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 30th December 2019 12.30pm
Races: LCR Members, Ladies Open, 5 years + Maiden, Mens Open, Restricted, LCR Members (Novice Riders) Maiden 2m 4f
First Race: 10.30
2020 opens with the Larkhill Racing Club holding their meeting at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain on Sunday 5th January. Larkhill is an ideal place to blow away all the cobwebs and excesses from Christmas and the New Year festivities and this year there will be a very early start at 10.30am due to the large number of entries and two races have been divided meaning that there are now 9 scheduled races for racegoers to enjoy. The two feature races the Ladies Open and the Mens Open are very high quality races and the latter race includes the first two in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham last March. The going is currently good to soft and with the bends having been moved since the December meeting it should be excellent going for the day’s racing. The other change is that there will be two new fences since the December meeting.
The Skinner’s Ladies Open race is the first feature race and this has attracted a total of 14 entries. Southfield Theatre was a game winner of the Ladies at the December meeting and will be hard to beat. Big Casino ran a high quality race when second to Earth Leader in the Mens Open in December and the reduction in weight gives him a further chance. The Dellercheckout won a Mixed Open at Barbury on his point to point debut and looks very promising. Thomas Campbell won at Wadebridge for Chloe Emsley and is another exciting recruit to pointing. Rose Loxton has entered both Virak the winner of two Hunter Chases last season and the likely mount of Natalie Parker and Captain Buck’s previously with Paul Nicholls and is due to be ridden by Harriet Tucker. In a fascinating race Southfield Theatre might be able to use his course expertise to hold off the challenges of his younger rivals.
The Mens Open race sponsored by Connolly’s Red Mills features the first two home in the Cheltenham Foxhunters last March when Hazel Hill beat Shantou Flyer by four lengths. Whereas Hazel Hill won his remaining outing again at Cheltenham in May and remained unbeaten Shantou Flyer was not seen again and has now been moved by owner David Maxwell from Richard Hobson to Rose Loxton. If both declare the race ought to be between them and it should be a fascinating renewal. Of the other 18 entries Salvatore beat Coco Live in a Conditions race at the December meeting but both hold entries elsewhere on the card. Big Casino finished second to Earth Leader and would hold a chance on that form. Marten won at Dunsmore but this is a much stronger race. Highway Jewel won four races last season but this is a real step up. Green Winter enjoys his racing at Larkhill and he might be the one to give the leading duo the most to do. Hazel Hill is the selection.
The Woolley and Wallis sponsored Conditions Race which has been split into two divisions opens the meeting at 10.30. The first division may see the return of the veteran Adrenalin Flight trained locally by Sally Rawlins. He has become quite a Larkhill specialist but there are several younger horses who may be too good for him. Will Biddick has entered El Bandit placed at Wadebridge on his pointing debut and he should certainly be on the short list. Miss Seagreen won for Clive Bennett at the last meeting and is in good form. Woodfleet would come into the reckoning on his best form and Three Faces West ran well behind Salvatore at the last meeting. Rose Loxton has entered Chameron twice a winner over Hurdles at Auteuil but failed to win a race whilst residing at Ditcheat. He should be watched with interest but El Bandit is chosen to give Will another winner.
The second division may see a rematch between Salvatore and Coco Live although the former would have to carry a 9 pound penalty. Bubble O’Clock is an improving young horse and comes into calculations as does Kaki de la Pree who won easily at Ffos Las. Raddon Top is another progressive horse from the Leslie Jefford yard and Apple’s Queen will hopefully get more luck in running than his previous outing at Larkhill. Horizontal Speed put up an impressive performance at Barbury and if in the same mood he may give trainer Alan Hill and rider Charlie Marshall another winner.
The Open Maiden sponsored by We Do Vans for five year olds and upwards has been also split into two divisions. Of those with form in the first division Butter Hill Boris finished runner up at the last meeting and might go one better. Best to Come was clear when falling at Barbury and his jumping needs to improve before there can be much confidence in him. Of the newcomers Fedelta is owned by Trevor Hemmings and trained by Fran Nimmo, Kynance Cove is in the hands of Ciaran O’Brien, TheChaseison raced in Ireland but is now with Christopher Barber, Military Mischief was placed in Ireland in December and is now with Jane Western and Wykham a home bred gelding of Robert Waley-Cohen’s out of his successful mare Liberthine. A chance is taken with the last named to make a winning debut.
Division two again has a mixture of those who have raced and a number of newcomers. De Cigar Man has placed form in Ireland but missed all of last season and he should be watched. Fleur du Pommier ran some good races at Larkhill last season and is now with Harriet Waight. Montarlot also showed form at Larkhill last season and he could be in the mix. Fran Nimmo has entered the unraced Red Buccaneer and this Black Sam Bellamy gelding could make a winning debut. Bawnmore boasts some Irish form and is now with Tom Ellis and Snakelake Hill owned by Rose and Sam Loxton is another who appears to be running into form. Fran Nimmo’s charge is a tentative choice.
The biggest entry (24) is held for the Alec Jarrett Limited Restricted Race. A number of previous Maiden winners are entered including the unbeaten Tim Underwood owned mare Miss Massey who won her only outing last season at Edgcote. NormoftheNorth won his only outing for trainer Alan Hill at Kimble whereas Pass Rusher won his Maiden for Fran Nimmo at the first Larkhill meeting. Sylvies Dance won easily at Flete Park last season and is definitely on the upgrade as is Raised with Praise trained and owned by Luke Harvey and another winner at Larkhill from the previous meeting. Taboo won well at Ffos Las and Teeton Surprise won at Tabley. In a wide open looking race Sylvies Dance is chosen to continue her upward rise.
The Novice Riders race sponsored by Clarke Wilmott also contains entries for Adrenalin Flight, Chameron and El Bandit already mentioned before. If any of those named choose this race then they must have a good chance. Storm Lantern, Theatre Evening and Thereyarsee all have run well at Larkhill but the first and last named have some disappointing performances to put behind them. Theatre Evening is now trained by Louise Kittow and will be ridden by Micha Micklewright who began her riding career by riding her first winner at Larkhill. My Murphy ran in very soft ground at Ffos Las and provided he is none the worse for his efforts this veteran may find this a potentially easier race.
The meeting concludes with the Southern Counties Auctioneers Maiden Conditions race over two and a half miles. All horses must have run at least twice in point to points to be eligible for this race. So Socksy boasts the best English form with her runner up placing at Barbury. She may be able to go one better. Oscar World and Snakelake Hill were both fourth in Maidens at Wadebridge and should both improve. Harriet Brown has entered two new horses namely Baignard placed in Irish points in November and On Raglan Road placed for Charlie Longsdon in Hurdle races. Jenny Pidgeon has entered Atigun Pass placed in Ireland but has not raced since December 2018. So Socksy is chosen to record her first victory.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. . First race 10.30am 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: Conditions Div 1
1st Chameron (Fr)
2nd Miss Seagreen
3rd El Bandit (Ire)
Runners: 13 Distances: 10l, nk Time: 6m 17s
Race 2: Conditions Div 2
1st Wick Green
2nd Captain Buck (Fr)
3rd Marten (Fr)
Runners: 14 Distances: hd, 5l Time: 6m 17s
Race 3: Ladies Open
1st Virak (Fr)
2nd Southfield Theatre (Ire)
3rd Ange des Malberaux (Fr)
Runners: 8 Distances: 1l, 12l Time: 6m 20s
Race 4: Open Maiden Div1
1st Fedelta (Ire)
2nd My Bobby Dazzler
3rd Butter Hill Boris
Runners: 12 Distances: 4l, 6l Time: 6m 33s
Race 5: Open Maiden Div 2
1st Fleur Du Pommier
2nd Red Buccaneer
Runners: 14 Distances: 1l, 3l Time: 6m 27s
Race 6: Mens Open
1st Shantou Flyer (Ire)
2nd Green Winter (Ire)
Runners: 9 Distances: 1 ½ l, 1l Time: 6m 20s
Race 7 : Restricted
1st Teeton Surprise
2nd Drakes Well (Ire)
Runners: 12 Distances: dist, 12l Time: 6m 32s
Race 8: Novice Riders Conditions
1st My Murphy (Ire)
2nd Darius des Bois (Fr)
Runners: 11 Distances: 15l, 6l Time: 6m 27s
Race 9: Maiden Conditions 2m4f
1st Thechaseison (Ire)
2nd The Whiskey Man (Ire)
Runners: 15 Distances: 8l, 3l Time: 5m 31s
It was a great days racing with 108 horses contesting the 9 races with a large crowd for January and the meeting will remain in the memory for quite some time as the quality of the racing was very high. Several racegoers with longer memories remarked that the meeting brought back the days of the United Services meeting which used to start racing at Larkhill. Rose Loxton will remember the meeting with particular fondness as she saddled her first ever treble as a trainer and her young jockey Angus Cheleda recorded his first ever point to point riding double. Elsewhere there was a first point to point win for one of the most famous set of National Hunt racing colours and a final victory for a promising young rider this season who is now going to concentrate on his A Levels. A one Minute’s silence was held in memory of valet David Sunderland who died last month who was a stalwart at Larkhill over many years and will be much missed.
Rose Loxton won both of the two feature races commencing with the Skinner’s Ladies Open race when Virak ridden by Natalie Parker got the better of a stirring battle with Southfield Theatre ridden by Lily Bradstock with only a length between them at the winning post. Southfield Theatre had tried the same front running tactics employed when he won at the last meeting but this time he found a rival just too good for him. Virak’s joint owner Clive Hitchings did not travel from his home to see the victory but his other owner Paul Nicholls indicated that the winner was now likely to be campaigned in Hunter Chases where Natalie Parker will be keen to continue her excellent partnership with the eleven year old gelding.
There was no repeat of the Foxhunters from Cheltenham as Hazel Hill declined a rematch with Shantou Flyer so the Rose Loxton trained gelding was made a short price favourite to win the Connolly’s Red Mills Mens Open race. With owner David Maxwell riding a winner at Plumpton it was left to Angus Cheleda to partner Shantou Flyer and his 5 pound novice allowance may have proved critical as he had only a length and a half in hand at the winning line. Having fought off the attentions of the Philip Rowley trained Salvatore he had to hold off the fast finishing Green Winter ridden by Zac Baker. As David Maxwell is looking to secure another Amateur Rider’s Title under Rules it is likely that Shantou Flyer’s attentions will be turned to Hunter Chasing next.
Rose began the day by saddling Chameron to win the first Division of the Conditions race and he was one of the most impressive performances of the day. Bought expensively from France after winning two Hurdle races he failed to win a race when trained by Paul Nicholls and went to the sales last August where he was bought back by his former trainer who has retained a share in him with jockey Harry Cobden. The other owner John Bolton who is a cattle dealer from Glastonbury was recording his first ever point to point winner and on the basis of this outing has much to look forward this season. Explaining his victory Rose said he had lost his confidence at Ditcheat and the drop in class helped to give him a chance to find his form. Beating his twelve rivals by ten lengths he looks one to follow this season as he is only seven years old.
Rose was hopeful of saddling the winner of the other Division of the Conditions race with another ex-inmate from Ditcheat namely Captain Buck’s ridden by Natalie Parker. However in a duel with Wick Green on the run in he was denied by a head in one of the closest finishes of the day. Trained and ridden by Peter Mason for the Shy John Partnership he has strengthened since last season and is another promising youngster. Broken by Peter as a two year old for owner Charles Horton he was acquired as a pointer when Shy John retired for the partnership. This was his seasonal debut and a great improvement on the previous two seasons when he has failed to complete on his debut. He is another whose attentions are likely to be turned to Hunter Chasing later in the season.
The two divisions of the three mile Maiden races featured a number of promising horses who will have gone into notebooks for the remainder of the season. Fran Nimmo introduced Fedelta a six year old Flemensfirth gelding in Division One and he stayed on well under James King to win the race by four lengths. Owned by well -known National Hunt owner Trevor Hemmings his racing Manager Mick Meager revealed that this would have been his boss’s first ever point to point winner. The gelding had suffered a fractured shoulder whilst he was being trained in Ireland so his performance was even more impressive in beating the Philip Rowley trained My Bobby Dazzler ridden by Alex Edwards.
Alex did not have long to wait before recording his victory of the day when partnering the mare Fleur Du Pommier to win the Second Division of the Maiden. Previously owned by the late Godfrey Maundrell she was sent to the sales during the summer and on the suggestion of joint owner Stan Rawlins she was bought by Harriet Waight who trains in sight of Larkhill. It was Harriet’s idea to secure the services of Alex Edwards to ride the mare as she felt that she needed a rider who could give her confidence and help with her jumping. This certainly paid off as the mare held off the challenge of Red Buccaneer ridden by James King by a length.
The Restricted race was the most eventful race of the day with only four of the twelve horses finishing the course. Whilst Teeton Surprise may have been a fortunate winner for Nick Phillips the Black Sam Bellamy jumped round to beat Drakes Well ridden by Zac Baker. Previously trained for the late Joan Tice by Stuart Morris he is now owned by a partnership headed by Joan’s daughter Judy and trained by Dibby Brown. Nick explained that he had been Field Mastering off the winner on Boxing Day and had been round Cirencester Park and that hunting had been very good for him.
The Novice Riders race was won by the veteran My Murphy ridden by his 17 year old pilot Albi Tufnell and trained by Sally Randell. Timing his challenge to perfection he caught long- time leader Darius Des Bois and he was an easy winner by 15 lengths. It was subsequently revealed that this will be Albi’s last ride of the season as he now turns his attentions to his A Levels at Radley. However he will be returning next season and on the basis of this ride and his two successes with Call Me Vic this season he looks a young rider to follow despite being out of Novice status.
Christopher Barber introduced a promising sort when Thechaseison made all under Martin McIntyre to win the final race the Maiden Conditions race. Bought by Ed Bailey privately after three runs in Ireland he has strengthened since arriving in England. Described by his owner Christopher’s mother Charlotte as ‘an absolute gentleman’ he held off the challenges of The Whiskey Man and Baignard and looks another to follow during the season.