Secretary: Mrs Mandy O'Hare
Address: Collins Farmhouse, 55 High St, Durrington, Salisbury, Wilts, SP4 8AQ
Contact Details Tel: 01980 655556 Mob: 07789 544498
Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 31st December 2018 12.30pm
Races: LCR Members, Ladies Open, 5 years + Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, LCR Members (Novice Riders)
First Race: 12.00 Noon
2019 begins with a bumper entry for the Larkhill Racing Club point –to-point meeting due to take place this coming Sunday 6th January at Larkhill Racecourse on Salisbury Plain. With 163 horses entered a decision has been made to divide the Maiden race and bring forward the time of the first race to 11.30am so there will be a minimum of seven races for racegoers to enjoy. The weather forecast looks promising so if you looking for something to do after the excesses of the Christmas period come racing and enjoy the spectacle of seeing horses and riders taking on the challenge of the 3 mile course and the 18 jumps in each race. There will be bookmakers in attendance, food and drink outlets and trade stands to view. The current going is described as good so the likelihood is that there will be large fields in each race.
The highlights of the meeting will be the two Open Races, the first being the Skinner’s Ladies Open for which 19 horses have been entered. This looks like being a high class race with a number of course regulars within the entries including the winner of the Coronation Gold Cup for the past two seasons Brackloon High who is likely to be ridden by Jennifer Harbison for the first time. Other potential rivals include Southfield Theatre who won at the previous Larkhill meeting in December for Lily Bradstock, the talented Monsieur Gibraltar for whom Harriet Tucker may make a return to race riding after surgery last season, Sonneofpresenting who upset the odds on Cousin Pete at Barbury Castle for Sarah Rippon, Woodfleet who won a Hunter Chase at Wincanton and is now trained by Kate Bandey and Bistouri D’Honore who has to put a disappointing run at Barbury Castle behind him. If the new partnership for Brackloon High gels then he may be a hard act to beat but keep an eye out for The Last But One now owned by Tom Malone who won four races for Paul Nicholls.
The Mens Open sponsored by Southern Counties Auctioneers has received the biggest entry of the day of 30 horses. Again another tremendous race is in prospect with Caid du Berlais the winner of a Punchestown Hunter Chase for Will Biddick and trainer Rose Loxton one of the standout entries. Cousin Pete will be looking to improve on his run at Barbury Castle and Shotavodka has already secured a victory at Barbury in November. Tom Barton won at the last Larkhill meeting for his Novice rider Liam Harrison but this looks a sterner test. The ex -Roger Brookhouse owned Stellar Notion is a potential fascinating recruit to point –to-pointing. The winner of 6 races under Rules is now trained by Thomas Frost having been bought at the sales last August. He should certainly be watched but if Caid Du Berlais is on song he should be too good for his rivals.
The meeting begins with the Woolley and Wallis Conditions race for which 24 horses have been entered. Portrait King won the Novice Riders race at Chaddesley Corbett last Sunday and if he turns out again his chance should be respected. However it is the younger horses that appeal more with Doctor’s Differ, Imogens Thunder and Teeton Kato as three to consider. Doctor’s Differ won two of his four starts last season and was second in the other races. Imogens Thunder was runner up to the impressive King Roland (who has already made a mark by winning a bumper very easily last month for new trainer Harry Fry) before winning his final two outings and Teeton Kato won two of his four starts last season. Flights and the progressive Marcle Ridge also come into the reckoning but if Imogens Thunder continues to progress he could be the one to support.
The Restricted race sponsored by Alec Jarrett Limited has a big entry of 27 horses. Haven’t Time has already won his Maiden this season but may find several too good for him. Arcal Fifty won well at Larkhill last season before suffering an injury but with the capable Tommie O’Brien likely to be on board he is one for the shortlist. In Arrears should come on for her English debut at Wadebridge and if coming up from Devon should be noted. Teresa Clark has both Pancrace and Port Navas entered and her chosen representative is another to consider. Lucy Felton may give Hunt Politics his seasonal debut and this should be watched. The winner of a Maiden at Duncombe Park he was bought out of Warren Greatrex’s stable last May having failed to make his mark in Bumpers and Hurdle races. The Jaffna Queen won her Maiden at Milborne St Andrew last season whereas Fateh won his Maiden at Trecoed in 2017 but has not been seen since. Another one returning from a long absence is Tedspeed who was second to the smart Fishy Story at Milborne St Andrew in February 2017. Rien du Tout won at Cothelstone at the end of last season and looks an improving sort. Shallamar won well at Barbury Castle and was tracking the leader when falling at the last Larkhill meeting. A chance is taken on him to make his fitness tell.
The Conditions Race for Novice Riders sponsored by Clarke Willmott may see another victory for the Sally Alner trained Apple’s Queen. The runner up to Tom Barton in the Men’s Open race at the last meeting this looks an easier option and may give the promising Liam Harrison another winner. Sally also has entered One Big Love and if the mare is her chosen representative then the hint should be taken. Likely rivals may include Storm Lantern who runs well at Larkhill for Jennifer Harbison, the veteran Sacre Toi, Shah of Persia who has already been placed third this season, Spanish Arch who gave rider Victoria Sollitt her debut victory at Lockinge last season and Chill Factor a prolific winner for National Hunt trainer Anthony Honeyball but not seen since February 2017. The last named is likely to be partnered by Lauren Reed who now works for Anthony and his wife Rachael.
The Maiden race, to be run in two divisions, has been sponsored by We Do Vans has received entries of 21 and 22 horses respectively. In Division One those with form include Bridge of Cally runner up in two Maidens already this season, Ballyjim placed several times last season, Call Claude placed twice last season for Philip Rowley but is now with Ed Walker, Montarlot placed in Irish Maiden races, Miss Seagreen runner up in her two starts last season and Lucarno Express again placed last season. Of particular interest is Raging Fire third in his only race in Ireland and a half-brother to Welsh Grand National winner Elegant Escape. He could make a winning debut for trainer Mike Felton.
Division Two may see the English debut of Silver Louna placed three times in Ireland in 2017 before being sold to Hannah Lewis in July of that year. She may be opposed by Artson already placed third this season, the ex- Paul and Clare Rooney horse Mankala now trained by Elizabeth Brown and Love Around trained by Sheila Crow. The Rose Loxton trained Earth Leader is an interesting recruit to pointing having run without success for Paul Nicholls and is owned by Foxhunter winner Roger Penny and he is a tentative selection in a difficult looking race.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. . First race now 11.30am Entry Costs £10 per person, children go free
Race 1: Conditions Race
1st Marcle Ridge (ire)
2nd Portrait King (Ire)
3rd Knockaderry Flyer (Ire)
Runners: 14 Distances: 1l ½ l Time: 6m 01s
Race 2: Ladies Open
1st Monsieur Gibraltar (Fr)
2nd Southfield Theatre (Ire)
3rd Bistouri d’honore (Fr)
Runners: 11 Distances 8l, 12l Time: 5m 56.5s
Race 3: Open Maiden (Div 1)
1st Miss Segreen
2nd Ballyjim (Ire)
3rd Hon the DJ (Ire)
Runners: 13 Distances: ¾ l, 1 ½ l Time: 6m 08s
Race 4: Open Maiden (Div 2)
1st Hello JAzz
2nd Silver Louna (Fr)
3rd Double Miss
Runners: 15 Distances 1 ½ l, 15l Time: 6m 13s
Race: Mens Open
1st Stellar Notion (ire)
2nd Abricot de L’Oasis (Fr)
3rd Shotavodka (Ire)
Runners: 10 Distances: 1 ½ l, 4l Time: 5m 58s
Race 5: Restricted
1st Coco Live (Fr)
2nd Inmyday (Ire)
3rd Haven’t Time (Ire)
Runners: 16 Distances: 5l, ½ l Time: 6m 3s
Race: Conditions Race for Novice Riders
1st Storm Lantern
2nd Adrenalin Flight (Ire)
3rd Skylander (Ire)
Runners: 10 Distances: ¾ l, 10l Time: 6m 11s
A very competitive day’s racing was the feature of Sunday’s meeting of the Larkhill Racing Club where 89 horses took part in the seven races held. On going described by the riders as good the times were on the quick side with both Open Races breaking the six minute mark. The highlights of the meeting was an impressive return to pointing by Monsieur Gibraltar ridden by Harriet Tucker on her first ride after surgery, Stellar Notion’s victory in a high standard Mens Open and a double for owner Clive Bennett and his trainer/jockey Sam Jukes.
The Skinner’s Pet Foods Ladies Open race was a high quality race and after Sonneofpresenting had run out in the lead at the seventh fence the race developed into a battle between Southfield Theatre ridden by Lily Bradstock and Monsieur Gibraltar. The latter who was the leading horse at Larkhill last season showed an impressive turn of foot to draw clear on the run in and won by eight lengths. Trained by Rose Loxton who is still recovering from a nasty accident which has left her on crutches he only came back into work on 1st October after an unsuccessful spell with Paul Nicholls in the summer. Owned partly by point to point enthusiast John Gane he is likely to remain in points and will give Harriet Tucker more confidence as she returns to race riding.
Stellar Notion was making his point to point debut in the Mens Open race for new trainer Tom Frost and he duelled all the way with rival Abricot de L’Oasis ridden by Freddie Henderson. Staying on well for rider Jack Andrews he had a length and a half to spare at the winning post with favourite Shotavodka ridden by Tommie O’Brien another four lengths back. Previously owned by Roger Brookhouse and trained by Tom George he was bought at the sales last August for new owner Stephen Dunn from Solihull. Tom who celebrated his 25th birthday last Friday is the son of trainer Kevin Frost and this was his first ever runner as a trainer. Based at a yard near Solihull Tom explained that although his background is flat racing he prefers the jumping game and his principal owner has provided some useful ammunition to start his career. So far as the plans for Stellar Notion are concerned he might have another point to point race or be considered for a Hunter Chase at Kelso where he has already won a chase.
Marcle Ridge made virtually all of the running to win the Conditions Race for owner Clive Bennett and his trainer/jockey Sam Jukes. Despite being challenged by both Portrait King and Knockaderry Flyer he stayed on very gamely on the run to record a victory by a length. Bred by Clive out of a mare called Labarynth who won for him when ridden by Polly Gundry he is named after a ridge which Clive said ‘I can see out of my kitchen window’. A promising seven year gelding by Presenting Clive added that after that win he might be under pressure from his trainer to run in a Hunter Chase next
Clive’s first ever home bred double was completed when his Miss Seagreen got up to deny Ballyjim in the First Division of the Maiden race. Again ridden by Sam Jukes he bided his time on the Black Sam Bellamy mare only taking up the lead in the final strides. The promising Hon the DJ trained by Fran Nimmo and ridden by Tommie O’Brien was only a length and a half back in third and this is one to look out for on his next race.
The Second Division of the Maiden was a very dramatic event with 15 horses starting the race but only four finishing. The race appeared to be between Earth Leader ridden by Bryan Carver and Mankala ridden by Nick Phillips and when Earth Leader blundered and unseated his rider at the third last fence it seemed the race was at Mankala’s mercy. However he unseated his rider at the next fence leaving Silver Louna ridden by Will Biddick in the lead but as her stride shortened after the last Ryan Withey urged his mount Hello Jazz to the front to provide an unlikely outcome to the race. Owned by George Davis and trained by his wife Angela from South Cadbury this was a welcome victory for them as they had not had a winner for nearly three years. George explained that the mare had been bought following a chance meeting in a shop with her breeder Ian Dudgeon and although she can be difficult at the start they always thought there was a race in her. Bred out a mare called Just Jasmine who was a prolific winner for trainer Kevin Bishop and excelled in two mile chases when mostly ridden by Rodi Greene.
A very open looking Restricted Race contested by 16 horses was won by Coco Live owned by Harriet Waight and Stan Rawlins and ridden by Jack Savage. Bought by Stan just before the end of last season from Kayley Woollacott having run unsuccessfully for local trainer Seamus Mullins he is trained within sight of the course at Larkhill by Harriet. Describing her charge as not easy he was loaded onto the lorry at the last minute and arrived at the course with the minimum of time left and then he was mounted outside the paddock by his rider. Stan who described himself as ‘stunned by the success’ explained about the booking of his jockey as a rather late choice on the recommendation of Zac Baker. Jack, 24, was previously a conditional rider for Jonjo O’Neill and latterly Nigel Twiston-Davies but due to lack of real progress as a conditional has reverted back to amateur status. This was his second ever point to point victory but has twelve wins under rules during his professional career.
The final race the Novice Riders race was win in a tight finish by Storm Lantern ridden by his owner Jennifer Harbison from Adrenalin Flight ridden by Matthew Fielding. The winner who was previously with Robert Waley- Cohen when recording two previous victories at the course clearly enjoys his visits to Larkhill as his best performance last season was finishing a neck second to Monsieur Gibraltar in a Ladies last January. Jennifer whose victory was her third career success is an equine vet in Buckingham and is anticipating being busy with the start of the foaling season. Trained by Joan Johnston who advised that this was her first ever winner at Larkhill.