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 25th November 2019 12.30pm
Races: 4,5,6 Maiden (2m4f), Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, Conditions, Open Maiden
First Race: 12.00 noon
The first Wessex meeting of the new point to point season, the Hursley Hambledon at Larkhill, has been rewarded with an excellent entry of 111 horses for their six races and as a result of the numbers in three of the races which are in excess of the safety factor a decision has been made to bring forward racing by half an hour to 11.30am. This entry compares to a total of 76 for the 2018 renewal. The course is in fine condition with a current going report of good and although more rain is forecast it is not envisaged that the going will change. Racegoers need to look out for clear instructions to reach the course as some of the usual entrances will not be available.
The Moore Blatch sponsored Mens Open race looks a very strong race on paper with twenty four horses entered. Robert Waley-Cohen has three entries namely Lucarno Express, Facile Bien and Theatre Territory with the last named last seen finishing runner up in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham in May. Green Winter has an excellent record at Larkhill and is the model of consistency and has a good partnership with Zac Baker. Sally Alner has entered Apple’s Queen and Thereyarsee with the former boasting good form from last season. Tom Malone has entered Let’s Get At It previously with Olly Murphy and the winner of three hurdles and is the likely mount of champion rider Will Biddick. Djin Conti , the winner of two chases and hurdle when trained by Harry Whittington, is now with Stuart Robinson and if making the trip from the South East he should come into consideration. The six year old Earth Leader was one of the most promising young horses from last season and finished his season winning two Hunter Chases and looks the one to beat. He is likely to be the mount of novice rider Angus Cheleda who has reverted back to amateur status having been a Conditional rider for Colin Tizzard. Others to consider are Robin De Boss and Imogens Thunder who both hold entries in the Conditions race. In a fascinating looking race Green Winter is chosen to put his good record at Larkhill to the best use.
The Allison Family Ladies Open race has attracted fourteen entries with Ravished and Southfield Theatre the two stand out horses. Ravished trained by Joseph O’Shea was a most impressive winner at Cottenham two weeks ago where he beat rival Mercers Court by forty lengths. Southfield Theatre the winner of a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham for Lily Bradstock will be a tough rival to beat but the lack of an outing might count against him. Champion lady rider Gina Andrews and her husband Tom Ellis have entered the promising Latenightpass and he could be a serious rival for Ravished. The Dellercheckout previously owned by John Hales and trained by Paul Nicholls is an interesting recruit to pointing for Caroline Robinson. Ravished looks to be the one to support if he travels from his Cheshire base but he does also hold an entry at Hexham.
The Tattersalls Cheltenham sponsored young Maiden over two and a half miles has received an entry of eleven horses and this race starts the meeting. The Tom Lacey owned Harold’s Arrow will certainly be to the fore in the betting as his horses always have to be respected in Maiden races at Larkhill. An unraced four year old gelding by Beat Hollow he is a half -brother to Kalasaya who won a point for Philip Rowley. Another newcomer to consider is the Tom Ellis trained Mental Mickey and a likely mount for Jack Andrews. Of those with form Sansgini was runner up to the enigmatic So When at Upcott Cross, Butter Hill Boris was second at Mollington last season and Steel Yard was a close 5th at Cottenham two weeks ago. If Harold’s Arrow is declared for this race rather than the three mile Maiden he will be the selection.
The Penson Events sponsored Restricted race may give owner Clive Bennett and trainer Sam Jukes another winner with their mare Miss Seagreen. A winner at the Larkhill Racing Club meeting last season she was placed in her three other outings and looks the one to beat. Caliente and Share A Bear are entered from the strong Philip Rowley stable and his chosen representative would be respected as is Macca’s Stowaway who won the Maiden at Dunsmore two weeks ago. Harriet Brown has entered both Filthy Lucca, the winner of a Maiden at Littlewindsor and Gracious Prince who ran several good races in defeat last season and he looks the one most likely to trouble Miss Seagreen.
The biggest entry for the meeting of twenty six horses is for the Spraytek sponsored Conditions Race. Coco Live was a revelation last season winning four races for local trainer Harriet Waight and part owner Stan Rawlins. He enjoys his racing at Larkhill and if fit could be the one to follow. It is another strong race with Robin De Boss, Imogens Thunder, Thereyarsee and Doctor’s Differ all boasting good local form from last season. Black Jewel disqualified when last seen at Larkhill has now changed hands and will be ridden by his new owner Louise Bannister although he is still in the care of Fran Nimmo. Hawkhurst on a going day would come into consideration but his display at Cottenham when he unshipped his rider does causes concern. Waterloo Warrior won well at Dunsmore but this is another rise in class for him. Philip Rowley has entered Salvatore and along with the Sheila Crow trained Rob the Getaway may be the two to give Coco Live most to do.
The meeting concludes with the Equestrian Fencing and Timber Services Limited sponsored Open Maiden race where twenty four horses have been entered. A number of the entries for the shorter Maiden also hold entries in this race including the Tom Lacey owned Harold’s Arrow, the Annie Bacon pair of Sansgini and Giovanni Acuto and Mental Mickey. Of the others the Luke Harvey owned and trained Raised with Praise placed in an Irish point should be noted as well as the Rose Loxton trained Snakelake Hill placed at Littlewindsor last April and On Raglan Road placed in Hurdles for Charlie Longsdon and now with Harriet Brown. Of particular interest is Wykham a five year old gelding by Shirocco out of a mare called Liberthine who won the 2006 Topham Chase and was fifth in Silver Birch’s Grand National the following year. If he possesses a proportion of his mother’s ability then he could be too good for his rivals.
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, Higher Sminhayes Farm, Brendon Hill, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0LG
Race 1: 4,5yr Old Maiden 2m4f
1st Pass Rusher (Ire)
2nd Butter Hill Boris
3rd Sansgini (Ire)
Runners: 10 Distances: 5l, 10l Time: 5m 21s
Race 2: Ladies Open
1st Southfield Theatre (Ire)
2nd Ravished (Ire)
3rd Stage One (Ire)
Runners: 9 Distances: ½ l, 3l Time: 6m 09s
Race 3: Mens Open
1st Earth Leader (Ire)
2nd Big Casino
3rd Call me Vic (Ire)
Runners: 14 Distances: ½ l, 8l Time: 6m 09s
Race 4: Restricted
1st Miss Seagreen
2nd Magna Sam
Runners: 6 Distances: 2l, l Time: 6m 16s
Race 5: Conditions
2nd Coco Live (Fr)
3rd Three Faces West (Ire)
Runners: 20 Distances: 4l, 10l Time: 6m 09s
Race 6: Open Maiden
1st Raised with Praise (Ire)
2nd On Parole (Ire)
3rd Happy Larry (Ire)
Runners: 15 Distances: ½ l, 1l Time: 6m 21s
An excellent day’s racing was enjoyed by all attendees at Larkhill on Sunday when the Hursley Hambledon held their point to point. Although there was a keen wind it remained dry and clear and a very healthy number of 74 runners took part in the six races. On going described by riders as between good and good to soft the course rode very well with the two Open races won by Southfield Theatre and Earth Leader being the main highlights of the meeting. Philip Rowley enjoyed a welcome winner at Larkhill from his Bridgnorth Shropshire base, Luke Harvey introduced his new purchase Raised with Praise who won the Maiden race and owner Clive Bennett celebrated a real landmark as an owner.
The Ladies race proved to be a competitive event with Ravished, the easy winner from Cottenham travelling from his Cheshire base, the Cheltenham 2019 Intermediate Hunter Chase winner Latenightpass and Southfield Theatre the winner of this race in 2018 being the three principals in a nine strong field. Lily Bradstock riding Southfield Theatre set off in front and despite the attentions of Ravished ridden by Immy Robinson on the run in Lily was able to hold off the favourite by half a length. Ridden by his trainer Sara Bradstock in his work she described him as ‘a raving lunatic at home’ but he did nothing wrong at the racecourse. He may take in a Hunter Chase during the season but will continue to race in Ladies races in the near future.
The Mens Open race was another very competitive heat with the favourite Earth Leader continuing his winning streak which now extends to his last six outings. The six year old gelding was one of the most improving horses from last season which culminated in two Hunter Chases. This was his first outing in Open company and he was too good for his market principals Let’s Get At It ridden by Will Biddick and Theatre Territory ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen. It was left to Big Casino ridden by Zac Baker to chase home the favourite who was partnered by Angus Cheleda for the first time. Angus, 20, was in fact riding in his first ever point to point having previously been a Conditional rider based with Colin Tizzard for whom he rode four winners over a three year period. Now with Paul Nicholls as an amateur he is having another chance to restart his career and the connection with Rose Loxton’s powerful stable will certainly give him every chance. From Yetminster, near Sherborne Angus has grown up with ponies and hunting but did not participate in pony racing. He looks a rider to look out for during the current season.
The Maiden race over the shorter trip of two and a half miles produced an unexpected winner in the form of Pass Rusher trained by Fran Nimmo and ridden by James King. His form from last season was uninspiring but he has strengthened considerably over the summer and was an easy winner from the favourite Butter Hill Boris ridden by Zac Baker. Bought by Fran as a 3 year old and owned by her and her husband Charlie Poste the future plans are rather uncertain according to his trainer. James King who comes in to ride for Fran and Charlie a couple of days a week also rides out for licensed trainer Olly Murphy and point to point trainer Alan Hill.
There was a red letter moment for owner Clive Bennett when his mare Miss Seagreen outstayed Magna Sam to capture the Restricted race. This was his 100th winner as an owner and this fifth generation mare epitomised the involvement Clive has had with a sport he loves which started with his first winner Public Relations at Maisemore Park in 1987. When asked how many horses does he have at present his instant response was ‘Too many!’ but later qualified it to ten horses. Ridden by Sam Jukes who trains Clive’s horses, he tracked Magna Sam for most of the race but produced the mare to win by two lengths.
Philip Rowley admitted that he had not enjoyed much success in the past at Larkhill but rectified this when Salvatore ridden by Alex Edwards got the better of a duel with course specialist Coco Live ridden by Martin McIntyre. There was a maximum field for the Conditions race of twenty horses and this proved to be a strong race in quality as well as quantity. Salvatore who had improved throughout last season finished being third in the Intermediate final at Cheltenham in May, was cheered home by his part owners Di Cope and Sue Sharratt who had travelled from Staffordshire to watch him and the six hour round trip from Philip’s Shropshire base would not have seemed so far on the way home.
Luke Harvey, a real point to point enthusiast as well as being an ITV presenter, introduced his new acquisition Raised with Praise in the final race, the Open Maiden. With the Tom Lacey owned favourite Harold’s Arrow disappointing the race developed into a battle between On Parole ridden by Alice Stevens and Raised with Praise the mount of Darren Edwards. Darren got a strong run from his willing partner and prevailed on the run in. Bought by Luke at Doncaster in May he is known as ‘Eric’ at home as Luke explained that he gives the stable name to his horses based on previous trainers of the horse and this Getaway gelding is named after the Irish trainer Eric McNamara.