HURSLEY HAMBLEDON – Sunday 2nd December 2018
Secretary: Mrs Victoria Cobden
Address: The Bungalow, Westbury Manor Farm, West Meon, Peterfield, Hants GU32 1ND
Contact Details Tel: 01730 829313 Mob: 07721 488953
Entries to: The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 26th November 2018 12.30pm
Races: 4,5,6 Maiden (2m4f), Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, CA Members Conditions, Open Maiden
First Race: 11.30am
The first of seven meetings scheduled to be held at Larkhill Racecourse on Salisbury Plain will be taking place this coming Sunday when the Hursley Hambledon hold their point-to-point. One of the most popular courses in England as well as the busiest the course is in good condition ahead of the start of the season with the ground currently reported as good and with rain in the forecast the going should be ideal for most horses. 76 horses have been entered for the 6 races which is an encouraging entry at this time of year when the season is just starting.
The highlights of the meeting are the two Open races where quality horses have been entered. The Mens Open sponsored by the meeting’s main supporter Moore Blatch solicitors of Southampton and Lymington has attracted an entry of 10 horses. The entries include Woodfleet, the winner of a Hunter Chase at Wincanton last season and now in the care of Kate Bandey as her husband Richard holds a public license, the Sally Alner trained duo of Apple’s Queen who missed last season and the consistent Tom Barton, Ardkilly Witness who won an Open at Horseheath last season, Theatre Evening who won a Mens Open at Bratton Down and the progressive Doctor’s Differ who won two races last season. Sarazen Bridge is another improving horse with his last victory coming at Larkhill in March. Kie is an interesting recruit to point –to-pointing having won 5 steeplechases and 2 hurdle races but has not been seen since May 2016 and is now in the care of Johnny Farrelly. Woodfleet is the choice to give owner Anna Reed another Larkhill winner.
The Ladies Open also includes entries for Woodfleet and Theatre Evening and if this race is chosen ahead of the Mens for the latter named then he will be partnered by his owner Charlotte Brown who will be making a return to race riding. Others to consider include the consistent Moscow Prices who will be ridden by part owner Lucy Mager, Midnight King who is likely to be ridden by Claire Hardwick, Foxcub who won a Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham May meeting and Bouggietopieces who finished second in a Ladies at Bratton Down at the end of last season. Southfield Theatre owned by Angela Yeoman and now trained by Sara Bradstock boasts the best National Hunt form with three steeplechase and five hurdle victories to his name and he is taken to make a winning point-to-point debut.
The meeting begins with a two and a half mile Maiden race for which the biggest entry of 16 horses has been received. Of those with form Artson was placed in two Maidens last season, Emergency Speed improved as last season progressed, Bridge of Cally was placed over Hurdles for Harry Whittington and will come on for his run at Buckfastleigh and Signed and Sealed who was placed five times on the flat for Mark Johnston and is now in the care of Julie Wadland. Two newcomers to note are the Kate Bandey trained Walkonthinice and the Sophie Lacey trained Airlander. The last named is owned by Lady Cobham who was successful at this meeting last year with Coningsby and is hoping for a repeat with her Kayf Tara gelding.
The Restricted race may see the English point to point debut of the Luke Harvey owned Drumlynn. Placed in three Irish point to points he made a winning debut for Luke when winning a Bumper at Worcester in June 2017 but has not been seen since the following month. The Jaffna Queen may give him most to do as the Robert Waley-Cohen trained mare improved in her four races last season finishing second at Mollington in her first Restricted race. Brereton was an easy winner of a Maiden at the end of last season in May at Larkhill, Sleepy Sunday won her Maiden in 2017 but missed last season and Rakasba has been placed on a number of occasions. Shallamar was a winner for Tim Underwood at Barbury Castle last weekend and if reappearing comes into the mix.
The Club Conditions race also holds entries for Bouggietopieces and Doctor’s Differ and this may be an easier option for each of them. However the entries for this race are headed by Blackwater Bramble who won at Buckfastleigh for John Smith-Maxwell in a close finish. Derksen won four races for Alice Stevens and is another to consider. Karinga Dancer runs well for his owner/trainer/jockey Laura Thomas and if back to his best may be hard to beat. Pointview Gale ran well at Buckfastleigh and Thereyarsee enjoys racing at Larkhill for his owner Bill Dupont. Princely Player is another to take into account on his second to Hawkhurst on his final appearance and a chance is taken on him.
The final race, the Open Maiden, also holds entries for Airlander and Emergency Speed but if they take up their options in the shorter Maiden then the ones to put on a short list are Lucarno Express, placed third in an Open at Mollington, the ex-Tom Lacey trained Amadoue placed in two Hurdles and now with Emma Alvis and Bubsy Burbidge formerly with Neil Mulholland. Montarlot now trained by Harriet Brown brings good form from Ireland having been placed in his three races there and may be the one to give Lucarno Express the most to do.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. . First race 11.30am Entry Costs £10 per person, race cards £3, children go free
WESSEX & DEVON & CORNWALL AREA CALENDARS - SAE to Claire Hitch, Barn Lane Farm, Stoke Rivers, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7LD
Hursley Hambledon @ Larkhill
Race 1 Open Maiden 2m4f 4,5,6 yo
1st: Drakes Well (Ire)
2nd; Bridge of Cally (Ire)
Runners 13 Distances 20l,2l Time 5min 21.7s
Race 2 Ladies Open
1st: Southfield Theatre (Ire)
2nd; Tb Broke Her (Ire)
3rd: Midnight King
Runners 7 Distances 2l, 6l Time 6min 6.0s
Race 3 Mens Open
1st: Tom Barton
2nd; Apple’s Queen
3rd: Sarazen Bridge
Runners 7 Distances 1l, 1/2l Time 6 min 20s.
Race 4 Restricted
1st: Drumlynn (Ire)
3rd: Sleepy Sunday
Runners 7 Distances Dist, Dist Time 6min 24.7s
Race 5 Club Members Conditions
1st: Blackwater Bramble
2nd; Pointview Gale (Ire)
3rd: Ballycahane (Ire)
Runners 10 Distances 20l, 10l Time 6min 14.2s
Race 6 Open Maiden
1st: F+Danilo D’Airy
3rd: Hello Jazz
Runners 9 Distances 4l, Dist Time 6min 22.6s
The opening meeting of the Larkhill season produced some excellent racing when 53 horses took place in the six races at the Hursley Hambledon meeting on Sunday. The going was good and the course was in splendid condition bearing in mind the dry summer that has been experienced. The highlights of the meeting were a first and second for trainer Sally Alner in the Mens Open race where Liam Harrison rode his first point to point winner and a victory for the classy Southfield Theatre in the Ladies Open ridden by his new pilot Lily Bradstock.
The Mens Open race sponsored by Moore Blatch produced a tremendous finish with Tom Barton holding off his fast finishing stablemate Apple’s Queen ridden by Bryan Carver with Sarazen Bridge and Nick Phillips a close third. The winner owned by the Four Dames Partnership headed by Anne Tory is well known for his triumphs round Badbury Rings but this proved his versatility in going right handed. It will be a day his 16 year old rider Liam Harrison will never forget on his first ever point to point ride and his initial comment was that ‘I have been taught a great deal by my partner’. Liam who works for trainer Neil Mulholland hails from Bath and has been riding at the Limpley Stoke stable since the age of 12 and recorded his first victory for his employer on Magical Thomas in a Hurdle race at Stratford in August, the day he received his GCSE results. Too young to drive at present he is grateful to his mother Heather for acting as his chauffeur and on the basis of this ride she may be visiting many more point-to-point courses this season.
Southfield Theatre recorded his first success for enthusiastic owner Angela Yeoman since winning a steeplechase at Exeter in February 2015 when scoring in the Ladies Open race ridden by Lily Bradstock. Having been trained by Paul Nicholls to win eight races he had rather lost his way and the move to new trainer Sara Bradstock and a different regime seems to have rekindled his enthusiasm. Angela who is a very well National Hunt owner was registering her first ever point to point winner and was delighted to see her King’s Theatre gelding enjoying himself in front for virtually all of the race. Explaining how she came to be training for Angela Sara said that she had met her at an eventing day at Nunney when Lily was riding her eventer and this had led to the horse joining her stable about 3 months ago. Sara added that evergreen Carruthers was now retired having been such a great servant to both her and her husband Mark.
Another familiar face from the National Hunt scene enjoyed his own triumph when Drumlynn was a very easy winner of the Restricted race for Luke Harvey. Already the winner of a Bumper when trained by Nicky Henderson he outclassed his six rivals and won by a distance under Darren Edwards. Explaining his bucking on the way to the start Luke did say that he had not been able to do much work with him due to his television commitments at Newbury and as such was very fresh in the preliminaries. Luke who could have kept his horse to National Hunt races said that ‘I love pointing and want to keep being involved in it ‘. Darren reported that his mount has ‘a real engine’ and could progress through the ranks.
Blackwater Bramble was another easy winner of the Conditions Race and supplemented his win from Buckfastleigh on the opening day of the season. Owned by Katherine Smith-Maxwell and her daughter Ros and ridden by her son John he is trained by Katherine’s other daughter Alexandra Dunn at West Buckland in Somerset. The King’s Theatre gelding was previously in the care of Jade Barber and recorded two victories last season before being sold quite cheaply in the summer. John was thrilled with the way he had beaten his nine rivals to record his first Larkhill victory. Asked about the colours he was wearing (Green with a red cap) John advised that these were the colours of his grandfather Archie Smith-Maxwell rather than the usual Smith-Maxwell colours that he wears.
The other two races on the card were the Maiden races where there was much drama none more so than in the shorter Maiden Race when Dawn Sunrise unseated his rider Josh Newman at the first fence and then proceeded to cause chaos at the next two fences when three of the runners were eliminated. The fences took their toll on the thirteen strong field with five loose horses passing the winning post ahead of the eventual winner Drake’s Well ridden by Sam Lee and trained by Fred Hutsby. Owned by London Fund Manager Stephen Corbett whose first horse this is, he was acquired from Mark Gichero after a couple of runs in Ireland but when he arrived at Fred’s stable near Stratford he was in a fairly poor state. However with much care from Fred and his wife Caroline including a holiday stay in the summer in Exmoor he has picked up well and is highly regarded by his trainer.
Sophie Lacey’s Airlander was fancied to make a winning debut for owner Lady Cobham in the final race, the Open Maiden, but he could not match the pace of the winner Danilo D’Airy ridden by Zac Baker. Only a five year old he had debuted in one of the Bumpers at Barbury Castle last season but he did not run again. Trained and owned by John Benfield who runs a stud near Heythrop he had been bought in Ireland as a three year old and the plan had been to win earlier than now. The bloodstock agents who were in attendance at the meeting were seen making enquiries about the gelding after his impressive victory.