The Official Point-to-Point Website for the Wessex Area
South & West Wilts @ Larkhill
Date: 25/02/2024
Pony Racing: No
Course: Larkhill Racecourse
First Race: 11.25
Extra Info

Secretary:   Robert Webb-Bowen

Address:   Sycamore Farm, Stoke Trister, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 9PE

Contact Details  Mob: 07919 884895


Entries to:   The Point to Point Racing Co Ltd

Entries close:   Monday 19th February 2024 12.30pm

Races:   Maiden Conditions (2m4f), Maiden, Mixed Open, Restricted, Conditions (Level 2), Conditions Ladies,(Level 3) Grass Roots (2m4f), 4,5 years Flat

First Race:   12.00pm

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


The continuing wet spell has once again dealt a serious blow to the planned meetings for the coming weekend with only the South and West Wilts meeting at Larkhill surviving in the southern part of England and Wales. The Wiltshire course can absorb a great deal of rain and the current going report of good, good to soft in places is testament to this and shows what a resource the course is to the sport. The abandonment of the meeting at Kingston Blount has resulted in the transfer of the young Maiden race to Larkhill and currently an eight-race card is planned with the possibility of further divisions on the day with a total of 154 entries. The first race has been brought forward to 11.25am with racing being preceded by a charity race in favour of the Retraining of Racehorses and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance charities for which in excess of 4K has already been raised.

There will be trade stands to browse and the bookmakers to have a bet or two and a new feature of this year’s meeting will be a dedicated, traditional ‘beer tent’ which will hopefully provide racegoers with an ideal venue to celebrate their winners and commiserate with those who weren’t quite so lucky (or shrewd). 

The Goffs sponsored 4- and 5-years old Maiden over two and a half miles opens the meeting and with the leading yards of Tom Ellis, Fran Poste, Bradley Gibbs and Will Biddick represented it looks like a potentially strong race. Of the entries from those yards only A Law to Himself from Tom Ellis’s stable has raced before being third at Cocklebarrow and the other one with form from Alan Hill’s yard is Carryonaway runner up last season at Tabley. The two 4-year-olds Kykorock and Mister Carson have a weight allowance of a stone from their rivals and the winner may be one of these for Fran Poste or     Tom Ellis. Will Biddick’s horses are running well and note should be taken in the paddock of Jambo. 

The Conditions race run in the memory of Pat Awdry who was a long time supporter of the South and West Wilts has attracted 21 entries of which the classy Rebel Dawn Rising brings the best form. Only beaten by Premier Magic at Cheltenham on his last appearance in May David Kemp’s charge has yet to run this season so it may pay to follow other options who have already run well this season. Duc de Bourbon won at Milborne St Andrew and now that he has regained his form, he may run up a sequence. Eritage was the runner up in that race and he must come into the reckoning. Ihandaya was highly progressive last season and now switched to Nicky Sheppard’s yard it will be interesting to see if the move proves a positive one. I’m Spellbound was another multiple winner from last season and after a good second at Chipley he must have good prospects. Imperial Espirit has been in good form this season and must have place prospects. I’m Spellbound is the tentative selection.

The Open Maiden race has received an entry of 30 horses and with a safety factor of 18 this could be divided on the day. Of those that have raced Deep Purple who missed his intended race at Badbury Rings, has been runner up in each of his three races and deserves to find a race. Creapapy was second at Ampton and a repetition of that form might be good enough but he pulled up on his last outing. Catchim was a close fourth at the last Larkhill meeting whereas Crawter was third at the Royal Artillery meeting. Money from America came up against an impressive newcomer to English pointing in All Star Boy and this gelding might be the one to support to break his Maiden status.

The feature race of the day, The Mixed Open, looks a very classy event with three of the five participants from the Coronation Gold Cup entered. Grace A Vous Enki maintained his unbeaten status for the season by forcing a dead heat with Viroflay close behind in third. Grace A Vous Enki will be the horse to beat but with the likes of Fier Jaguen and Law of Gold entered it is far from certain that he will be the winner. Fier Jaguen won well at Garthorpe on his seasonal debut but this is a stronger race. Law of Gold was runner up to Tigerbythetail at Horseheath and on the basis he should come on for that run he may be the one to trouble Joan Hitchings star. In addition, there is an entry from East Anglia in the form of the veteran Clara Sorrento who won four races last season, Champagne Noir from Tom Ellis’s yard who also won four races last season and Definite Dilemma from the South East who was unbeaten in two outings last season. David Brace has entered LooksnowtlikeBrian and he should not be dismissed from consideration. A fascinating race to savour with Law of Gold just narrowly preferred to Grace A Vous Enki.

The Restricted race run in the memory of last year’s winner Happy Day Emery who sadly lost his life at home earlier in the season could go the way of his stablemate Douglas Longbottom. Bea Coward’s charge has run very well in defeat behind Regatta de Blanc and Wolf Walker and a repetition of either of those performances should be good enough. Of his potential rivals Designed to Win won on his debut at Garthorpe and looks progressive, Artiste d’Ainay won at Horseheath, Rabble Rouser won both his starts at Larkhill last season but has not been seen since last January and has changed stables, David Pipe has entered an Irish Maiden winner Castle Daragh  and  Tiger Tobin won at Garthorpe and might the one to challenge Douglas Longbottom.

The Ladies Conditions race for Grass Roots Riders who have not ridden more than 20 winners has attracted a strong entry with Champagne Noir likely to be partnered by Ellie Holder one of the main fancies. Eritage who will be ridden by Ella Orttewell was runner up at Milborne and a repeat of that performance may be good enough over the shorter trip of 2 and a half miles. Ask Nile won a match on his last appearance at Larkhill, but this looks much more competitive. Diligent won for Shannon Holmes at the last meeting and the shorter trip will be to his liking. Nickolson won his only outing last season and was not disgraced when fourth at Larkhill in December and may be the one to chase Eritage home.

The meeting concludes with the JRL Group sponsored Bumper over two miles which has already been split into two divisions due to the number of entries received. There is very little form to go on in either division with Swingingonthesteel runner up on his debut in a similar race at Larkhill in January in the first division and Avril Star and Dave’s Sister placed on their only runs again in January. Inspection of the runners in the paddock and with the bookmakers is recommended but of the newcomers in the first division notice should be taken of Maxiboy Dagrostis from Bradley Gibbs stable, Penelope Ann from Tom Ellis and Porridge from Max Comley.

In Division Two On a Sticky Wicket from Tom Ellis’s yard, Perseo from Chris Barber’s stable and King de Palma from Ian Chanin are three to consider from the newcomers. 

Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QR. First race 11,25 am Entry Costs on race day £15 per person by cash or card, children under 16 go free.


Race 1:            Maiden 4 & 5 yrs 2m4f 

1st         Kykorock

2nd        Mister Carson

3rd        Maxiboy Dagrostis 

Runners:          6                      Distances:        7l,15l                           Time: 5m 41s


Race 2:            Conditions Level 2 

1st         Boss Man Fred

2nd        Imperial Esprit

3rd        Fabrique En France 

Runners:          9                      Distances:        6l, 11l                          Time: 6m 33s


Race 3:            Maiden 

1st         Carryonaway

2nd        Catchim

3rd        Creapapy 

Runners:          16                    Distances:        21/4l, 10l                     Time:6 m33s


Race 4:            Mixed Open 

1st         Grace A Vous Enki

2nd        Hung jury

3rd        Looksnowtlikebrian 

Runners:          11                    Distances:        17l, 7l                          Time: 6m 21s


Race 5:            Restricted 

1st         Douglas Longbottom

2nd        Chabichou Dupoitou

3rd        Young Rich 

Runners:          12                    Distances:        1/2l, 30l                       Time: 6m 26s


Race 6:            Ladies Conditions 2m 4f 

1st         L’Air du Vent

2nd        Nickolson

3rd        Millbank Flyer 

Runners:          11                    Distances:        5l, 14l                          Time: 5m 34s


Race 7 :           Flat 4&5yrs Div 1 

1st         Swingingonthesteel

2nd        Is Our Otis

3rd        Klervia 

Runners:          11                    Distances:        1/2l, 1/2l                     Time: 3m 59s


Race 8 :           Flat 4&5yrs Div 2  

1st         Pyleigh Master

2nd        Dave’s Sister

2nd        King de Palma 

Runners:          10                    Distances:        6l, DH                          Time: 4m 3s

Pony Results



Larkhill hosted the only surviving meeting in the country following the continuing waterlogging seen in virtually all of England and Wales. Even Larkhill which can absorb the rain is showing the effects of the long-wet spell with those with longer memories struggling to remember how wet and trodden the paddock currently is compared to previous seasons. The majority of the South and West Wilts meeting was held in dry conditions, but the rain appeared after the Mixed Open with conditions worsening when the two Bumper races were run. The highlights of the meeting were Grace a Vous Enki continuing his love affair with Larkhill as part of a riding double for James King, an emotional winner in the Restricted, two very promising Maiden winners and two home bred winning the two divisions of the Bumper.

The Goffs sponsored four and five year old Maiden race transferred from the abandoned Kingston Blount meeting featured representatives from four leading yards and after Maxiboy Dagrostis ridden by his trainer Bradley Gibbs had led for much of the race the complexion changed after the second last.  Kykorock ridden by Zak Baker and Mister Carson the mount of Jack Andrews duelled approaching the last   but Zak describing his charge as ‘ like a missile’ soon drew clear on the run in to record an impressive victory. Picked up  by trainer Fran Nimmo for 14K Euro at the Tattersalls Ireland May 2023 store sale he has become very straight forward and had been showing up well at home and connections were hopeful of a good performance. He is next likely to be seen at a forthcoming sale.

The Pat Awdry Memorial Conditions race was at the mercy of I’m Spellbound ridden by Jack Andrews who had drawn clear of his eight rivals and only had the last fence to negotiate. However this proved to be the combinations undoing and their fall allowed Boss Man Fred ridden by James King to secure a fortuitous victory. Previously trained by Dan Skelton with whom he had won four Hurdle races he suffered a tendon injury in April 2022 and a long period on the sidelines was likely. Louis Gill who runs a video production company was carrying out filming at Dan’s yard and the gelding was recommended to him by Dan as a prospective pointer if he was prepared to give him time. Louis who heads the Cotswold Stars Partnership moved him to Max Comley during last summer and was delighted with the victory.

The sixteen runner Maiden sponsored by Woolley and Wallis proved to be a battle between Carryonaway ridden by Izzie Marshall and Catchim the mount of Tommie O’Brien but with the added assistance of a loose horse on the run in Carryonaway showed a good turn of foot on the run in to record a two lengths victory. Bought by Joe Hill and placed at Tabley last season, he was intended to then be sold but failed the vet and subsequently was bought by Joe’s father Alan.  Now owned by long term owner Heather Munn and Alan, he was another intended runner at Kingston Blount close to where Heather lives but paying her first visit to Larkhill the grey gelding made this a trip she will not forget. Izzie did remarkably well to survive a blunder at the last open ditch and with this victory is now only one winner behind Gina Andrews in the Ladies Riders Championship.

Grace A Vous Enki easily won the Lycetts sponsored Mixed Open race and in doing this recorded his fourth victory this season at Larkhill including the dead heat in the Coronation Gold Cup. Despite jumping left-handed as he has done on all his previous visits he was never troubled over the final fences with Hung Jury ridden by Toby McCain-Mitchell finishing a remote second. He has been a revelation since dropping back into points but his trainer Nicky Sheppard confirmed that there is no intention of a return to racing under Rules and that the goal this season is the Lady Dudley Cup which Clive and Joan Hitchings would dearly love to win. On the basis of the form he has shown to date he looks a serious contender for that race.

The Wessex Internet sponsored Restricted race provided the best finish of the day with Douglas Longbottom just prevailing over Chabichou Dupoitou ridden by James King by ½ length. Ridden by Martin ‘Fly’ McIntyre for Catherine Mitchell Fly explained that ‘I did not want to hit the front too early’  and he  timed his challenge to perfection. Bought out of Harry Ryall’s stable after last season, he had been runner up in both of his Restricted races this season and was not winning out of turn. Catherine explained that he had been bought for her husband John to ride which he does at Bea Coward’s stable once a week. It was an emotional victory for connections as not only had Catherine ridden a winner on Wellington Brown at this meeting in 1994 but also  that the stable had won this race in 2023 with Happy Day Emery who sadly they had lost at home before he made his seasonal  debut.

There was somewhat of a surprise winner in the Martin Haskett Agricultural Contactors Ladies Conditions race for riders who had ridden less than 20 career winners. After long term leader Mix of Clover unseated his rider Isabel Lovat at the third last the race developed into a match between L’Air Du Vent ridden by Megan Bevan and Nickolson the mount of Amber Jackson-Fennell with the former staying on stronger to record a first training success for Jemma Sargent who is one of the Barn Managers for Joe Tizzard’s National Hunt yard. This was unexpected as the gelding is not known to appreciate softer going as all of his best form is on a faster surface. Jemma said ‘ I look after him in one of Joe’s satellite yards and do all of the work with him in my break’ She added that she has not resumed her riding career following a fall but was very pleased for her friend Megan Bevan who works for another National Hunt trainer Harry Fry.

The rain had started to fall in time for the two divisions of the Bumpers sponsored by the JRL Group with the first division going to the once raced Swingingonthesteel trained and ridden by Heidi Stevens for owner/breeder Paul Nicholas from Exmoor. He stayed on well to beat Is Our Otis the mount of Tommie O’Brien by half a length. A delighted Paul advised that ‘ I bred the gelding and the dam who is a half-sister to Tempestatefloresco who won points for me before winning 5 races under Rules including the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter’ Heidi who works for trainer Victor Dartnall three days a week has seven pointers in her care for this season at Brayford on Exmoor. 

The second division was won in more decisive fashion with Pyleigh Master showing a good turn of foot to draw clear from Dave’s Sister ridden by Toby McCain-Mitchell. The winner, a smart looking son of Blue Bresil, was bred by Robert and Tigger Pudd from their mare Pyleigh Lady who won two Hurdles for them. Ridden by Ella Herbison the gelding is a half brother to the prolific Go Steady the winner of eight races for Dan Skelton. He will be one to watch out for when he takes on fences in due course.