that ‘it was probably because he had not had anything good enough for Will to ride in the past’ There was another connection with the Biddick family in that John had bought one of his best horses Whizzaar from Will’s father Mike after that gelding had fallen at Lifton in 2005 and then went on to win ten point-to-points and four Hunter Chases.
There was a dramatic finish to the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate race with Blue Benny and Whatastormnorm flashing past the post together. After a brief delay the judge decided he could not split them and awarded a dead heat between them. This gave 17 year old Hollie Greene her first ever winner on her grandmother Jill Miller’s Blue Benny. Trained earlier in the season by Michael Miller he was transferred to neighbour Lucy Felton who has been riding him at home as Hollie is still at school in North London and had not sat on him for a couple of weeks. Described by Lucy as ‘a real dude’ and a pleasure to train Blue Benny had run a good race at Milborne last month when finishing fourth. Whatastormnorm gave Ella Pickard a change in fortune when giving her the first winner of this season from the five horses she trains from her home base. Owned by her younger sister Ruby he was previously owned by Norman Chanin and had won at Great Trethew in 2016. Ella works for National Hunt trainer Jeremy Scott as well as looking after her point-to-pointers.
Martin McIntyre completed his double aboard Godfrey Maundrell’s Delineate in the Restricted race. Normally ridden by Zak Baker he had been booked to ride in the Scottish Grand National and put forward Martin for the ride on Delineate. When his intended mount at Ayr was withdrawn he found himself available to ride and ironically had a ride in the race Castle Cheetah who fell at the second fence. Delineate had previously won the Hunt race at the Royal Artillery meeting and showed her liking for Larkhill by gamely holding off the challenge of Doctor’s Differ ridden by George Hiscock. Riding for Godfrey for the first time Martin showed his strength in a finish and had four lengths to spare at the finish.