Secretary: Mrs Dinah Webb-Bowen
Address: Sycamore Farm, Stoke Trister, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9PE
Contact Details Tel: 01963 31647 Mob: 07977 069273
Entries to: The Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd
Entries close: Monday 15th April 2018 12.30pm
Races: Confined, Members, Ladies Open, Open Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted (2m4f), Conditions Race for Novice Riders
First Race: 2.00pm
The final meeting to be held at Larkhill this season, the South and West Wilts Hunt, takes place on Easter Saturday and with the forecast looking good for the holiday weekend there should be every opportunity to enjoy an afternoon on Salisbury Plain with the family and a picnic. In addition to the seven point to point races there will be a charity flat race at 1.15pm and it is hoped that many racegoers will support the riders who are raising funds for local good causes. There will be a wide variety of trade stands, some delicious local food to enjoy and a bar as well as bookmakers.
The two feature races are firstly the Ashton Farms Limited Ladies Open for which the prolific Coco Live looks to continue his progress and seeks his fifth victory of the season. Beaten in a Hunter Chase at Taunton this race looks easier than the Mens Open and he ought to be too good for his potential rivals who may be headed by the consistent Carraig Dubh who has been placed three times already this season and is likely to be ridden by Brooke Gardener-Wollen.
The Mens Open sponsored by Lycetts has attracted 12 entries including Coco Live and Carraig Dubh but if those take up their entries in other races then the progressive Country Legend might be the one to support. Already the winner of three races this season including an emphatic victory at Badbury Rings this will be her first venture into Open company so she may find this more challenging. Her former stablemate Theatre Evening won the Mixed Open at the Avon Vale meeting and Dandan and Doctor’s Differ also were winners at that meeting and those three may give the mare the most to do. Gingili has been in good form this season and is another to come into the reckoning.
The meeting begins with the Woolley and Wallis Confined race for which Country Legend holds an entry and this might be an easier option for the mare. Others to consider are Milberry already the winner of two races this season, Adrenalin Flight who has a good record around Larkhill and goes well for Matthew Fielding and the veteran Bedrock Fred who enjoys his racing around Larkhill.
The Restricted race sponsored by Milton Indoor Storage Services over the shorter trip of two and a half miles may give Novo Dawn the opportunity to find another race. The winner of a Maiden in Ireland he was placed in a better race at Upcott Cross last year and a repeat of that form might be good enough. Brereton won at Larkhill last May and will have his supporters. Brass in Pocket is another with chances for Charlie Dando whereas Tangoed has only had one race this season when unseating her rider.
The Novice Riders race also holds entries for Adrenalin Flight and Carraig Dubh and both would have chances in this race. Blue Benny won at the course last season and was staying on at Badbury Rings when missing a marker four fences from home and might be a sporting bet for the race. However if Benemeade travels from Wales he is likely to be too good for his rivals.
The Ford Fuel Open Maiden race may give Long Mile Road the opportunity to break his maiden status. Already placed a couple of times this season his experience may make the difference. Tik Tak was backed and ran a respectable race at Badbury Rings and will come on for that outing. Its Fine Wine is an interesting recruit to pointing have raced under rules for Paul and Clare Rooney and is now in the ownership of Graeme McPherson.
The meeting concludes with the Hunt Race where Trueflyingcolours is seeking a repeat of his victory in this race in 2018. Now a veteran he ran well behind Country Legend at Badbury Rings and a repeat of that form may be good enough. Arcal Fifty was just beaten by Country Legend at Milborne St Andrew and he could thwart Trueflyingcolours attempt to repeat his victory. Just Skittles won a race at Edgcote but it was only a Maiden so might have to settle for third place in this race.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. . First race 2.00pm. Charity race 1.15pm. Entry Costs £10 per person, children go free
Race 1: Confined
1st Bedrock Fred
3rd Milberry (Ire)
Runners: 3 Distances: 8l, l Time: 6m 24s
Race 2: Open Maiden
2nd Colin’s Hero
Runners: 2 Distances: 8l, l Time: 6m 35s
Race 3: Ladies Open
1st Tiger Sam (Ire)
2nd Blue Benny (Ire)
Runners: 2 Distances: ½ l, l Time: 6m 02s
Race 4: Men’s Open
1st Dandan (Ire)
2nd Country Legend
Runners: 2 Distances: dist, l Time: 5m 52s
Race 5 : Restricted 2m 4f
1st Tangoed (Ire)
2nd Ballina Lady (Ire)
3rd Brass in Pocket (Ire)
Runners: 5 Distances: 25l, 20l Time: 5m 01s
Race : Conditions (Novice Riders)
1st Adrenalin Flight (Ire)
2nd Benemeade (Ire)
3rd Golden Crisp (Ire)
Runners: 3 Distances: 8l, 25l Time: 6m 18s
A glorious sunny Easter Saturday attracted a huge crowd to Larkhill to enjoy the final point to point meeting of the season, the South and West Wilts and all of the attractions that the Hunt had arranged. A lot of hard work had been put in on the ground before the meeting in the absence of any significant rain and this did provide some ease to the surface although the horses that relished a sound surface did prove to be the ones to follow on the day. Two riders will remember their day under different circumstances when they rode their first winners, one regular participant made his final appearance a winning one and there were a number of familiar horses taking up the challenge of the charity flat race which preceded the point to point races
The feature races , the two Open races, were both matches but the Ladies Race did have three horses declared to run with the prolific Coco Live a very short price to record his fifth victory of the season. Due to be ridden for the first time by Harriet Tucker the gelding was asked to trot up by the vet in the paddock and was determined not fit enough to participate in the race. This left Tiger Sam and Blue Benny ridden by Heidi Stevens and Hollie Greene respectively to battle it out and they produced the closest finish of the day when Tiger Sam won by half a length. Owned and trained by Laura Hurley at Oakford near Tiverton at stables formerly occupied by trainer Stuart Howe the gelding had some success when trained in Ireland by Noel Meade winning two chases. Heidi, 23, who works for Laura was recording her first career victory from only six rides having previously enjoyed some success in eventing up to B level.
The Mens Open turned into a procession with Dandan ridden by Tristan Durrell for owner Hugh Wilson and trainer Francesca Moller beating the mare Country Legend ridden by Tom Bishop by a distance. Enterprisingly ridden by Tristan he stole a march on his rival by going clear after the twelfth fence and maintained a relentless gallop all the way to the line. Clearly enjoying the faster surface this was his second success at Larkhill this season after his win at the Avon Vale meeting in March.
Adrenalin Flight was another to secure a second course victory this season when winning the Novice Riders race when ridden by Matt Fielding. Trained locally to the course by Sally Rawlins at Figheldean for National Hunt trainer Seamus Mullins he had eight lengths to spare over main rival Benemeade ridden by Nathan Rahman. Clearly defying his thirteen years he has flourished under Sally’s care and enjoys the opportunity to have a more relaxed life including being turned out on a regular basis.
Nathan had previously secured his second career victory in the previous race when he partnered the mare Tangoed to a very easy victory in the Restricted race. The mare who had won her point to point debut for Francesca Nimmo before being sold to trainer Harry Whittington. However her runs under Rules were uninspiring and she was sold last year for £1000 to Robert Varnham. Nathan, who is a serving Corporal with the Royal Welsh Guards, is one of the few serving military riders who does participate in point to points.
The Open Maiden race was won by another mare, Starweld who beat her only rival Colin’s Hero by eight lengths. Owned, trained and bred by Patricia Shaw from her base at Looe in Cornwall she had travelled the mare to Larkhill seeking a faster surface and provided rider Paul John with his second victory of the season. Recalling his previous experience at Larkhill Paul said ‘I rode a horse called Diamond Monroe to win in my first season as a 16 year old beating Polly Gundry in 2008 for the late Richard Woollacott’ There have been ups and downs in Paul’s career including a spell as a Conditional but he is enjoying his return to point to point racing.
The second rider who rode his first career winner was Tom Doggrell, 18 aboard Trueflyingcolours in the Hunt race but he had no rivals and walked over to record his triumph. Tom who now works for Phillip Hobbs advised that he will be the main amateur rider at the leading Somerset stable for next season. Trueflyingcolours was winning the Hunt race for the second successive year for trainer Stuart Penny and Teona Hammond.
Bedrock Fred registered his fifth career victory at Larkhill when winning the Confined race under rider Sam Burton for owner El Tanner. Bred by El and trained by her partner David Weston throughout his career which began nearly ten years ago the gelding has won a total of seven point to points and always appreciated a faster surface. Now at the age of 13 the decision was made after the race to announce his retirement and he will continue to be a part of El and David’s stable and will lead the youngsters. One of his successes was for Danny Burton, the brother of Sam, in 2015 and he would have been in the saddle but for sustaining three cracked vertebrae in a fall he suffered a week ago. Danny suggested to his brother, who has just finished a spell at Tom Lacey’s stable, that he should ring up for the ride and then gave Sam clear instructions on how to ride the gelding which he carried out to the letter.
4 years ago Bedrock Fred was beaten in the Open race at this meeting by Hincheslea Moor and James Young’s gelding, another regular winner at Larkhill over the years, produced another strong performance to win the Charity Flat race which preceded the point to point races. Ridden by Helen Booth, 32, who has been an integral part of James’s Brockenhurst stable over the years enjoyed her first ride at Larkhill following a success in a scurry ride at the Isle of Wight. Now based in Shaftesbury and working for a veterinary practice she won the race very easily from two other former pointers Thunder On and Impact Area.