The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
Combined Services @ Larkhill
Date: 04/02/2024
Pony Racing: No
Course: Larkhill Racecourse
First Race: 12.45
Extra Info

Secretary:   Jonathan Brooking

Contact Details Tel: 07787 299662


Entries Secretary:   Jonathan Brooking

Address:   The Old Post House Great Elm Frome Somerset BA11 3NY

E Mail: 

M:               07787 299662

Entries to:  The Entries Secretary or The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd ( )

Entries close:   Monday 29th January 2024 12.30pm

Races:   Conditions (Novice Riders) Level 2,  Mixed Open (Coronation Gold Cup), Restricted, Ladies Conditions, Maiden Conditions (2m4f), Open Maiden

First Race:   12.45 am

ENTRY FEES  £50 per entry per race - NB. Online entry fees £50  2nd entry same horse £30


One of the most historic point to point races in the calendar , the Coronation Gold Cup Mixed Open takes place at Larkhill this coming Sunday and although no longer featuring divisions of the race in previous decades it is still a race that owners, trainers and riders want to win and this year is no exception. The course is in undamaged shape after last Saturday’s meeting and the bottom bend will be rolled before Sunday. Combined Services hosts the meeting and it will be another day of quality racing for everyone to enjoy with the usual trade stands, food stands and the bookmakers to support and hopefully have some winning bets.

The Coronation Gold Cup looks a very strong renewal with three horses with two wins to their names this season putting their reputations on the line. All are course winners this season with Grace A Vous Enki the impressive winner of both of his starts at the Wiltshire course the last being a defeat of Aintree Foxhunters winner Famous Clermont. Owned by Joan Hitchings and trained by Nicky Sheppard he has not been troubled in either of his races so far but this looks to be his biggest challenge. Viroflay has proved a real Larkhill specialist winning four races so far including this race last season for Olive Nicholls who now trains the gelding but she is recovering from a fall at the end of December and hopefully will be able to renew her partnership with him. The final unbeaten horse is Regatta de Blanc, already a three-time winner at the course and recently the victor of a Hunter Chase at Taunton. A highly progressive 6-year-old mare, this could be her toughest test to date but with the mares’ allowance this might make the difference. Time Leader won a Hunter Chase at Hereford on Monday so may miss this race whereas as both Espoir de Teillee and Marcle Ridge have yet to run this season these two high quality horses may need the race. Regatta de Blanc is narrowly preferred.

The meeting opens with a Conditions race for Novice Riders and A Jet of Our Own and Tara Storm first and second in a similar race at the course in December could reoppose and the race may be between them. Both have run since and were placed so remain in good form. For Rita was second behind Viroflay on seasonal debut and a repeat of that run would give him a chance. Tim Vaughan’s horses in these races should be noted and his representative Tight Call, the winner of four Hurdle races, should come on for his first run this season. Monkey Puzzle was a good third at Ampton on his seasonal debut and is another who has chances. 

The Restricted race features several among eleven strong entry who have already won this season with Horizon d’Ainay the winner of two races so far. Trained by Justin Brotherton he will carry a 5lb penalty having already won a Restricted but his confidence is high and should be on the brief list. Mary’s Fortune won easily at Great Trethew but fell on her next outing and will need to jump better if she is to triumph in this race. Our Brother John won a competitive Restricted at the course in December and a repeat of that performance may be good enough to win this race. Potters Magic ought to strip fitter following his seasonal debut and is another to consider. Both Burtown and Fine Investment won on their last outings but this is a stronger race and they may struggle to follow up. 

The Ladies Conditions race may be fought out between Diligent who has place form in Hunter Chases from last season and is already the winner of nine races under Rules and Solomon Grey who was also placed in Hunter Chases last season and comes from a stable who has already had a Hunter Chase winner this season. Diligent had a race at Taunton and should strip fitter for that outing and is chosen. The relatively unexposed Urban Grit is an interesting entry in this race and is certainly open to improvement and might be the principal danger to the two principals.

The meeting concludes with two Maiden races. The first of these over two and a half miles, is for horses who have run at least twice in their career. Chris Barber has two entries namely the ex-Irish All Star Boy placed in a Maiden last March and Beat The Poli who finished fourth in a December Maiden and his representative should be respected. Money from America has already been placed three times so would not be winning out of turn for the Herbert family. Tim Vaughan has entered Designer Destiny who is another who has already been placed this season. I Don’t Know, second at Cocklebarrow may be the one to give trainer Fred Hutsby his first winner this season.

The longer Maiden also includes the two Chris Barber horses mentioned above and Money From America and if this race is chosen for them they would come into the reckoning. Jean Genie from Tim Vaughan’s yard was second at Cocklebarrow and may go one better in this race. Furioso des Bordes was placed in Maidens last season and has changed hands and ran in a Ladies race on his last outing. The unraced Frontier La Beg for trainer Luke Price is one to note on his debut. 

Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QR. First race 12.45pm. Entry Costs on race day £15 per person by cash or card, children under 16 go free.


Race 1:            Conditions Level 2 Novice Riders 

1st         Tara Storm

2nd        For Rita

3rd        A Jet of Our Own 

Runners:          13                    Distances:        12l, 2l                          Time: 6m 14s


Race 2:            Restricted 

1st         Horizin d’Ainay

2nd        Mary’s Fortune

3rd        Occupied 

Runners:          7                      Distances:        3l, 12l                          Time: 6m 17s


Race 3:            Ladies Conditions 

1st         Diligent

2nd        Jarlath

3rd        Soloman Grey 

Runners:          7                      Distances:        2l, 8l                            Time: 6m 20s


Race 4:            Mixed Open (Coronation Cup) 

1st         Regatta de Blanc         Grace A Vous Enki


3rd        Viroflay 

Runners:          5                      Distances:        DH, 2l                          Time: 6m 8s


Race 5:            Maiden Conditions 2m 4f 

1st         Love That

2nd        Designer Destiny

3rd        Two in Tune 

Runners:          8                      Distances:        1l, 13/4l                       Time: 5m 33s


Race 6:            Maiden 

1st         All Star Boy

2nd        Money From America

3rd        Jean Genie 

Runners:          10                    Distances:        2l, 2l                            Time: 6m 24s


Pony Results



The news about the fatal accident that Keagan Kirkby suffered at Charing came after racegoers had left Larkhill but the loss of a genuinely popular young man will be felt across the whole point to point community. A real enthusiast with a strong love of horses, he achieved one of his ambitions when securing his first riding victory aboard the fragile Ask for Glory at Dunsmore in November 2022. Always with a smile and time to talk he had built strong connections with both Robert Varnham in Guildford and Hannah Grissell in Sussex and his career seemed to be in the ascendancy. He will be much missed by all his fellow jockeys and friends and sincere condolences are sent to his family. 

At Larkhill on Sunday the annual renewal of the classic Coronation Gold Cup sponsored by Leidos turned into a real thriller. Although the field only consisted of five horses it was full of quality with three of the participants boasting unbeaten records this season with two wins apiece for Grace A Vous Enki, Regatta De Blanc and Viroflay. Setting off in front Viroflay ridden by Charlie Sprake in the absence of usual rider Olive Nicholls with the other two market leaders jumping left-handed, the field was still in a tight group approaching the third last. James King aboard Grace A Vous Enki produced bold leaps at both this and the next fence but Will Biddick riding Regatta De Blanc chased him all the way and at the last had a better jump and as they battled all the way to the line neither would give way and they flashed past the winning post together. After a delay, the judge could not separate them and declared a dead heat which all parties agreed was a very fair outcome at the end of a tremendous tussle. Will was thrilled for his mare who he described as ‘really tough and genuine against much more battle-hardened rivals’ and Rupert Swallow on behalf of the Pendil Partnership was delighted that she had kept her unbeaten record intact.

Grace A Vous Enki watched by her proud owners Clive and Joan Hitchings spoke very highly of their trainer Nicky Sheppard whose yard is only 20 minutes from their home. Clive, visiting Larkhill for the first time this season declared that ‘point to pointing is what I love’ and despite all of the success they have had under Rules this win was a real highlight. James King, with this victory, advised that he had now managed to win each of the four Classic point to point races and is riding at the top of his game.

Viroflay, who was only two lengths behind the two winners ran another strong race on his favourite course and certainly was not disgraced.

The Conditions Race for Novice Riders sponsored by Caterpillar produced a strong front running performance from Tara Storm ridden by Eve Hobbs and despite a challenge from For Rita ridden by Abigail Henry he drew clear on the run in. A delighted Eve recording her fourth career victory explained that the gelding had lost 25kg since his last run and ran right up to the line. Previously undertaking pre training for Ben Pauling Eve had returned to the family farm to concentrate on the training of the gelding and a good season looks in prospect.

Another horse full of confidence is Horizon D’ Ainay who defied his five pounds penalty when recording his third course success in the Qinetiq sponsored Restricted race. With the usual pilot Toby McCain Mitchell riding at Garthorpe trainer Justin Brotherton had turned to James King to deputise and this new partnership gelled well. Justin explained that since his previous outing ‘he has just been kept ticking over with periodic visits to Martin Keighley’s gallops and is ridden by Daisy who has only been riding for three months.’ James complimented Justin saying ‘no mean performance to improve a horse out of Dan Skelton’s yard’ He may be aimed at a Novice Hunter Chase.

The ups and downs of racing were in evidence with the first career victory for Shannon Holmes aboard Diligent in the Atos sponsored Ladies Conditions race. Unseated in the Novice Riders race riding Jabbea Shannon set off in front on Diligent trained by her grandmother Mary Sanderson. Headed at the second last she found a renewed effort from her game mount and had too much in hand for Jarlath at the winning post. Shannon, 17, works for Nigel Hawke and this was her ninth career ride. The gelding had previously been trained by Nigel Hawke with whom he had secured the majority of his nine wins under Rules.

There was a close finish to the Maiden Conditions Race sponsored by Civica with the race looking to be between Designer Destiny ridden by Edward Vaughan and Two in Tune ridden by Martin McIntyre as they jumped the final fence. However, sweeping past them both on the run in was the mare Love That ridden and trained by Josh Newman at Woolminstone near Crewkerne. Bought unseen from Ireland on the recommendations of Aiden Fitzgerald she had disappointed at Badbury in November but since then thanks to the efforts of Hannah Morgan at the yard she has found her form and looks likely to continue to improve.

Another ex-Irish point to pointer secured victory in the final race, the Maiden sponsored by Supacat, when All Star Boy ridden by Will Biddick held off a challenge of Money From America ridden by Ivor Herbert. Bought by Ed Bailey for Chris Barber Ed explained that ‘ I tried to buy him at the Newmarket Sale but was not successful but after his last outing when he pulled up I managed to arrange a deal’ Chris advised Will not to hit the front too soon and added that he thought that the gelding has much ability and will improve for that outing. Chris has now acquired three of the horses that ran in that Maiden in Ireland in November namely this gelding, Summer Jam and Wolf Walker and all have won for him having pulled up in that Irish race – a real testimony to Chris’s training skills.