The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt
Date: 10/03/2019
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 4th March 2019 12.30pm

Races:   Hunt members, Open Maiden (2m4f), Restricted, Mixed Open, Wessex Area Members Conditions, Open Maiden

First Race:   12.30 pm


Charlton Horethorne is the venue for this weekend’s Wessex point to point when the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hold their meeting on Sunday. This year there will be a number of changes to the course which will mean that access to and from the course will no longer involve crossing the track which ought to be an improvement. Previously there have been eight fences on each circuit but for 2019 there will now be seven fences with the start for the three mile races in the back straight. The card has been revamped and they have been rewarded with an excellent entry of 123 horses for the six races. The current going report of good to soft is expected to remain the same for race-day so there should be plenty of runners who have been waiting for an easier surface so all indications are that there should be much for racegoers to enjoy. 

The highlight of the card, the Alec Jarrett Limited Mixed Open, has attracted a quality entry of 19 horses of which Virak stands out. Already the winner of two competitive races this season and the winner of the prestigious Walrus Hunter Chase at Haydock in 2018 he is a class act and has strong claims. Of his potential rivals Carraig Mor won at this meeting last year but has now changed hands and is in the care of Emma Mellor, Minella Fifty beat Carraig Mor at Stafford Cross last season, Herbert Park won a Hunter Chase at Exeter last season and Premier Portrait already the winner of 13 point to points. Robin de Boss, who also holds an entry in the Hunt race, is in good form having won at Larkhill last month and comes into the reckoning as does the progressive Imogen’s Thunder who won well at Chipley Park before being beaten at Badbury Rings by Coco Live. Virak has the advantage over most of his rivals in fitness so he is the selection. 

The meeting opens with a tricky looking Open Maiden over 2 miles 4 furlongs sponsored by Woolley and Wallis for which 31 horses have been entered. With a safety factor of 15 this race could be divided and of those with form Earth Leader placed at Larkhill behind Country Legend is one to consider along with Bubble O’Clock previously owned by the late Graham Roach and now in the care of Matt Hampton having run five times for Paul Nicholls. Francesca Nimmo has two entries namely Breaking the Ice and Presence of Mind and if she brings either or both of them then they should be noted with interest. 

The Hunt race sponsored by Longman Cheese contains an entry for Virak but he may go for the Mixed Open. In his absence Robin de Boss looks the likely winner for Jo Hepburn but Little Billy Boy who gave Josh Cameron his first career victory at Badbury Rings might give him a good race. Merrion Square ought to improve on his outing at Badbury Rings and give Jemma Sargent an enjoyable ride on only their third race together. 

The Manor Farm Partnership Open Maiden race over 3 miles contains an entry for Ballyjim placed in his last four outings but he may once again find one or two rivals too good for him. Sophie Lacey has entered the unraced Cadzand bought for 35k Euros last year and with the record of her first time out runners this will be a short price to continue her strong run of form. Field Master brings good form into the race being runner up at Howick last month and with the Hawker stable in good form this might be one to give Cadzand the most to do. Another one with form this season is Twist on Ginge trained by Kate Bandey and will be ridden by his owner Jamie Nield. 

The Conditions race which is open to riders who have ridden no more than 15 winners at the start of the season may be another victory for the consistent Navanman who will be ridden by Bryan Carver. Already the winner of three races and placed in his two other runs he may be too good for his rivals. Coco Live has been a revelation this season and is unbeaten in his last three outings and may give Navanman the most to do. Moscow Prices will enjoy racing left handed for his part owner Lucy Mager and River Myth ought to improve on his seasonal debut behind Jack Snipe at Chipley Park. 

The final race, the Church House Investments Restricted race has a strong entry of 18 horses. Country Legend won well at Larkhill and then followed up as runner up to the Sophie Lacey trained Tea Clipper in a Restricted at Larkhill and a repeat of that form might be good enough to land the prize. Raging Fire might however be the one to beat her as he created a very favourable impression when winning a Maiden at Chipley Park in January. The ex- Irish Tuff Nano winner of his only point to point in Ireland is an interesting entry for Teresa Clark and his English debut should be watched with interest. 

First Race 12.30pm Charlton Horethorne off B3145 3 miles NE of Sherborne Postcode DT9 4LJ. Entry Costs £10 per person with under 12 years of age free. 




Race 1:                        Open Maiden 2m 4f (Div1) 

1st             Get Prepared

2nd             Breaking the Ice (Ire)

3rd             Bubble O’Clock (Ire) 

Runners:            13                        Distances:            6l, 15                                    Time: 5m 21s


Race 2:                        Open Maiden 2m4f Div2) 

1st             Presence Of Mind (Ire)

2nd             Five Gold Bars (Ire)

3rd             Earth Leader (Ire) 

Runners:            11                        Distances:            5l, 6l                                    Time: 5m 23s


Race 3:                        Members 

1st             Robin de Boss (Ire)

2nd             Saffron Wells (Ire)

3rd             Blue Benny (Ire) 

Runners:            6                        Distances:            4l, 8l                                    Time: 6m 32s


Race 4:                        Open Maiden 

1st             Cadzand (Ire)

2nd             Doctor Wong

3rd             You Know The Story (Ire) 

Runners:            10                        Distances:            12l, 6l                                    Time: 6m 33s


Race 5:                        Mixed Open 

1st             Virak (Fr)

2nd             Herbert Park (Ire)

3rd             Imogens Thunder (Ire) 

Runners:            9                        Distances:            4l, 5l                                    Time: 6m 20s


Race 6:                        Conditions 

1st             Navanman (Ire)

2nd             River Myth

3rd             Saroque (Ire) 

Runners:            11                        Distances:            4l, 1 ½ l                        Time: 6m 24s


Race 7:                        Restricted 

1st             Tuff Nano (Ire)

2nd             Troed Y Melin (Ire)

3rd             Country Legend 

Runners:            11                        Distances:            8l, 5l                                    Time: 6m 22s


Pony Results



A keen wind blew across the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale course at Charlton Horethorne which kept the temperature down but at least the rain stayed away allowing racegoers to enjoy a full afternoon’s racing. The new course arrangements received positive reaction from jockeys, trainers and owners and on the softer going it was necessary to stay the trip to triumph but with 71 horses taking part in the seven races the committee should feel delighted with their revamping of the card. The highlights were a strong performance from Virak in the Mixed Open Race and a first ever treble for rider Tommie O’Brien on three unraced four year olds for three different trainers in the Maiden races and an impressive English debut for Tuff Nano in the Restricted race. 

Virak is clearly enjoying his stay at Rose Loxton’s Bruton stable as he recorded his third success this season when capturing the Mixed Open race under Natalie Parker from a fast finishing Herbert Park ridden by Fergus Gillard. Owned jointly by Clive Hitchings and Paul Nicholls who both missed the victory he jumped well for Natalie and had four lengths in hand at the winning post. Rose advised that he will probably remain point-to-pointing with a possible goal being the Lady Dudley Cup at Chaddesley Corbett next month. 

Tommie O’Brien , 26, will certainly remember his first ever visit to Charlton Horethorne in recording his initial riding treble with the unusual achievement of winning on three unraced four year olds for three different trainers. Tommie who started riding in his native Ireland some 11 years ago has now notched 85 wins in his career for a number of different trainers but it is his association with the Tom Lacey/Sophie Lacey stables that he is best known. 

His treble started with a win in the first division of the divided Open Maiden over 2 miles 4 furlongs when he partnered Get Prepared to beat Breaking the Ice by six lengths. Owned, trained and bred by Michelle Offen he had been travelled down from her base at Hadnall near Shrewsbury so it had been a very early start for her. Sired by the late Black Sam Bellamy out of a Soviet Star mare he is a full brother to Againn Dul Aghaidh the winner of five point to points for the Crow family. 

His next win in the other division of the Open Maiden over 2 miles 4 furlongs for trainer Francesca Nimmo was aboard Presence of Mind who beat Five Gold Bars by five lengths. Despite running a little green on the run in this was a striking performance.   Bought by Francesca and her partner Charlie Poste at the Landrover sale last year for 20K Euros his next likely outing will be in the sales ring at the forthcoming Cheltenham sale this coming week. 

Tommie’s treble was completed when he sent Cadzand trained by Sophie Lacey into a clear lead after jumping the third last in the Open Maiden race and he easily beat Doctor Wong ridden by Keagan Kirkby. Bought by Tom Lacey at the Derby Sale last year for 35K Euros he is also for sale. Recalling how his partnership with the Laceys first started three and a half years ago Tommie said ‘I had heard that Sam Drinkwater was retiring and rang Tom asking him if I could come and ride out. After Zac

Baker decided to go to Nigel -Davies Tom asked me to take on the role of first jockey for the point to point yard and it has been a really successful partnership’ 

George Hiscock is building a good partnership with Jo Hepburn’s Robin de Boss and he maintained his unbeaten record on the gelding when comfortably beating Saffron Wells ridden by Tom Doggrell in the Hunt Race. Setting off in front and maintaining a steady pace throughout his jumping was good and supplemented his win in this race in 2018. Jo did say that ‘he had enjoyed several days hunting earlier in this season’ and his usual pilot Jamie Hepburn added that ‘he was getting stronger over his injury and hoped to be back soon’ 

Navanman was too good for his ten rivals in the Conditions race where all riders had to have ridden less than fifteen winners at the start of the season. Navanman and Bryan Carver have an excellent record together and this was their third victory together this season. John Heard paying his first visit to Charlton Horethorne paid credit to his charge who has thrived since joining his stable from David Pipe and the different routine that John employs particularly riding on the moors. He added that he is probably ‘the best horse he has trained’ 

The concluding race, the Restricted, was won in good style by the mare Tuff Nano ridden by Matt Hampton and trained by Teresa Clark for Weston- super-Mare owner Peter Gwyn. Bought by Teresa at Ascot last December having won a Mares Maiden in November in Ireland she stayed on well to beat long-time leader Troed Y Melin ridden by Bryan Carver. She looks like a really good prospect for the future.