Secretary: Mrs Caroline Hinks
Address: Lower Nyland Farm Gillingham Dorset SP8 5SG
Contact Details Tel: 01963 370260 Mob: 07977 547042
Entries Secretary: As above
Entries to: The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd (www.pointtopointentries.co.uk )
Entries close: Monday 28th February 2022 12.30pm
Races: Hunt Members, 4 & 5yrs Maiden (2m4f), Restricted, Mixed Open, Conditions Race (Level 2), Maiden (NWFAA)
First Race: 1.00 pm
A big screen near to the paddock shows all the action.
Pony Racing to take place before the first point to point race
After an absence of two years racegoers will be able to enjoy a return to Charlton Horethorne where the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hold their point-to-point. Always a very popular and competitive meeting this year’s renewal looks to be one not to miss with six races scheduled. Prior to the first race at 1.00pm there will be two pony races at 12.00 and 12.25 which are the first Wessex pony races of the season. During the afternoon after the Hunt race there will be a parade of the Hounds and Ryan Bliss will discuss in the paddock the stables’ hopes with leading National Hunt trainers Colin Tizzard and Paul Nicholls as a prelude to the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival. The Clerk of the Course Joe Tizzard has reported that the course is in excellent condition and with some rain forecast this week he expects that the going will be good to soft on raceday. There will be a big screen to watch the action and plenty of trade stands including hot and cold food and a licensed bar plus bookmakers. Tickets available at an early bird price of £10 per person or £12.50 on the gate – please see Pointing Wessex website for more information – www.pointingwessex.co.uk
The feature race, the INEOS Grenadier Mixed Open with a total prize money of £1000, looks likely to be a high-class affair. Famous Clermont has swerved an engagement at Badbury Rings and this highly progressive seven-year-old may be good enough to record his first Open success. Paul Nicholls has entered three possible rides for his daughter Olive to ride with Rhythm is a Dancer the best of these following his second behind Maitree Express in the Coronation Gold Cup at Larkhill. Colin Tizzard has entered both Rose of Arcadia an easy winner at Badbury Rings and Lillington a former useful handicap chaser for his grandson Freddie Gingell. Rose of Arcadia holds an entry in the Hunt race so may rely on Lillington in this race. Silsol has been placed in two Ladies Open races this season and on his best form would come into consideration. Famous Clermont is the selection.
The Hunt race sponsored by Longman Cheese Sales contains entries for Rose of Arcadia, Silsol, Virak, Rhythm is a Dancer and Caid Du Berlais who all hold entries in the Mixed Open. Caid Du Berlais proved he was no back number when winning for Natalie Parker at Badbury Rings and he may be the one to give Rose of Arcadia the most to do. Monsieur Gibraltar only ran at Larkhill last weekend so this race may come too soon. Hotel du Nord was placed in a Hunter Chase at Leicester last month and if he were to triumph this would be a popular victory for the Sprake family.
The Conditions race for riders who have not ridden more than 15 winners sponsored by the Bishop family has attracted an entry of thirteen horses and Molineaux may be the answer. Already the winner of two races this season he found the progressive Twig too good at Badbury Rings but should return to winning ways here. Monsieur Gibraltar and Old Guard are potential rides for Olive Nicholls but a greater danger might be The Big Sting who was narrowly beaten at Badbury Rings. Majestic Touch won 2 Hurdle races for Philip Hobbs and could be an interesting recruit to pointing for Ben Sutton. Golden Poet has been running well for Alice Procter but may find some of these difficult to beat.
The meeting opens with the Tattersalls Cheltenham Maiden race over 2 and a half miles. Between You and Me was third at Badbury and brings the best racecourse form of the 10 entries. However, this race may well be won by one of the newcomers with the powerful stables of Fran Poste represented by her choice of Mount Nonete or Salt Rock, Chris Barber with Inebranlable and Ed Walker with G A Henty owned by Mr and Mrs Richard Kelvin-Hughes.
The second Maiden sponsored by Manor Farm Partnership may provide Nowo with a winning opportunity. The runner up to Victory Club at Badbury Rings this ex French gelding is clearly on the upgrade and can break his Maiden status . Knockmoylan brings form from Ireland and could be in the mix but has not run this season. Roc the Boat was fourth at Chipley and should progress from that run. Party Town did not show much on debut at Milborne but it would be no surprise if an improved performance was seen here. Gunner Vic was second at Milborne but was only fifth on his last appearance at Badbury.
The meeting concludes with the Church House Investments Restricted race. Cuzziconbe and Nuova Vita represent Ed Walker’s stable and his chosen runner could be the answer. Both have won their Maiden races this season at Badbury and Larkhill respectively and both are on the upgrade. Southfield Megan won at Chipley after being given a great ride by Will Biddick and a case can be made for this mare to follow up. Whatya On About won at Cocklebarrow and is another to consider. Rose Iland won for the late Jason Warner last season but is yet to run in the current one.
First Race 1.00pm with pony racing at 12.00pm Charlton Horethorne off B3145 3 miles NE of Sherborne Postcode DT9 4LJ.
It was a raw and cold but bright day on the Somerset/Dorset border when racing resumed at Charlton Horethorne after a two year absence for the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale point to point. It was a good day for three riders namely Will Biddick, James King and Freddie Gingell who all rode doubles and for trainers Colin Tizzard and Chris Barber who both trained two winners apiece. Most riders reported that the going was quite testing and several horses did not act on that surface.
The feature race, the Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open race, was the closest finish of the day with Famous Clermont ridden by Will Biddick holding off the late effort of Virak ridden by Olive Nicholls by an official half a length. Normally held up for most of his race Will decided on this occasion that the pace was too slow and took up the running at the fourteenth fence. This quickly got his rivals into trouble and he looked in command as they came into the home straight. However Virak is a doughty stayer and Olive Nicholls sensed a chance as the leader started to falter but the post came in time to the relief of the owners the Famous Partnership and trainer Chris Barber. The progressive winner whose first Open success this was is still on target for the Cheltenham Intermediate Final in May but before then Chris hopes to take in a Hunter Chase possibly at Exeter or more likely at Wincanton on 10th April.
This completed a riding double for Will Biddick and a training double for Chris Barber as they had been successful in the previous race the Manor Farm Partnership Maiden with Knockmoylan. Ridden quietly by Will with the horse wearing a hood he gradually made up ground going down the back and despite in his rider’s words ‘hating the ground’ prevailed from Gunner Vic ridden by Heidi Stevens and Liberty Rock ridden by Darren Edwards. Owned by a new partnership for Chris called the Bay Muzzy Rollers Club they are headed by Abi Rousell and friends Joe and Michelle Djeebet who all live in Misterton near Crewkerne. Chris explained that he had acquired him from Ellmarie Holden’s stable in Ireland where he had shown some forms in Bumpers but he had not been easy and was quick to give credit to his assistant Harry Ryall for all of the hard work he has done with the gelding who should certainly appreciate a better surface on his next outing.
Colin Tizzard and his grandson Freddie Gingell teamed up aboard the classy mare Rose of Arcadia to win the Longman Cheese Sales Hunt race. Previously owned by the Cheveley Park Stud her interest in racing is being rekindled by running in point to points and Freddie gets on well with her. She had too much speed for Silsol who is no slouch but could not get in a blow. It is likely that a return to National Hunt racing may be on the cards but Freddie will be hoping that she has a few more races pointing before this happens.
The combination secured their respective doubles when Molineaux comfortably beat Old Guard and Hotel du Nord in the Conditions race. Despite making an error at the fourth last fence the partnership was soon back on an even keel and drew away from Old Guard ridden by Olive Nicholls. Colin described the Kings Theatre gelding as ‘a lovely schoolmaster’ and he has formed a real partnership with Freddie. Subject to how he comes out of the race he may next be seen in the Quantock Hunt race at Cothelstone on Saturday.
James King began the meeting by winning the Tattersalls Cheltenham Four and Five year Olds Maiden race aboard Salt Rock. One of three unraced four year olds in the race James and Will Biddick aboard Inebranlable had a battle down the back straight until Salt Rock started to power away to victory and had fifteen lengths to spare over that rival at the winning post. Beaming with delight after the success Fran Poste explained that he had been showing a lot of promise at home and had now turned this into a real performance on the racecourse. Bought by Fran and her husband Charlie at the Goffs Spring Stores Sale last year he is potentially next likely to be seen at the Tattersalls sales at Cheltenham after racing during the Festival. The performance was even more credit worthy when it was revealed that he had lost a front shoe during the race.
James concluded the meeting by comprehensively winning the Church House Investments Restricted race riding the mare Rose Iland owned by Marita Warner-King. After nearest rival Four Plus had fallen at the third last she only had to coast home to beat Norse Castle ridden by Vinnie Webster. This was a particularly poignant victory as the mare ran in the colours of the late Jason Warner who died last autumn and this was the first victory for the colours since he died. Sadly neither of his daughters Marita nor Rhonda could be present but Jason’s partner Sue King was able to watch the victory for the mare trained by Luke Price. Sue indicated that they were planning to carry on with everything Jason was doing including running the horses and keeping the farm going. Sue did add that she was grateful for the all the help that Geoff Barfoot-Saunt has given to her.