Secretary: Mrs Jane Stockdale
Address: Malyan Portman Road Pimperne Blandford Dorset DT11 8UL
Contact Details Tel: 01258 455412 Mob: 07732 279070
Entries Secretary: Mr James Symonds
Address: Willowbrook House 41 Corton Warminster Wilts BA12 0SZ
Contact Details: Tel: 01985 850883 Mob: 07990 707139
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 17th February 2020 12.30pm
Races: CA Members Conditions, 5yrs + Open Maiden, Ladies Open, Mens Open, Restricted, CA Members Conditions (novice riders)
First Race: 12.00 am
The effects of storms Ciara and Dennis have certainly had a major impact on point to point racing in the Wessex area with the postponement of the Combined Services meeting at Larkhill to 1st March. As a result the Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) meeting due to be held next Sunday has benefitted from the lack of any recent racing in the area with a bumper entry of 160 horses and as a consequence there will now be at least 8 races on the day. The Badbury Rings course is in excellent order for their first meeting of the season and although a lot of rain has fallen on the course it is able to absorb a high quantity so there should be no problems with the meeting. There are three new fences since 2019. In addition to the racing there is the opportunity to watch the England v Ireland Rugby match being screened in full by Chase Bars. A big screen will be available for spectators to watch the racing with the disabled parking having an excellent view of the screen.
The highlights of the meeting are the two Open races the first being the Hendy Group sponsored Wessex National Mens Open race which is one of the Wessex feature races of the season. A high quality entry of 26 horses have been received for this race. Jack Snipe won this race in 2019 and has already had a pipe opener when winning at Chipley. His jumping should stand him in good stead but this looks a tougher renewal than last year. Navanman has been in sparkling form already this season with three victories to his name. Don Bersy is quirky but on a going day he would come into calculations. Wick Green is a real improver and won well at Larkhill in January. Philip Rowley has entered the mare Champagne Lilly and if making the trip from Shropshire this is another for the short list. Coco Live has been running well without getting his head in front this season and the same applies to Big Casino. A couple also to note are Overland Flyer now with Will Biddick having been in training with Paul Nicholls and the same applies to Ptit Zig who is now in the care of Mike and Lucy Felton. In an open race Wick Green might be the one to support.
The Skinner’s Ladies Open race has attracted 16 entries and of these the two that stand out are Master Baker who had an outing at Barbury in December but has thirteen victories to his name already and Tom Barton a very easy winner from Moscow Prices at Milborne St Andrew. Ridden for the first time in public by Millie Wonnacott Tom Barton relished his front running role and was one of the easiest winners at that meeting. A repeat of that performance should be enough to follow up. Ptit Zig holds an entry also in this race and his running should be noted. Sonneofpresenting was second at Cocklebarrow over a longer trip and this shorter race might suit. The Last But One is another to consider but he has not yet found his form from last season.
The meeting begins with Church House Investments sponsored Club Members Conditions race which has now been divided into two races having received a total of 40 entries. The first division may see the seasonal reappearance of Country Legend who won four races last season including at this course. Trained by owner Frances Bishop and ridden by her son Tom she is a really tough mare and if fit may prove difficult to beat. Everybody’s Talking was a very easy winner for Charlie Dando at this meeting last year but did not run again so his fitness has to be taken on trust. Soul Kaliber was another improver for Dean Summersby last season and has had the benefit of an outing whereas Undisputed from Philip Rowley’s stable won at the opening meeting of the season at Cottenham. Imogen’s Thunder won his Hunt race at Milborne but this looks a tougher race. Soul Kaliber is chosen to given Darren Edwards another career victory.
In Division two of the race the two that make the most appeal are Sixteen Letters narrowly denied by Fishy Story at Milborne St Andrew and trained by Neil McLean and the unbeaten Tuff Nano trained by Teresa Clark. Sixteen Letters should come on for his seasonal outing and is taken to lower the colours of Tuff Nano. Others in this division to consider are Five Gold Bars already a winner this season at Buckfastleigh , Queens Legacy who won at Milborne, Bricks and Beams the runner up in the Hunt race at Milborne , the veteran Kaki de la Pree and Curious Carlos the winner of eight races under Rules and now with Mickey Bowen.
The Novice Riders race sponsored by Larbey Evans has attracted 23 entries. Chosen Lucky has been a real servant to Dean Summersby and is now being employed as a schoolmaster for his daughter Charlotte. Master Dancer was second at Chipley in a similar race and will be partnered by the promising Fergus Gillard. Ardview Boy has already won this season at Wadebridge and Little Windmill was second at Barbury Castle in December. Victarion won two hurdle races for Philip Hobbs and is now with Tiffany O’Dwyer and is an interesting recruit to pointing. Workbench was a consistent sort for Dan Skelton and was a winner last time at Higham. Another ex- Dan Skelton inmate is Red Rising who won three Hurdle races and is now in the care of Josh Cameron. Chosen Lucky is the selection.
The Restricted race sponsored by Knights Solicitors has also been divided into two races having received 31 entries. In the first division Queens Legacy will be looking to supplement her easy Milborne St Andrew victory and she may be good enough. Nickelsonthedime won easily at Wadebridge and is clearly on the upgrade as is Organised Solution a winner at Chaddesley Corbett earlier this month. Thechaseison won at Larkhill and then finished runner up to Sylvie’s Dance at Chipley. Voie Dans Voie was the runner up at Wadebridge in January and looks another to consider. Queens Legacy is narrowly preferred to Thechaseison.
The second division may see Le Tueur already a winner at Chipley follow up. Trained by Christopher Barber he was a comfortable winner and may be too good for his potential rivals. Mujadel is a consistent sort and should give the selection the most to do. The Golden Rebel has already won at Cocklebarrow and Taken by Force was a winner at Cothelstone last season. Oscar Mor was second to Earth Leader at Littlewindsor last season and a repeat of that performance may earn him a place in this race.
The meeting concludes with the NFU sponsored Maiden race which has a total of 24 entries. Famous Clermont would probably have won his race at Larkhill but for stumbling and unseating Martin McIntyre after the last fence and holds strong claims. Kings Cave was second to Le Tueur at Chipley and his performance in the previous race may give clues in this race. Both Captain Cuckoo and So Socksy ran well at Milborne but the former fell and the latter unseated in the later stages of their races. Baignard tried to give a stone to Lagonda at Milborne and kept tabs with her until the second last when the weight concession told. Spring Break has been placed in three Maiden races but this will be his seasonal debut. Famous Clermont is chosen with Baignard and Kings Cave his most likely dangers.
Badbury Rings, 4 miles NW of Wimborne off B3082 Postcode DT11 9JL. Gates open at 10.00am with first race 12.00. Entry Costs: £30 per car £15 per car (single occupant) and for each pedestrian. For further information see www.countryside-alliance.org/capointtopoint
The perfect ground at Badbury Rings drew horses, owners and riders from all over the country for the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) Club point to point. Many were paying their first ever visit to the popular Dorset course and it is highly likely that they will be returning at a later date. With much of the country waterlogged the going was described by several riders as being just on the soft side of good and a fair test for horses and riders. Philip Rowley and Alex Edwards will certainly remember their first visit as they secured a double with their runners they brought from Shropshire , Mickey Bowen will do likewise with his runner Curious Carlos from Pembrokeshire and closer to home there was a return to form of Master Baker in the Ladies race.
Master Baker turned a competitive Skinner’s Ladies race into a procession and looks back to his best. Jo Supple was happy to track the leaders turning for home but once she asked her mount for an effort both Tom Barton and Zamparelli who had been vying for the lead had no more to give. Jacqui McCullough the owner of Master Baker was thrilled with her horse’s win and hopes that he can resume a successful Hunter Chase campaign and take in the Newbury Hunter Chase at the end of March, a race he won in 2019.
The Wessex National Men’s Open was won in good style by Champagne Lilly ridden by Alex Edwards from Three Faces West ridden by Nathan Vergne. Making only her fifth ever appearance on a racecourse her victory was rather a surprise to her trainer Philip Rowley who was completing his double with this race. She is owned by Fanny Armitage from Oxfordshire and Mary Bathurst from Surrey and bred by them from the mare Champagne Lil who won a Bumper and three Hurdle races. A half-sister to the prolific Champagne at Tara she is one to follow as the season progresses.
Alex Edwards and Philip Rowley had started the day by winning the first Division of the Conditions race with Undisputed who stayed on well to beat Dr Rhythm ridden by David Prichard by just over a length. Not seen since the opening day of the season at Cottenham Philip explained that there had been no particular problems with the mare but he wanted to find the right race where she was not carrying too much weight. Owned by Tim Leadbeater who is a solicitor for JCB but unfortunately he was not able to be present to see his mare’s victory.
Alex came very close to winning the second Division of the Conditions race when he partnered the Neil McLean trained and John and Floss Symes owned Sixteen Letters. Narrowly defeated at Milborne St Andrew he once again went down this time by a head in a duel with Curious Carlos ridden by Byron Moorcroft. The Welsh raider whose journey to Badbury took some five hours is trained by Mickey Bowen having previously in the care of Mickey’s father Peter. Bred by his owner Carl Pyne he is already the winner of eight races under rules and showed he still retains ability on this evidence. Byron admitted that his mount jumped himself to the front earlier than he planned but he was just able to maintain his lead. A Hunter Chase may be next on the agenda for Curious Carlos.
The Novice Riders race produced another easy winner in the shape of Master Dancer ridden by Fergus Gillard and trained by Stuart Sampson. He drew right away from his twelve rivals and recorded a seventeen lengths victory. Acquired from Tim Vaughan’s yard who won three flat races and two hurdles with him he is now owned in partnership by two neighbours of Stuart’s namely Garth Whisker and Derek Prettyjohn. Although Fergus is full time at David Pipe’s stable he does ride out at Stuart’s when time is available.
Organised Solution ridden by Milo Herbert and TheChaseison ridden by Martin McIntyre had the finish of the first division of the Restricted race between them with the former staying on strongly to win by two and a half lengths. Bought from Arthur Moore and trained by Nicky Sheppard at Ledbury for the Herbert family he appreciated the going which Nicky described as ‘beautiful ground’. Although Nicky had been to Badbury before when her son Stan rode in point to points this was her first training success and was ‘worth the three hour trip’. Nicky reported that Milo’s other horse Risk and Roll is likely to next appear in a Hunter Chase at Taunton on Thursday.
Ryan Potter was another first time visitor to Badbury and he was able to return to his Ross on Wye stable with a winner after the success of No Limitations in the second division of the Restricted race when ridden by Bradley Gibbs. Ryan was quick to praise the efforts of Sam Brown who has done much of the work with the gelding and has helped the gelding become more confident with his jumping. Ryan hopes that his gelding continues to progress and identified the Intermediate Final at Cheltenham in May as being a long term target.
The concluding race, the Maiden, was won by the five year old gelding Revels Hill ridden by Freddie Procter who stayed on well to beat Dawn Sunrise ridden by George Hiscock by seven lengths. Trained by Chris Barber and owned by The Glanvilles Partners he was originally bought by Nick Mitchell at the Tattersalls Ireland sales in August 2018 for 11,000 Euros. After Nick handed in his training license the gelding returned back to the Glanvilles Stud run by Douglas Procter and then went into training with Chris this season. Freddie was recording his third career victory and his first win for his family.