The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Avon Vale Hunt
Date: 12/12/2020
Pony Racing: No
Course: Larkhill Racecourse
First Race: 12.00

Point to Point Racing at Larkhill  near Amesbury will be resuming next Saturday 12th December with the first race is now  due  to go off at 11.00am.  7 races are scheduled to take place following the division of the Veteran Horse race. A very healthy total of 148 entries has been received and with the current going report as good it is very likely that this will be a busy meeting.

The meeting will take place under strict conditions following the Covid pandemic with a very important change that no one will be allowed on the course unless they have pre-booked. Social Distancing will need to be maintained and face masks will have to be worn whilst at the racecourse. This is the first meeting that a small number of the general public will be allowed to attend but as mentioned booking in advance is mandatory.

Details about the booking can be obtained from More information can be obtained from the new Larkhill website .

Live streaming for those not able to attend the meeting will be available and more information about this will be available on the Wessex point to point website 

The two feature races, the Open Races, look very strong races. The HHP Limited Ladies Open race has an entry of 19 horses with the promising Jatiluwih likely to be on the short list. A very impressive winner at Ottery St Mary when ridden by Will Biddick he has swerved an entry at Chaddesley Corbett when he was due to be ridden by Gina Andrews. Owned by David Maxwell and trained by Bethen Childs he may have too much speed for his older rivals. Of the opposition Captain Buck’s now trained by Sam Loxton won well at the last Larkhill meeting in March and has subsequently won a Chase for Paul Nicholls at Stratford and is likely to be the mount of Natalie Parker. Master Buck the apple of his owner Jacquie McCullough’s eye always runs well and his usual pilot Jo Supple knows him so well. Southfield Theatre was brushed aside at Kimble but is another who runs well at Larkhill for Lily Bradstock. Tom Barton is another course specialist as is the younger mare Miss Seagreen. The veteran Wonderful Charm, the winner of 12 races under Rules and the winner of nearly £250,000 in prize money is now in the care of Jennifer Harbison and should give her a good ride. Coningsby, the winner of a Maiden at Larkhill in 2017 won a Chase for Tom Lacey and is now in the stable of Stuart Penny and Lizzie Langton trained by Harriet Brown , the winner of a Chase at Wincanton for Colin Tizzard are two more to consider in a fascinating race. 

The Mens Open race sponsored by Ashton Farms in which 22 horses are entered is of high quality with Jatiluwih holding an entry for this race along with Art Mauresque, the winner of the Hunt race at Ottery St Mary and whichever is declared to run will be the mount of Will Biddick. Salvatore from the powerful Melanie Rowley stable won three of his four starts last season including one at Larkhill. Coco LIve trained locally by Harriet Waight and Country Legend trained by Frances Bishop are both progressive but this is step up for both of them. Envoye Special who won a Hurdle for Paul Nicholls is now in the care of Chris Barber and the change of scene may rejuvenate him. Another ex- Ditcheat inmate is Capitaine the winner of 7 races and is now trained by Georgina Nicholls. Trio for Rio won two Hurdles for Trevor Hemmings and is with Clive Boultbee-Brooks. Salvatore is the selection if Jatiluwih opts for the Ladies Race. 

The Webster Hart Limited sponsored Restricted race has attracted 26 entries. Grey Getaway won well at Ottery St Mary for Matt Hampton and may follow up. Scipion a four year old gelding owned by Tom Lacey is an interesting entry and if he avoids the 4 and 5 year old race then his participation should be watched. Chris Barber has entered Thechaseison and on his best form from last season he would have every chance. O’Faolains Lad won at the last Larkhill meeting in March for Stuart Penny and Winter Holiday won for owner breeder Charlotte Fuller at Maisemore Park in October. Wykham is still a Maiden but has shown good form in his runs last season. Second Time Around the winner of a National Hunt Flat race for Alan King is of interest from Joan Johnston’s yard. Smoking Pigeon is on the upgrade and won his last outing in 2020 for Dibby Brown. Staithes who won a Irish point to point ran twice for Nicky Henderson’s yard but showed little for him.

The ROR and Jockey Club Veteran’s race gives older horses a chance to be more competitive than taking on Open horses.  With a large entry of 46, it has been divided.

In the first division Sally Alner has Apples Queen, a former course winner while the Tom Malone trained Art Mauresque may come here instead of the Men’s Open. Banco des logos, a dual winner in 2019 now left Dean Summersby and joined Kate Gowing.  Mary Tory’s Imogens Thunder just held on in a tight finish at Milborne St Andrew in February while Knockan Run won a restricted in 2019 at Ston Easton.  Network Rouge won his last two races when last seen in 2019 for Chloe Boxall. If fully wound up, he would be of interest. The admirable River Myth needed her first run of the season last year and has had a pipe opener at Maisemore.  She added five victories to her score and lowered the colours of the tough Navanman.  She could be hard to beat. Storm Lantern always gives his running her but could go to Barbury.  Alan Hill has his horses in good form and has several but his best chance could be The Gunner Brady who comfortably won at Higham when last seen. He also has the former Colin Tizzard inmate Bramble Brook.  Viens Chercher was rated 125 under rules and this half- brother to L’Ami Serge would appeal if rejuvenated. Richard Mitchell’s Milberry has a win to his name here and showed up well for a long way at Maisemore before pulling up.  

The second division is equally competitive.  Azure Fly took a Novice rider at Cocklebarrow in January and was then 2nd to Captain Bucks over 2n4f here in March. Big Casino took at Conditions race at Maisemore in October before unseating at Chaddesley Corbett.  Course winner Chase me won a similar event at Chaddesley Corbett last week while dual winner How About it has left Alex Dunn and is now with Rebecca Welch. No Limitations comes here off the back of a good run when he was third under Bradley Gibbs at Maisemore and should be on the short list if he comes here instead of Barbury.  Will Biddick has former top class chaser, Unionste entered but he was well beaten when last seen at Buckfastleigh. Vivaldi Collonges was impressive here in March and should also be noted.  Always Lion was a three time winner under rules for Iain Jardine and is now with James King.  The ex Dan Skelton Ange des Maberaux was a multiple winner under rules and is now with Francesca Nimmo; he could figure. The yard also has ten time winner Summer Sounds.  Heist makes his British debut for Max Comley but won 5 times under rules in Ireland.

The opener is the Young horse Maiden and has several from the Nimmo yard including Adjournment who ran a very promising race when second here in March while Tom Lacey’s youngsters are always of interest and his well bred Scipion could give the Adjournment something to think about.  Trooper Jones put in a good run at Chaddesley Corbett in February and should improve while Emma Yardley has the well-bred Wudyastopasking. 

There are 18 entered in the finale for older maidens.  Teresa Clark has Jasmin des Bordes and this ex NH horse could be a decent addition to her yard.  The Waley-Cohen yard has Maitree Express entered and he looked to have every chance last time at Kimble before a mistake at the last.  He could make amends.  Alan Hill has entered Some Boy McCoy and he was unlucky to bump into the potentially useful Grey Getaway at Ottery in October.  He too should go on the short list.


11:00 1. FAMOUS CLERMONT (FR) W. Biddick 9-4 2. SCIPION (IRE) Tommie O'Brien 4-6F 3. TROOPER JONES (GB) Alex Edwards 9-2 (10 ran).

11:35 1. MISS SEAGREEN (GB) Miss Hannah Lewis 6-1 2. SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (IRE) Miss L. Bradstock 2-1J 3. CAPTAIN BUCK'S (FR) Miss Charlotte Summersby 6-1 (10 ran).

12:10 1. SALVATORE (GB) Alex Edwards Evens 2. CONINGSBY (GB) W. Biddick 12-1 3. TRIO FOR RIO (IRE) Tommie O'Brien 12-1 (13 ran).

12:45 1. SECOND TIME AROUND (GB) W. Thirlby 5-1 2. GREY GETAWAY (IRE) M. Hampton 5-4F 3. MONTARLOT (FR) F. Summers 25-1 (11 ran).

1:20 1. HAPPY LARRY (IRE) James Turner 14-1 2. CASHMOLL (IRE) Z. Baker 14-1 3. THECHASEISON (IRE) W. Biddick 7-4F (12 ran).

1:55 1. APPLE'S QUEEN (FR) Miss N. Parker 14-1 2. TROJAN STAR (IRE) S. Lee 12-1 3. EMERALD CHIEFTAN (IRE) G. Sankey 25-1 (17 ran).

2:30 1. NO LIMITATIONS (IRE) B. Gibbs 3-1J 2. MINIM MOUSE (GB) Miss C. Emsley 16-1 3. ALWAYS LION (IRE) James King 9-2 (14 ran).

3:05 1. MAITREE EXPRESS (GB) S. Waley-Cohen Evens 2. JASMIN DES BORDES (FR) W. Biddick 3-1 3. COTTON ROCK (IRE) P. C. F. Barlow 20-1 (15 ran).

Pony Results



The sun shone at Larkhill at Saturday as the first steps to a return to crowds being allowed to attend a point to point took place. Although the meeting was held under strict Covid restrictions with two specific zones for officials and participants in one and owners and the public in the other zone it was certainly nearer to a more normal day’s racing. There were in the region of 200 members of the public paying to watch the racing on a glorious winter day. The racing was of a high standard with the two winners of the Opens both being progressive seven years old with a definite future ahead of them. In addition there were first training winners of the season for local trainers Chris Barber and Sally Alner and a first riding success for James Turner and a first Larkhill riding victory for Will Thirlby.

The Ladies Open race was a good quality race and with Southfield Theatre running his usual brave race from the front for his pilot Lily Bradstock it was a true test with only the mare Miss Seagreen partnered by Hannah Lewis being able to master the game twelve year old. Miss Seagreen, owned by Clive Bennett who was not able to be present, had previously recorded two wins at the track before but this was her first attempt in Open company. Now trained by Lucy Smith at Dymock in Gloucestershire and recording her first training victory she explained that Sam Jukes who trained the mare last season was trying to obtain a professional licence so the horses had been split between them and Sam trained Marcle Ridge to win for Clive and Hannah at Barbury on Sunday. Lucy, the daughter of the late Terry Biddlecombe, is steeped in racing history and has been friends with Sam for over 20 years. Describing Miss Seagreen as ‘an incredible game mare’ Lucy is looking forward to more successes with her.

Salvatore from the in- form Melanie Rowley stable in Shropshire jumped to the front at the second last in the Mens Open and maintained the lead under Alex Edwards to hold off Coningsby ridden by Will Biddick and Trio for Rio ridden by Tommie O’Brien. Another previous winner at Larkhill in 2019 this son of Schiaparelli continues to progress and was recording his tenth career victory from only fifteen starts. Alex reported that ‘he has strengthened up in the summer and is still improving’ but indicated that a tilt at this seasons Foxhunters would be too soon for him. He should be able to continue to rise through the ranks and taking into Hunter Chases will certainly be on the agenda for this likeable gelding.

Will Biddick had started the meeting giving a masterful ride to the five year old Famous Clermont trained by Chris Barber in the young Maiden race. Settling the gelding at the rear of the ten strong field Will timed his challenge perfectly to beat the favourite Scipion ridden by Tommie O’Brien. Bought by Ed Bailey at the Doncaster Sales in August 2019 he had two races last season but was too free in both of these including when capsizing at the last when clear in January. Chris was quick to give a lot of the credit to Jamie Thomas, the former point to point rider, who now works for Chris and has spent a lot of his time settling the five year gelding who should continue to progress this season.

The Restricted race was run in two divisions with the first division being won by the ex -Alan King trained Second Time Around ridden by Will Thirlby. The winner of a Bumper for the Barbury Castle trainer he had not raced since March 2019 so this was a good training performance by Joan Johnston to have her charge ready first time out. He held off the challenge of the favourite Grey Getaway by 2 lengths with Montarlot a further four lengths back in third. Will , recording his first winner at Larkhill, explained this was a chance ride as Joan’s normal jockey James Martin was riding at Cheltenham and he had sat on the Midnight Legend gelding only  once before at a schooling session last Tuesday.

The second division which was run in a time some 10 seconds quicker than the first division saw James Turner ride his first ever winner aboard Happy Larry for Michael Kehoe. James, 18, works for National Hunt trainer Stuart Edmunds at Newport Pagnell where Michael Kehoe has a horse in training called Maskada which James looks after. His proud parents were in attendance and his father Mark advised that James had been keen to ride from an early age and had watched Richard Johnson as a role model. He had come through the pony racing ranks and had recorded a success in that sphere. He gave the six year old Stowaway gelding a very positive ride from the front plotting a slightly wider course in the search of better ground. Although his rivals tried to tackle him from some way from home he had saved enough to deny the late challenge of Zac Baker on Cashmoll and Will Biddick on Thechaseison.

Apple’s Queen was one of the easiest winners of the day in the First Division of the Veteran race. A number of his sixteen rivals failed to finish but there was no fluke about the grey gelding’s success. Ridden by Natalie Parker who was riding him for the first time and recording her first win for trainer Sally Alner she excitedly said ‘ That was so much fun and he jumped brilliantly for me ‘. Natalie who is pupil assistant to Paul Nicholls is likely to be aboard most of Sally’s horses this season. Apple’s Queen who is owned in partnership by Nicky Turner, Kevin Lloyd and Percy and Annie Tory who were all present, is a particular lover of custard cream biscuits and both Sally and Lil who looks after him have to keep supplying his favourite snack and maintain his fitness at the same time.

The closest finish of the day came in the Second Division of the Veteran Race when No Limitations ridden by Bradley Gibbs just held off the fast finishing Minim Mouse ridden by Chloe Emsley. The winner is now trained by Emma Yardley following the decision by Ryan Potter to take out a full training license. The winner of two point to points for Ryan this was an improved performance and followed up on his close third at Maisemore in October to the progressive Organised Solution.


The final race, the 6 year old and over Maiden over 2 and a half miles, was won in good style by the Robert Waley-Cohen owned, trained and bred six year old Maitree Express. Possibly unlucky at Kimble when making a bad mistake at the last fence there was no mistake this time and Sam Waley-Cohen was able to coast home from Jasmin des Bordes ridden by Will Biddick quite easily. Explaining his name (it is an Indian Express train) Robert said that his dam Shatabdi is named after another Indian train so he thought he would continue with the tradition. The dam won three races in England including a Grade 2 Hurdle at Kempton and a Hurdle at Plumpton and a Chase at Huntingdon and has already bred a couple of useful performers. This may be one to follow this season.