Hoses in the Wessex Area South and East
The Wessex point-to-point area extends from Exmoor in the West, across to the Mendip Hills in North Somerset right across to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire and down to the coast. Within that large area there are numerous keepers/trainers of point-to-point racehorses and although the season has already started fans of the sport may be interested to see what some of those keepers are planning with their horses in the weeks and months ahead as the season starts to get really into full swing. As there are a substantial number of keepers this preview is being split into sections with the emphasis in this final section being those situated in the east and south of the area.
Sally Alner has her stable in good form with three winners already this season. Both Bonzo’s Copse and Thereyarsee have won Maiden races at Larkhill and Garstin has won a Conditions Race at the same course. Tom Barton has been placed in a Maiden and a forthcoming success looks imminent. The evergreen Master Medic who is now fifteen years of age ran well on his seasonal debut under new pilot Natalie Parker and retains all of his enthusiasm. Stan Sheppard, recommended to Sally by Andrew Doyle, has ridden all of the other horses and has quickly built up a good relationship with the stable.
Mary Tory hopes to run four horses from her stable near Blandford. She has already run Battle Bridge for owner Tim Swaffield and Garden Whispers who began the season at Milborne St Andrew. In addition she has Ditto Prosecco who missed last season and a new horse for owner John Norman Raajih, an eight old Dalakhani gelding who has won four steeplechases and a hurdle. Placed fourth over the Aintree Mildmay fences last year he could be an exciting recruit to point-to-point racing. Mary hopes that Louis Muspratt will ride the majority of her horses this season.
George Hiscock and his partner Charlotte Brown have four horses to run from their stable at Plush. All have now run this season with Tin Pot Man being an easy winner of the South Dorset Hunt race at Milborne St Andrew giving George his first riding success of the season. All of the others namely Turtle Boys, Rockmills Lad and Wyndcrest have run well at Larkhill and hopes are high for further successes. George will ride when possible with Mikey Legg stepping in when needed.
Stuart Penny hopes to run about eleven horses from his stable. Trueflyingcolours, Quedillac, Latest Trend and Safferano all return to action again as does Give Us a Wink and new to his team Champagne Rosie for John Meaden. The same owner will also have a newcomer called See You John. Stuart will also run two horses Bold Cuffs who was running well on his debut when unseating his rider at Cocklebarrow and Virginia Ash, the winner of two hurdle races for Colin Tizzard for owner John Romans. Stuart hopes that when available Gina Andrews will ride for him as well as Katy Lyons and Rob Hawker.
A new name to the training ranks is Teona Hammond who works for Stuart. She will run Regal Presence, a winner of a hurdle when trained by Victor Dartnall for a syndicate. Louis Muspratt rode the horse when he debuted at Larkhill.
Philip Thomas is starting training this season from a base near Stubhampton, near Blandford. He hopes to run three horses as well as continuing his riding and to date has run ThymeandThymeagain who was placed at Milborne St Andrew. He has a six year old mare called Looks Can Kill who has had a couple of races in Bumpers and should run soon.
Josh Cameron is another first season trainer who with his partner Laura Elliott run a livery yard at Plaitford nr Romsey. He has run both Bushwacker, the winner of three chases as well as the charity flat race at the Hursley Hambledon meeting in December and Where’d Ya Hide It, the winner of an Irish maiden and placed under Rules for Paul Henderson. Both may be seen to better effect when the ground gets faster.
James Young from Brockenhurst has so far run two of his three likely runners this season. Holm Hill who was placed at Barbury Castle should do better with time and Swallowshide, the winner of a Hurdle for Emma Lavelle, may improve on his two runs to date. The stable is made up by Ober Water an unraced five year old Fair Mix gelding bought by James at Ascot in June last year. His dam was the winner of three hurdle races for Venetia Williams. Ben Hicks and Daniel Sansom will shares the rides between them. James has advised that his stable star Hinchelsea Moor will miss the 2015-16 season.
David Buckett from Upham near Winchester has two horses to run this season with Seigneur Des Bois already posting an excellent second to Alskamatic at Larkhill. FitandProperjob has also been placed at Larkhill finishing third in another Ladies race. David has used both jockeys Gina Andrews and Aly Stirling for Isle of Wight owner Anna Reed
Penny Lownds has already trained a winner namely Pateese who won the Hunt race at the Hursley Hambledon meeting at Larkhill. This is the only horse she is training this season.
Bill Smith is training two horses for the Hursley Hambledon Partnership namely Terra Bleu and Tommo. Both have run this season with the latter winning a Maiden race at Milborne St Andrew last month. Oz Wedmore rode the winner and will continue his association with the stable.