The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Portman
Date: 7/11/2021
Pony Racing: No
Course: Badbury Rings
First Race: 12.00
Extra Info

Secretary: Mrs Susie Old

Address:  Bellyns Stables, Ibberton, Blandford, Dorset DT11 0EN

T:  01258 817101

M:  07967 589543

E:  aandsold@gmail.com 

Receiver of Entries:   The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk 

Entries Close:  Monday 1st November 2020, 12.30 pm

Races:  Restricted - Conditions (L2) (Nov Riders) - 4 & 5 year old Maiden (2m4f) – Mixed Open - Open Maiden (NWFAA) – Conditions (L3).

 

First race 12.00

Preview

Badbury Rings near Wimborne welcomes the return of point to point racing for the Wessex area for the new season. A new venture for the Portman having traditionally always raced on an early date in April they have been rewarded with a competitive six race card with a total of 68 entries. The course is in great condition not having been raced on for over 18 months and the Clerk of the Course is able to report the going as good, good to soft in places. As well as the horse racing there will be family dog racing from 10.30 onwards with the first horse race scheduled for 12.00 noon. There will be many trade stands to enjoy of which many will be situated in a large marquee. Entrance at the cost of £10 per head can be made by e-ticket by going to www.pointingwessex.co.uk or by cash or card at the course on the day.

The feature race, the Mixed Open, is headed by the prolific grey gelding Apple’s Queen trained by Sally Alner and likely to be ridden by Natalie Parker. The winner of both of his point to point races last season including a win at Larkhill he may be the one to beat. The mare Where’s Wilma was a revelation last season winning three of her four races for her trainer Michael Watson and her usual rider Matt Hampton but this is a rise in class for her. Sky Marshal represents trainer Nicky Sheppard and rider Milo Herbert and this ex Irish chaser was last seen being runner up in a chase at KIlbeggan. The veteran Buckhorn Timothy has won five Hurdles in his career but fell on his only appearance last season at Cothelstone. Le Ligerien owned by David Churches and trained by Marie McGuiness won three hurdles when trained by Philip Hobbs and is an interesting return back to pointing. Static Jack won at Cherrybrook for Michael Treneer and comes into the mix along the mare TB Broke her who returns to pointing for owner/trainer Will Gaskins.

The Novice Riders race which is the second race on the card also contains   entries for Buckhorn Timothy, Static Jack and TB Broke Her and this may be their chosen option. Captain Buck’s a prolific winner for John Gane and Paul Nicholls when trained by Sam and Rose Loxton is now in the ownership of Jenny Gordon and is trained by Fran Nimmo. He is scheduled to give 16 year old Freddie Gordon, the son of trainer Chris Gordon, his point to point debut and this would be a fairytale start for him. Copain de Classe trained by Sam Loxton is another ex-Paul Nicholls inmate and he may give Keegan Kirkby a good ride. Tom Barton is a regular fixture at Badbury Rings and hopefully his four lady owners will be present to support him and his rider Charlie Sprake. Twig won two races for his rider Beau Morgan last season but this is a rise in class.

The Conditions race is to be run in the memory of the late Richard Miller who died in the summer. Twice leading National male point to point rider there was no one better than Richard when riding around Badbury Rings. Subsequently a much-respected steward he was the Master of the Portman and it is highly fitting that a race is run in his memory. This has attracted the biggest entry of the meeting with 15 horses entered. Where’s Wilma holds an entry for this race as well as Copain de Classe and if the mare opts for this race, she may be hard to beat. Trainwreck boasts strong Irish form when trained by Henry de Bromhead for Gigginstown and comes into the reckoning. Hadmeathello represents the combination of trainer Stuart Payne and rider Chloe Emsley and on his best form would have a chance. Llancillo Lord previously trained by Ryan Potter is now with Megan Bevan who rode her first winner at Bratton Down last season. Immy Robinson had 2 wins aboard Ryans Fancy and is another to consider.

The meeting begins with a 2 and a half Maiden race for which 12 horses are entered. Captain Westie the likely mount of Will Biddick was the runner up in a Bumper at Thurles last January and is now in the care of Tom Malone. Tom has also entered the mare Queens Lane 4th in an Irish Maiden point to point in March 2020. The majority of the entries will be making their racecourse debuts so particular attention should be given to Hey Soul Sister from Chris Barber’s stable and Hillbilly Filly from Ed Walker’s yard. Francesca Nimmo has entered the once raced China Hill who should improve from his debut. Tom Malone’s choice of entries is the selection. 

The Restricted race also contains an entry for the unraced Hey Soul Sister and if this race is chosen it will be fascinating to see how he gets on. Of the other potential rivals Winter Holiday won on her debut last season for Richard and Charlotte Fuller and would be respected. Schiap Hill from Hannah Clarke’s stable is another to consider as is Multifactorial a winner of a bumper in Ireland for Gordon Elliott and now with Fran Nimmo. 

The meeting concludes with a Maiden over three miles where there are no weight advantages whatever the age of the horse. Several of the entries also hold entries in the opening Maiden race but of those that have raced Truckers Pass owned by Tom Malone boasts the best form. Placed three times for Brocade Racing when trained by Philip Hobbs he was also second in an Irish point to point. He may be too good for his rivals. Safe Harbour was the runner up in a Maiden at Cothelstone last season and Jimmy Tew has been placed several times. Luck’s Boy was third when last seen but that was March 2019 and he may need the race. Dock of the Bay was second in a Hurdle when trained by David Pipe and is another who enters calculations. Festin d’Un Soir placed 3rd in a Flete Park Maiden for Tom Ellis is now with Tracy Williams and may hold each way chances.

 First Race 12 noon. Badbury Rings is 4miles NW of Wimborne on B3082 Postcode DT11 9JL

Entry Costs £10 per person by Cash or card on the gate or by e-ticket at www.pointingwessex.co.uk

 

Results

N/A

Pony Results

N/A

Report

A bright sunny day with a strong breeze heralded the start of the Wessex Point to Point season when the Portman held their meeting at Badbury Rings. A large crowd gathered to enjoy the six competitive races on going described by many riders as being perfect on the popular Dorset course. The experiment of moving from their traditional April date paid off with the weather playing its part to ensure that racegoers could enjoy the spectacle of live racing without many of the restrictions that were faced last season. On the course there was an unusual double for Matt Hampton, a welcome winner for trainer Marie McGuinness and a promising introduction to racing of a 4 year old filly ridden by Will Biddick and trained by Chris Barber.

The feature race, the Savills sponsored Mixed Open, saw a competitive field of seven horses face the starter. The prolific grey Apple’s Queen was strongly fancied to win another race for trainer Sally Alner and rider Natalie Parker but he faded over the final four fences. Sky Marshal ridden by Milo Herbert boasted good form from Ireland but he proved no match for Le Ligerien ridden by Tommie O’Brien and owned by David Churches. A three time winner over Hurdles when trained by Philip Hobbs he was transferred back to the care of Marie McGuinness where he started his racing career at Badbury Rings in April 2018. Now trained by Marie at her new base at Pontispool near Taunton David advised that the gelding had had a wind operation in the summer which seemed to have helped. Tommie took his time to get into the race but with a following wind down the home straight he drew away from his rivals to record a five lengths victory. There should be more to come from the gelding on the evidence of this performance.

Matt’s double began when Beau Morgan steered Twig to a one and half-length victory over course specialist Tom Barton ridden by Charlie Sprake in the Domvs Estate Agents sponsored Novice Riders Race. Trained by Matt at his base at Peasedown St John near Bath the six year gelding gave Beau his first two career winners last season and on this evidence the progressive Sulamani gelding will be one to follow this season. Beau who is 16 has now left school and is working at the National Hunt yard of Ben Pauling as his stable amateur where his brother Luca is the conditional jockey. This was only his sixth ever ride and Matt was full of praise of Beau and said that ‘this gives him such a buzz to see young riders like Beau start their careers in such a promising way’

Matt then resumed his usual role as a jockey when partnering Where’s Wilma to win the Richard Miller Memorial Conditions race. Held up off the pace the mare stayed on strongly to beat Exxaro ridden by Connor Houlihan by a length and a half. Now aged 11 the mare has improved out of all recognition since being partnered with Matt and this was their fifth victory together. Owned and trained by Michael and Sheila Watson and the Not So Innocent Partnership the mare is only one of two horses trained by them near Tiverton. Formerly living at Henstridge on the Dorset/Somerset border there were many old acquaintances of the Watsons who were delighted to see them record the victory at the course. 

The day began with the two and a half mile Maiden race sponsored by Trethowans. The outsider of the field of five was the five year old mare Southfield Lily ridden by Lily Bradstock and trained by her mother Sara. Despite refusing to race on her last outing under Rules at Newton Abbot this time Lily took her mount to the front at an early stage and despite the effort of Will Biddick aboard the newcomer Monty Searle the combination of the two Lily’s was not to be beaten. Her enthusiastic owner Angela Yeoman expressed her surprise and delight in welcoming her home bred mare into the winner’s enclosure. Explaining the improvement in her form Sara said that Lily had taken her team chasing with the Heythrop and this had improved her confidence. Lily said that some of her jumping reminded her of the front running Southfield Theatre aboard whom Lily has enjoyed much success. 

Will Biddick and Chris Barber combined with the unraced four year old filly Hey Soul Sister in the Symonds and Sampson sponsored Restricted race. It was a bold move to run the newcomer against much more experienced rivals but despite a few novicey jumps the weight difference of a stone proved too much for her principal rival Schiap Hill ridden by Charlie Marshall and showing a good turn of foot jumping the last she drew away to win by a comfortable three lengths. Bought by Stephen Kemble at Arqana as a two year old and the full sister to Fifrelet already a three time winner under Rules for Ian Williams she is next likely to be seen at the sales at Cheltenham later this week.

The concluding race, the Aspectus Group sponsored Maiden, provided the closest finish of the day with Dock of the Bay ridden by Martin McIntyre just getting up to deny Jimmy Tew ridden by Darren Edwards by a head. Previously trained on the flat by Mick Channon and then over Hurdles by David Pipe the winner is now in the care of Leslie Jefford and runs for the Otis Partnership headed by Stewart Bradley from Feniton. Bought to replace the late Ryves Rocky who they lost at Wadebridge last season he wears a hood to keep him calm but credit was given to Leslie’s wife Lisa and groom Hannah for the work they have put in with the gelding to improve his confidence.