Secretary: Mrs Katy Davis
Address: Honeysuckle House Lower Fifehead Dairy Sturminster Newton Dorset DT10 2AP
Contact Details Tel: 01258 817151 Mob: 07899 871623
Entries Secretary: Mrs Kate Sutherland
Address: Hill Dairy Piddlehinton Dorset DT2 7TG
Contact Details: Mob: 07971 589333
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 24th January 2022 12.30pm
Races: Hunt (South Dorset & Wilton), 4,5 &6yrs Open Maiden (2m 4f), Ladies Open, Mens Open, Oriental Club Owner-Trainer Conditions (Level 3), Maiden 7yrs+, CA/PPORA Members Conditions (Level 2)
First Race: 12.15pm
South Dorset preview
The first of two scheduled meetings at the popular Milborne St Andrew course takes place this coming Sunday when the South Dorset hold their meeting. With the current going reported as good the Hunt have been rewarded with an excellent entry of 113 horses for their 7 races. The highlights of the meeting are the two Open races and one of the series of Owner/Trainer races sponsored by the Oriental Club. There will be the usual attractions to enjoy as well as the horse racing with lots of trade stands to browse, food outlets and bookmakers to have a flutter. The first race is scheduled for 12.15pm.
The Men’s Open race contains an entry from the Cheltenham Foxhunters winner Porlock Bay who has already had his seasonal debut when just beaten by Premier Magic at Chaddesley Corbett in December in a very competitive race. Premier Magic could re-oppose and if so this would be a race to savour. Potential other rivals include Chameron the winner for Ben Sutton at Buckfastleigh on very testing ground, Molineaux who won at the same meeting for Freddie Gingell but he holds an entry in another race which might be the preferred option, Gran Paradiso an impressive winner at Charing but disappointed at Larkhill and the game mare Fishy Story who always runs well at MIlborne. Two interesting recruits to pointing are the ex-French trained Epi Sacre who has won 5 races in his native country and Sir Sholokhov who has won two chases for Harry Whittington when owned by Isaac Souede and Simon Munir. If Porlock Bay runs he could be too good for his rivals.
The Ladies Open contains two entries from Alan Hill’s stable namely Back Bar and the enigmatic Hawkhurst. His choice of runner looks likely to start as favourite but Master Dancer a winner for Lauren Reed at Larkhill when dead heating with Southfield Theatre may prove to be the main threat. Tom Barton won a Ladies at Larkhill but was then fourth behind Master Dancer. Oistrakh Le Noir won a competitive Conditions race at Ffos Las but disappointed at Chaddesley Corbett. Hawkhurst has to be produced at the last moment but Izzie Marshall knows him well and he is the selection if Back Bar does not run.
The Oriental Club Owner Trainer Conditions race has attracted 16 entries and the consistent Waterloo Boy might be the answer in an open looking race. The winner of five point to point races to date he is a model of consistency and should run well on his seasonal debut. Country Legend is a tough mare and if she is ready for her seasonal debut, she is likely to be in the shake -up. Both Blairs Cove and Crown of Thorns bring winning form from last season and it will be good to see the colours of the late Jason Warner in evidence if Blairs Cove runs. Milanisi Boy did not enjoy the heavy going at Buckfastleigh and may prefer the better ground at Milborne.
The Countryside Alliance and PPORA Club Members race for 8-year-olds and upwards has attracted a good entry of 22 horses. This is the race where Molineaux holds a second entry and a repeat of his run at Buckfastleigh may be good enough. Voie Dans Voie won an Intermediate at Wadebridge when ridden by Will Biddick and is on the upgrade. Beau du Brizais is another possible ride for Will who aims to follow up on his victory at Barbury Castle. Hadmeathello won well on his seasonal debut last season for Chloe Emsley. Fishy Story also holds an entry in this race and if declared she must come into the reckoning. Blackwater Bramble ran well on his seasonal debut and another to consider is Ahead of the Game the winner of two races last season for the late Jason Warner.
The Hunt race which is open to horses from both of the South Dorset and the Wilton has received an entry of 10 horses. Mary Tory has a good record in this race and Imogens Thunder is sure to have come on for his race at Larkhill in December. Dawn Sunrise was third in a Mixed Open at Larkhill and brings the best current form to the race. Elusive Intentions won a Maiden at Upcott Cross last season and this race has been the plan by his trainer Charlotte Brown. Both Schiap Hill and Shanoule Wood from Hannah Clarke’s yard have been placed this season and have each way chances as does Annabelle Bacon’s Tomb Storme a winner at Chaddesley Corbett in May.
The meeting is completed by two Maiden races. The short Maiden over 2 and a half miles has an entry of 20 and with a safety factor of 14 this could be divided on the day. Spanish Jump owned by Luke Harvey was second on his point-to-point debut at Charing and this ex Jonjo O’Neill hurdler could go one better. Monty Searle was second at Badbury in November but pulled up at Larkhill subsequently but this better ground may suit him. Both Whatwillmothersay and Whitsand Bay have place form in Bumpers this season and if taking to the fences they may be involved in the finish. Charlie and Fran Poste have entered two beginners namely Party Town and Top Wood Bareliere and they should be noted in the paddock. The ex-French trained Nowo and the ex-Irish trained Clondaw Precedent add interest to the race which will probably produce a number of winners throughout the season.
The older Maiden race has 22 entries and a repeat of his run at Barbury by Right Hand of God would be good enough but he made no show in his subsequent run at Larkhill. Oscara finished a remote third on his seasonal debut at Larkhill and is entitled to have come on for that race. Festin d’Un Soir was unlucky at Knightwick but did not enjoy the testing ground at Buckfastleigh. Kilpin has been placed under Rules for Nigel Twiston- Davies and could make the frame as well as Tristan de Gane who should improve on his seasonal debut at Buckfastleigh. Jimmy Tew who has been placed twice already this season may find one too good again. Rufio a placed Hurdler for Harry Fry is now in the capable hands of Peter Mason and is an each way choice.
Milborne St Andrew racecourse is to be found off A354 between Dorchester and Blandford Postcode DT11 0JX .First race 12.15pm. Cost of entry is £12.50 per person online at Southdorsetraces.co.uk or Weatherbys or £15 per person on the day.
A very bright sunny winter day greeted racegoers at MIlborne St Andrew where the South Dorset held their annual point to point. As a result there was a large attendance enjoying the excellent racing on going described by most riders as good. The sport seems to be good heart at present with the first four races won by owner/trainers and the two Open races were won by horses at different stages of their careers. Leading riders Will Biddick, Bradley Gibbs, James King, Natalie Parker and Izzie Marshall all rode a winner apiece.
Natalie enjoyed a tremendous ride on the evergreen Tom Barton in the Ladies race. Despite now reaching the age of twelve years old his trainer Sally Alner maintains that he is getting better with age and this was his best performance of the current season. He had a real battle with main market rival Back Bar ridden by Izzie Marshall but held on well at the finish. Natalie had dropped her whip five fences from home on his last run at Larkhill but this time there was no repeat and he responded to her encouragement after the last. Naturally delighted with her success Natalie said ‘I have ridden him on and off over the last four years but it is only this season that I am getting him into the winner’s enclosure’. His sporting lady owners led by Annie Tory enjoyed their success at one of their local courses.
The absence of Cheltenham winner Porlock Bay from the Mens Open race allowed Premier Magic to enjoy a very commanding performance when winning by twenty lengths. Sitting behind the leaders for most of the race Bradley took it up after the final ditch and drew right away from his six rivals. Bradley has two very exciting prospects on his hands with the mare Highway Jewel the winner at Chipley Park last week and this gelding but at this stage no definite plans for Cheltenham have been made. Claire Sheriff, Bradley’s fiancée revealed that she had been doing most of the work on the gelding owned by her father Julian but as she is now four and a half months pregnant Bradley has taken over the work on the gelding. Paying only his second ever visit to Milborne this was Bradley’s first winner having been beaten on the same horse in a Restricted race behind Fleur du Pommier two years ago.
Luke Harvey, the well- known ITV racing personality, was the first of the owner/trainers to register a winner when his Spanish Jump made most the running to comfortably win the two-and-a-half-mile Maiden race under James King. Acquired from Andrew and Kate Brooks and previously trained by Jonjo O’Neill he had been a good second at Charing behind Castle Trump and despite a mistake at the last the victory was never in doubt. Giving credit to his fiancée Charlotte Best for doing most of the work with the gelding he revealed that they are due to get married in June. Luke who is a tremendous supporter of pointing enthused that ‘there is a fantastic atmosphere here and that they have done a great job in preparing the course’
Tacky MacGregor enjoyed a first point to point win for her nine-year-old Mahler gelding Dawn Sunrise in the Hunt race. One of three pointers that she trains at home near Dorchester he had been acquired as a five-year-old from Ireland but was very backward and had taken time to mature. After being placed in a couple of Maidens he had been transferred to the yard of Fiona Shaw where he won a chase at Stratford over a shorter trip. Returning to pointing he had finished a commendable third behind Igor at Larkhill and boasted the best form in this race. Setting off in front George Hiscock was never headed and had five lengths in hand from nearest rivals Schiap Hill and Elusive Intentions. Describing his partner’s jumping as ‘awesome’ George had a ride he will not forget in a hurry.
Eighteen horses faced the starter for the Open Maiden race and at the last fence the race was between Festin D’Un Soir ridden by Megan Bevan and Reflex Action ridden by Will Biddick. The former fell at that fence leaving Will to come home ahead of Gunner Vic and Ask The Lady. Owned by Paul Nicholas and his wife Lesley and trained by Paul on his farm at Combe Martin on Exmoor he has had both his horses he trains win within a week. Feu Des Malberaux won for him at Chipley and now this son of Sans Frontieres has also broken his Maiden status. Both were bought as 3-year-olds at the same sale in Ireland following the success of Tempestatefloresco in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter in 2017 when trained for Paul by Colin Tizzard. Explaining about the riding arrangements Paul advised that Darren Edwards normally rides for him but as he was claimed by Dean Summersby for Ask The Lady Darren had arranged for Will to step in for the ride.
The final Owner/Trainer to score was in the Oriental Club sponsored race for Owner/TraIners and this produced the closest finish of the day. Frances Bishop’s mare Country Legend ridden by her son Tom took up the running at about halfway and looked to have her eleven rivals struggling after two out. However, after jumping the last her stride shortened and Jack Veysey riding his evergreen The Dapper Fox started to close and was gaining rapidly at the line. To her credit, the mare clung on to record a head victory to the delight of her owner who does all the work with her tough mare. Tom did add that they had been using the facilities of Milton Harris to get the mare fit and this had clearly paid off.
The concluding race, the Conditions race for eight-year-olds and over, produced another close finish with the gallant mare Fishy Story ridden by Darren Andrews being caught on the line by Getting Closer ridden by Izzie Marshall. Trained by Alan Hill the winner is owned by a sporting group of friends headed by George Cranfield and there were rapturous scenes in the paddock when the result was announced. Bought cheaply the gelding is the model of consistency and this was his fifth career victory. Explaining the next likely outing for the eight-year-old Joe Hill, son of the trainer, indicated that this may be in a Novice Hunter Chase at Catterick on 9th March where Izzie can claim a full seven pounds allowance as she has only ridden two winners under Rules. Joe was full of praise for Izzie describing her as ‘a massive asset to their yard’ and a future potential Ladies Champion rider.