Combined Services Review
The renewal of the feature race at the Combined Services
meeting at Larkhill, the Coronation Gold Cup, produced a real family success
for the Barlow family. Owned by Mark and his daughter-in-law Sarah and ridden
by Mark’s son Andrew Brackloon High was a very popular winner and followed up
his victory in the same race his in 2017. This was the highlight of an
excellent day’s racing where the weather remained dry and a good crowd attended
the Wiltshire point-to-point course where the going continued to be on the soft
side of good. Other notable achievements were first point-to-point riding
successes for Matthew Fielding and Gordon Treacy and a smart performance from
the 4 year old gelding Interconnected in the Open Maiden race.
Adrenalin Flight provided Matthew Fielding with his first
ever winner when winning the Conditions Race for Novice Riders. Biding his time
at the rear of the ten strong field he gradually made progress to pass long-
time leader Bridge End and had five lengths in hand at the winning post. Owned
by Matthew’s boss Seamus Mullins and trained by Sally Rawlins at Figheldean the
gelding who won 4 steeplechases and 2 Hurdles when trained by Seamus provided
his son James with his first winner last season. Matthew, 20, from Enford,
joined Seamus’s stable straight from school and paid tribute to him for
teaching him all he knows about race riding and for allowing him to ride
Adrenalin Flight. Sally was keen to give credit to Andy Dicks who rides him at
home as well as riding out for Richard Hannon.
After supervising events at Ascot on Saturday Guy
Henderson was in a different role at Larkhill when watching his and his wife’s
gelding It Has to Be ridden by their son Ed win the Restricted race. A previous
winner this season at Wadebridge this was the horse’s first visit to Larkhill
but he was a comfortable six lengths winner. Ed who is currently studying law
at Exeter does ride out at Paul Nicholls stable when time permits but leaves
the work on the seven year old to his mother Sophie and Veronika Hicksova back
at home in Dorset.
Alternatif provided Gordon Treacy with his first ever
point-to-point winner although he has won two races under Rules. He joined Jade
Barber’s stable during the summer but has recently become a part-time work
rider to give him other opportunities to ride for other stables and hopes that
his Novice status will be used this season. The winner, bought from David
Pipe’s stable in 2017, joined Jade’s yard at the beginning of the season and
provided her with her second training victory of the season in the Conditions
race. Owned by Peter Barfoot and Angela Cooper who were celebrating their first
point-to-point winner Peter explained that he had played polo for over 25 years
and was Chairman of Cowdray Park until a very serious accident eighteen months
ago which curtailed that interest. Drawn to point-to-pointing as a means to
keep a connection with horses he explained that his racing colours of bright
yellow and green were related to the sweetcorn and other more exotic vegetable
business which bears his name.
Brackloon High defied his thirteen years to defeat much
younger rivals in the Coronation Gold Cup and to become the first horse to win
this most prestigious race two years running since Dawn Street thirty years
ago. Although Andrew Barlow put up two pounds overweight he had lost half a
stone since his last ride on 27 January to get down to his minimum
weight and was looking forward to another square meal. Tracking the leaders Mon
Parrain and favourite Full Trottle he went to the front approaching the last
and with a bold jump he looked to have the race won easily. However Andrew
commented afterwards that he had hit the front too soon and the gelding had to
be encouraged to hold off the renewed challenges of Mon Parrain and
Thereyarsee. He added that ‘this win means more to us than last year as the
importance of the race and the magnificent trophy has now sunk in’
The Maiden race run over two and a half miles was an all
the way success for Cool Valley ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas. Trained by Liz
Harris at Waltham on the Wolds in Leicestershire and owned by Catherine
Wood-Collins who sadly missed her first ever winner as an owner the nine year
gelding had not been seen since May 2016 so this was a tremendous training
performance. Bought from an advert on the Jumping for Fun website to go hunting
this did not prove a success and a return to racing was suggested to Catherine.
Tommy Morgan, partner of Liz, explained that the gelding had done a really good
piece of work about six weeks ago and he told Sam that he thought he might have
found another useful horse. Although it was a long way from their base the
conditions of the race suited them perfectly and with stable star Lough Inch on
board as a travelling companion the venture was certainly rewarded.
Interconnected provided owners Tom Lacey and Neil
Griffith with a smooth victory in the concluding Open Maiden race ridden by
Tommie O’Brien. The four year old took advantage of his weight concession to
draw clear of his main pursuers Loodeen and Country Legend on the run in and
showed an impressive turn of foot. Bought as a foal from his breeder Stephen
Kemble in Ireland in 2014 by Neil Griffith who is better known for his horses
that he runs under Rules such as Singlefarmpayment he had been pleasing
connections with his work at home and made up for his fall at Thorpe at the end
of January. He is most likely to be going to the sales at Cheltenham during the
Prior to the point-to-point racing the traditional King’s
Troop race was won by Gunner Laura Moon riding Lagertha. Laura, 20, from
Wellington, Somerset was riding in her first King’s Troop race and has been a
Gunner for 3 years.
COMBINED SERVICES PREVIEW
Larkhill features one of the seasons most prestigious and
famous point-to-point races, the Coronation Gold Cup, at the Combined Services
meeting on Sunday. Always a high class race this year’s renewal has attracted a
quality entry of 25 horses and with total prize money of £2,000 there will be
keen competition to lift the Cup. There has been an excellent entry of 141
horses for the 6 scheduled races and with the going currently on the soft side
of good a large turnout of runners is expected. The course has gone back well
since the last meeting with bends and the final fence moved. The schooling
facilities at Larkhill have been used in recent weeks by leading National Hunt
trainers Colin Tizzard, Harry Fry and Seamus Mullins who have appreciated the
better going with their own schooling grounds too wet. In addition to the
racing organisers have arranged for a total of 22 trade stands to attend with a
wide variety of attractions for racegoers to browse and make purchases.
After the traditional Kings Troop race at 12.00 the first
point-to-point race, the Conditions Race for Novice Riders, takes place at
12.45. A good entry of 24 horses has been received for this race with Pink Eyed
Pedro, Storm Lantern, Tempelpirate and Before the War looking the principal
contenders. Pink Eyed Pedro who will be ridden by the promising Connor Brace
was an easy winner of a Conditions race at the first January meeting at the
course and a repeat of that form should be good enough. Storm Lantern nearly
caused an upset at the last meeting when just being beaten by Monsieur
Gibraltar and Before the War was finishing well at Milborne St Andrew on his
last outing. Tempelpirate is a prolific winner and is starting to build a
relationship with Sam Burton.
The Restricted race follows and the two winners of the
divided Maiden race at the last meeting may oppose in this event. Both Arcal
Fifty and Benjamin Leader were comfortable winners and they may fight out the
finish. Other promising sorts to consider are Damby’s Star and Silent Warrior
who won the two Maiden races at Cocklebarrow in January. It Has to Be has been
very consistent so far this season and Restless Rebel ran well when second at
Chipley Park. Gold Decree won a Maiden at Dingley last season but changed hands
last August. Good Auld Times won a point –to-point at Moira, Ireland in
December and was bought by present connections in January and any market
confidence in her should be noted. Benjamin Leader is chosen to continue his
upward progress for Mike Daniell.
The Conditions race is next and this has received an entry
of 29 horses. Sarazen Bridge was an easy winner of the Intermediate race at the
last meeting and on that form may be hard to beat. Others to consider are
Fortune Bound who won well at the first Larkhill meeting in December, the
choice of the Ed Walker trained pair of Inch Rock or Punter Friendly, Willem
who found his form at the end of last season, Bob The Butcher trained by David
Brace, Master Sunrise who was placed in two Hunter Chases last season and
Pithivier who won a Hurdle for Ben Pauling when owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and who is now with Peter Mason. Sarazen Bridge
is the selection in an open looking race.
The Coronation Gold Cup is the fourth race on the card
and looks a high class renewal. Both Caid du Berlais and Monsieur Gibraltar
from Rose Loxton’s stable have been in excellent form with Harriet Tucker
winning 3 races on board in Ladies races. This looks a tougher assignment with
the ultra- consistent Full Trottle, last year’s winner Brackloon High,
Lilbitluso, Thereyarsee and Bound For Glory amongst their potential rivals.
Facile Bien was a comfortable winner at Milborne St Andrew and is certainly
improving. William Money has already won three races this season but this is a
rise in class for him. Woodfleet ought to come on for his seasonal debut but
this is mixing with the best point-to-point horses in the area. Facile Bien is
picked to follow up his Milborne win and stake his claim for a Hunter Chase
The two Maiden races complete the card with the first
being a Maiden over 2 and a half miles for horses who have run at least 4 times
in a point-to-point. 13 horses are entered with the consistent Troed Y Melin
being the standout entry. Placed twice already this season this looks an ideal
opportunity for the six year old gelding trained by Chris Honour to get off the
mark. Main opposition may come from Ballyjim who was third at the last meeting
for trainer Jade Barber, Bastante placed in 2 Irish point-to-points and now
with Richard Bandey and Pancrace placed third in a Bumper for Gordon Elliott
and now with Teresa Clark.
The biggest entry of the day is for the final race the
Open Maiden with a total of 30 horses. Of those with form Kayf Farmer who was
second at Chipley Park on his debut looks promising. Hugo’s Horse was placed
for Jack Barber last season and is now with Rose Loxton and should be noted.
The Jaffna Queen was third at Milborne St Andrew last month and should improve
for that run. Of the newcomers notice should be made of the Sophie Lacey
trained pair of Interconnected who fell at Thorpe Lodge at the end of last
month and Port of Mars, Orchard Lane who was placed in a Bumper for Katy Price
and Foxworthy who is out of Candy Creek the winner of the Aintree Bumper in
2009 and the subsequent winner of two Hurdle races for Richard Kelvin-Hughes. A
chance is taken with the last named to make a winning debut like his mother.
Royal Artillery review
It was a generally wet and overcast day at Larkhill last
Saturday when the going conditions at the Royal Artillery Hunt point-to-point
were testing for horses and riders as well as spectators. Some horses relished
the going most noticeably Thereyarsee who was a convincing winner of the
Conditions Race and another course winner Brackloon High who won the Mens Open
race. Other highlights were a first training success for Bea Coward and a
welcome winner for long standing trainer Mike Daniell from near Upton-on-Severn
The meeting began with a surprise winner in the Hunt race
when Delineate ran out a comfortable winner under Zak Baker for owner/trainer
Godfrey Maundrell. Previously a maiden after 16 point to point starts she
stayed on much better than her more fancied rivals Adrenalin Flight and Sidbury
Hill and had 10 lengths in hand at the line. Bought by Godfrey as a three year
old in Ireland the 9 year mare had been placed in a Bumper and a Hurdle as well
as numerous placings in point-to-points and was not winning out of turn.
Arcal Fifty provided Bea Coward with her first ever
winner as a trainer on only his second appearance for her in the First Division
of the Maiden race. As his first race was the void race at the previous meeting
when he was disputing the lead the result was not unexpected but it gave the 12
strong Barrow Street Racing Club much to celebrate afterwards as he was given
an excellent ride by Tommie O’Brien to win by seven lengths. Following the
instructions he was given to the letter the gelding was much too good for Cook
The Books ridden by Gina Andrews. Tommie was booked by Will Shields one of the
owners of the horse courtesy of Facebook having lost the services of the
previous rider Jamie Thomas who was believed to have suffered a broken wrist.
Bea who trains two horses at Barrow Street near Mere on the Somerset/Wiltshire
border is a former work rider for Caroline Keevil and is the daughter of the
well- known sculptor Sarah Coward.
Benjamin Leader named after the Victorian landscape
painter was a welcome winner for Mike Daniell in the Second Division of the
Maiden race. After Ain’t No Limits had unseated Sam Lee at the third last when
still in front the race developed into a match between Benjamin Leader ridden
by James Martin and Goldencard ridden by Will Biddick with the former winning
by 4 lengths. The winner who is a half- brother to the ill-fated KIngscourt
Native who was trained by Colin Tizzard is a home bred like many of Mike’s
runners who reminisced in the winner’s enclosure about Kettles his dour stayer
who won 4 races for him in the 1990’s. Mike was keen to give Max Comley credit
for the work he has done with Benjamin Leader at home.
The Ladies race on paper looked like a guaranteed victory
for Monsieur Gibraltar as his form was considerably better than his four
rivals. However Storm Lantern made it a proper test and the favourite only wore
his rival down in the final strides to win by a head and give his young rider
Harriet Tucker her third winner of the season. Explaining the decision to run
Monsieur Gibraltar in a Ladies race his trainer Rose Loxton said that’ he was
being asked to carry huge weights in Mens Open races whereas Harriet could
claim her 5 pound allowance as a Novice and reduce his weight to 10 stone 9
pounds’. Ideally he wants better ground than the soft ground he encountered
when he goes Hunter Chasing.
The Conditions Race provided the biggest field (17 ran)
and the easiest winner of the day in the form of Thereyarsee ridden by Lorcan Williams.
Taking up the running at the 15 fence he drew further clear from
his rivals and after a spectacular leap at the 2 last he powered
on to the line to finish twenty five lengths clear of his nearest pursuer Call
Me Ben. Giving Sally Alner her first training success of the season on the
horse that she rides at home owner Bill Dupont was thrilled with his gelding
who was recording his fourth course victory at Larkhill.
Brackloon High was recording another win at Larkhill in
the Mens Open race under usual pilot Andrew Barlow. Part owner Mark Barlow
thought that the ground might be too soft for him but he proved to stay on
better than his two closest rivals Bistouri D’Honore and Man of Steel. Although
he won last year’s Coronation Gold Cup a repeat attempt might not be on the cards
in view of the weight that Andrew would have to carry as this is below his
usual weight and dieting did not agree with him in 2017.
A very competitive Intermediate concluded the meeting
with Sarazen Bridge ridden by Nick Phillips impressively winning by fifteen
lengths. Owned by equine physiotherapist Alice Dorman who is a friend of
trainer Elizabeth Brown the gelding relished the ground and although V Neck ran
well on his return to racing for Christopher Barber Nick Phillips was in
command from the second last.
Larkhill Racing Club Review
A huge turn- out of runners was the feature of the
Larkhill Racing Club meeting where a very chilly wind blew across Salisbury
Plain and encouraged racegoers to seek warmth at every opportunity. However the
racing was of a very high standard and this certainly
kept those who had braved the elements to the end of a total of nine races. The
highlights were a scintillating return to form of Cousin Pete in the Mens Open
race, a double for owner Clive Bennett and his rider Sam Jukes, a double for
owner Tom Lacey and his rider Tommie O’Brien and a first riding success for
Meisha Micklewright on her first ever ride.
The day began with a narrow victory for Chasforgold owned
by Clive Bennett, trained by Emma Alvis and ridden by Sam Jukes in the first
division of the Conditions Race. Boygojumping ridden by George Hiscock had
outjumped his rival and looked the likely winner but Chasforgold does stay well
and he responded to his rider’s urgings to get up on the line to win by a head.
He is likely to stay point-to-pointing for at least most of the season.
The second division of the Conditions race was won
impressively by the David Brace owned and trained Pink Eyed Pedro ridden by his
promising grandson Connor Brace. Sired by the late Dr Massini who used to stand
at Dunraven Stud out of a mare called Poacher’s Paddy David reported that the
dam is in now in foal to his other stallion Mountain High. Pink Eyed Pedro
always wears a hood to keep him calm and travels both to and from the races in
The Ladies race was a high quality event with Caid du
Berlais stamping his class on the eleven strong field. Successful at the
previous meeting this was a much stronger race with several of his rivals
boasting wins in Hunter Chases and Steeplechases but the result was the same
with the former Paddy Power Gold Cup winner outstaying Dabinett Moon and Dicky
Bob. Trained by Rose Loxton at Ditcheat and ridden by Harriet Tucker who works
for Paul Nicholls the nine year old has rekindled his enthusiasm for racing and
being in a much smaller yard he is enjoying the change of routine. Rose does
not know whether he might be returning back to the National Hunt yard but hopes
The first division of the Maiden was a maximum field of
18 horses and the youngest horse in the field came out on top. Tom Lacey often
introduces a promising sort at this meeting and the vibes about Energumene
proved correct with the gelding running out a two length winner under Tommie
O’Brien. By the same stallion (Denham Red) as Un de Sceaux he was bought by Tom
as a 3 year old at the Tattersalls Derby sale for 50K Euros. Only born on 13
June 2014 Tom described him as very straightforward to train and ‘as the nicest
four year old I have trained to date’. It will be interesting to see if he
heads for the sales or is kept in training by Tom.
The second division was split on the day but the first
part of the race was declared void for safety reasons as there was an injured
horse on the bend approaching the last fence. At the time before the race was
abandoned Arcal Fifty ridden by Jamie Thomas and Swincombe Toby ridden by
Lorcan Williams and trained by Sally Alner were duelling for the lead and would
probably have fought out the finish.
The second part of the race proved to be the second
winner on the day for Tom Lacey and his rider Tommie O’Brien with another
newcomer Sebastopol. After Elizabeth’s Wish had fallen at the third last the
winner and Three in One trained by Jade Barber had the race between them but
the four year old pulled away on the run in to win by twelve lengths. Bought
this time at the Goffs Landrover June sale for 52K Euros the dam Knockcroghery
had won six races in total on the flat and over hurdles in a long career and
this gelding is her first progeny. By Fame and Glory and this time born in May
2014 Tom described him as a ‘real athlete’ and another exciting prospect for
The Mens Open race attracted another huge field of 19
horses with numerous previous winners in the line -up. Monsieur Gibraltar was
fancied to follow up his success at the previous meeting but he could not cope
with a resurgent Cousin Pete trained by Elizabeth ‘Dibby’ Brown and ridden by
Nick Phillips. Unbeaten in point to points in 2016 and the winner of a Hunter
Chase at Cheltenham in April of that year his form last season consisted on two
non- completions and all was clearly not well. After much time and
investigation an allergy to straw was found to be one factor and he now lives
on shavings. Although he came back into work in August he has been living in a
field up to Boxing Day to get the benefit of fresh air. Clearly back to his
best on this evidence connections are considering a tilt at the Cheltenham
Foxhunters for their home bred Kayf Tara gelding.
Another maximum field of 18 took part in the Restricted
race and this time the judge could not separate Irish Legionnaire and The Well
Road declaring it a dead heat at the winning post. The former owned by Mark
Burton who missed the victory as he was in Shanghai was supplementing his win
at the previous meeting. The latter owned by Clive Bennett and ridden by Sam
Jukes was recording his first victory in England having been owned patiently by
Clive for 3 years. Explaining that the horse had undergone a tie forward
operation last year to improve his breathing his performance bodes well for the
rest of the campaign.
There was a fairy-tale ending to the final race the
Novice Riders Conditions when in a close finish between Real Milan, Tolkeins
Tango and L’Eldorado the last named prevailed to give 24 year old Meisha
Micklewright a first winner on her debut ride. Originally from near Tiverton
Meisha is a vet student in London in her final three months and this was a
dream come true for her. Usually ridden by Tom Chatfeild-Roberts the winner who
is now 13 was considered a suitable ride for a novice and so it turned out to
be. Trained by Chris Bealby at Grantham for owner John Chatfeild-Roberts it was
Chris’s first visit to Larkhill since his days with Nicky Henderson back in
1981 and when asked what instructions he gave to Meisha on her ride it was ‘ to
go and enjoy herself and remember to breathe’
Larkhill Racing Club preview
The first meeting of 2018 at Larkhill has been rewarded
with a huge entry of 193 horses which has resulted in two
of the six races being split at entry and the first race time has been brought
forward to 11.00am. The going is currently reported as being good so there is a
high expectation that there will be a large turn- out of runners on the day.
The quality of the racing will be high with both Open races looking very
competitive so if you are looking for somewhere to finally blow away the
Christmas and New Year cobwebs then Salisbury Plain is just the place. Do make
sure to wrap up warm as the weather can be challenging at Larkhill but access
is good with plenty of room for parking and an excellent view of the racecourse
from the car park.
The Club Conditions race which starts proceedings at
11.00am has already been divided into two races and on the basis of this
season’s form Chasforgold a winner at Barbury Castle for Sam Jukes looks likely
to be the one to support. Others to consider are the Philip Rowley trained
Namako winner of three of his races last season, Flights who should come on for
her run at Barbury Castle, Sonny the One trained by Will Biddick who was not
disgraced at Wadebridge and Cousin Pete who on his best form from two seasons
ago would be a leading player.
The second division of the Club Conditions race may go to
Princely Player who only went down by a neck in a similar race at the last
Larkhill meeting. As he was having his first race for nearly a year Karen
Hobbs’s gelding is entitled to improve on that outing. Potential dangers are
the veteran Colbert Station winner of five races when owned by J P McManus,
Pink Eyed Pedro who will improve for his seasonal debut at Wadebridge,
Templebraden who ran in Open races last season and Superior Fire who was very
consistent last season.
The Ladies Open race sponsored by We Do Vans.Com could
see an exciting race with the winner from the previous Larkhill meeting Caid du
Berlais set to be opposed by course specialist Aikideau who will be ridden by
new jockey Aine O’Connor for trainer Jade Barber. Added to the mix are the Cheltenham
Hunter Chase winner Woodfleet, the prolific Dicky Bob who will be partnered by
Jo Supple (nee Buck), the Stratford
Ladies Hunter Chase winner Dabinett Moon and the enigmatic Sybarite as well as Big Casino who was third
in the highly competitive Mixed Open at Barbury Castle. A race worth savouring
Woodfleet is tentatively chosen to continue his upward curve.
The Open Maiden sponsored by Cottage Field Stables is the
other race that has already been divided at entry. The first division may go to
Danseur du Large already placed in two Maiden races this season for trainer Ed
Walker but the sponsor’s entry of Energumene should be noted as the trainer
does have a good record with newcomers. Others to consider are Toby Maguire
placed fourth in an Irish Maiden and now with Charles Levinson, Oscars Cross a
half-brother to the prolific Giles Cross and Troed Y Melin already placed in
four Maiden races.
Division Two of the Maiden race features both of the
runners up from the two Maiden races at the December meeting. Swincombe Toby
from Sally Alner’s stable and Three in One from Jade Barber’s yard may fight
out the finish between them with the former tipped to come out on top. However
Sophie Lacey’s newcomer Sebastopol out of a six time winning mare may be the
one to watch along with the ex- Dan Skelton trained Dragon De La Tour and the
ex -Irish Marcle Ridge who finished second in his only start to date.
The Mens Open race sponsored by Southern Counties
Auctioneers has attracted the biggest entry of 34 horses. Another high quality race is promised here
with the standout entries being the prolific Broken Eagle from Alan Hill’s
yard, the very promising Facile Bien owned by Robert Waley-Cohen, the
consistent Premier Portrait and the winner of last season’s Coronation Gold Cup
Brackloon High. Monsieur Gibraltar won
well at the last meeting and may put his fitness to good use. Real Milan
usually runs well at Larkhill and if Woodfleet opts for this race rather than
the Ladies then the hint should be taken.
The Restricted race sponsored by Woolley and Wallis looks
a difficult race to solve. Irish Legionnaire broke his Maiden status at the
last meeting and should improve. Both Ka Maresco and Baltazar du Seuil won
their last outings in 2017 at Kingston Blount and Upcott Cross respectively and
are also on the upgrade. Vouvray won a point in Ireland in November 2016 before
being sold very cheaply last August. Castle Cheetah had some good form when
trained by Ben Pauling in 2016 but has not been seen since and Lively Article
the winner of a Maiden at Brafield-on-the-Green both come into consideration. A
chance is taken with the lightly raced Florella who was placed in two
Restricted races last season for trainer Nick Pearce.
The Novice Riders race sponsored by Symonds and Sampson
with Frome Livestock Auctioneers completes the day’s racing. Real Milan if
bypassing the Mens Open looks one for the shortlist along with Top Chief who
does well in these races, Creepy who won three races last season and the ex-Tim
Underwood trained Too Late To Sell who won three races last season. Thereyarsee
runs well at Larkhill and will have a new rider in Gordon Tracy who works for
Jade Barber and this combination might be the answer to a tricky event.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr
A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QT. First Race 11.00 am. Entry Costs £10
Hursley Hambledon review
Hursley Hambledon review
There was some really close finishes at the opening
Wessex Point to Point meeting held at Larkhill last Sunday where the racing was
of a high standard and racegoers had the
bonus of an extra race when the Maiden race had to be divided because the
number of entries exceeded the safety factor. The highlights of the meeting
were training doubles for Rose Loxton from Ditcheat and Richard Bandey from
Tadley, a first training winner for Laura Bradley who is based at Bramdean and
a riding double for jockey Martin ‘Fly’ McIntyre.
The meeting began with the combined Hursley Hambledon and
New Forest Hunts race where Swallowshide ridden by Bradley Paris-Crofts for
Brockenhurst trainer James Young looked to have the race in the bag having jumped
the last better than his rival One More Tune and quickly established a clear
lead on the run-in. However his stride shortened nearing the post and Rilly
Goschen galvanised her ride One More Tune to get up to win the race by an
official head. Rilly was scoring her 150 career winner overall
including 19 victories under Rules in a long career which started at Cotley in
May 1991 aboard E Zoe Mou for John Dufosee.
Celebrating in the winners enclosure afterwards trainer
Laura Bradley originally from Portsmouth was saddling her first point-to-point
runner having taken on the training of owner Julie Butler’s horses. Laura
principally provides hirelings for hunting and hacking in the Alresford area.
Julie also from Alresford who is a well -known Farming and
Equine specialist Chartered Accountant has long been a supporter of the Hursley
Hambledon and she looks to have acquired a useful prospect in One More Tune.
Bought at a recent Ascot sale whilst Julie was on her iPad he had good form for
his previous stable so it was not a total surprise to see him win the race.
Rose Loxton sent out the winners of the two Open races
with Caid du Berlais winning the Ladies race and Monsieur Gibraltar winning the
Mens race. With principal rival Richmond unseating Lucy Turner at the third
last Caid du Berlais strolled home to an easy victory to give his young pilot
Harriet Tucker her
fourth career win and the first for Rose. The winner of the Paddy Power Gold
Cup in 2014 the horse had rather lost his way under rules and connections
thought that a spell of point-to-pointing might rekindle his enthusiasm.
Harriet who works for Paul Nicholls rides the gelding in her lunch break and
described him as ‘very keen all the way round’ and ‘definitely the best horse
she has sat on in a race’. A Hunter Chase campaign may be considered for him.
Monsieur Gibraltar ridden by usual rider Lorcan Williams
stayed on well to beat another former Paul Nicholls inmate Keltus by two
lengths in the Mens Open. Described by Rose as being ‘very laid back’ he is
ridden in all his work by Lorcan with whom he has an excellent partnership. He
is next likely to be seen in the opening Hunter Chase of the season at Taunton
with the Aintree Foxhunters as a long term goal.
Ballycash was an easy winner for Caerphilly owner/trainer
Emlyn Parry in the Restricted race partnered by Jordan Williams. Paying his
first ever visit to Larkhill racecourse the 66 year old retired teacher
explained that he does all of the work himself on the six year old Kalanisi
gelding bought out of a selling hurdle in June at Ffos Las when previously having been owned by Dai
Walters. Emlyn did say that he had been to Larkhill once before as a teacher
when he had brought a party of students to the military camp!
Martin McIntyre and trainer Richard Bandey then combined
to win the next two races the first being Fortune Bound for Isle of Wight owner
Anna Reed in the Club Members Conditions race. Described by his trainer as
being ‘mentally better’ than last season he had a tussle with Princely Player
ridden by Jake Bament on the run-in before winning by a neck. Having only won a
Restricted race last season this was a step up for the winner and he ought to
be able to follow up in an Intermediate race with the goal of the Intermediate
Final at Cheltenham being on the radar.
Trainer and rider followed up in the first division of
the Open Maiden when Irish Legionnaire also won by a neck over main rival
Swincombe Toby ridden by Lorcan Williams. Placed on several occasions last
season owner Mark Burton felt that his gelding deserved this success although
his ideal trip is still one he is trying to work out. Another who has benefited
from a good summer Mark explained that the gelding has bulked up and is now
The final race of the day, the second division of the
Maiden, was won by the unraced Coningsby owned and bred by Lady Cobham and
trained by Sophie Lacey. After Gracious Prince had led the field for two miles
the winner and the runner –up Three in One ridden by Gordon Treacy for trainer
Jade Barber battled out the finish with a length separating them at the line.
The winner who is a half -brother to Flights is the third generation that Lady
Cobham has owned with his dam Motcombe winning two chases for Robert Alner and
his grandam Cooks Lawn being placed in five hurdle races.
Next Larkhill meeting Sunday 7 January 2018
– 1 Race 12.00
AVON VALE RACES
The Avon Vale Races committee has launched an appeal to
fund a race for former committee member and Point-to-Point rider James McNeile,
who tragically died in a fall during this year’s race meeting on April 1
Led by James’s family and friends, the race will form an
integral part of this popular race meeting that draws together the rural
community in the Avon Vale country between Chippenham, Bath, Devizes and
Trowbridge. The race will be aimed at Veteran and Novice riders. Next year’s
Avon Vale Races takes place on Easter Saturday March 31.
In a unique funding mechanism, the race will be funded by
encouraging members of the public or those wishing to support the event to
become members of the James McNeile Fan Club, created to perpetuate James’s
memory and celebrate his Corinthian attitude to participating in sport.
Membership of the Club, to include newsletters and a draw for racing tickets,
costs just £100.
“We’ve been very touched by the support of so many folk
who turned out to celebrate James’s life at his funeral and thanksgiving
services, and through a multitude of letters, texts and other remarks,”
commented James’s brother Peter. “I hope this race will offer everyone a chance
to remember James’s positive attitude to life in a way he too would appreciate.
We hope to run the race for as long as there is appetite to do so.”
Jeremy Cottle, Chairman of the Avon Vale Races committee,
added, “James was a keen supporter of the Avon Vale, and this is an excellent
way to celebrate his contribution to the hunt, to the Point-to-Point and to the
rural community he served. We look forward to welcoming loads of folk to
Larkhill for a happy occasion next March.”
Contact: Peter McNeile (07850 091523)
is an annual Point-to-Point race meeting
staged by the Avon Vale Hunt at Larkhill Racecourse, near Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Whilst the Packway at Larkhill is now open again, the entrance via the eastern end by what was the old Golf Range, is still not definite. You CAN get in by car - although I would not advise it as the road is very very rough. There is a weight limit on this road of 4.5 ton, which will be of no use to horse boxes - therefore please DO NOT attempt to get to the racecourse via this route.
My advice would be either:
To use the Western Entrance on the West end of the Packway.
To use the main track in from the tank crossing off the A345. If you are unaware of this route please try the following:
On your satnav put in SP4 8AT - this will bring up my farm at Knighton. Please do not follow it totally otherwise you will end up in my yard!! You need to pass the end of my drive (on right) and approx 100-150 yards on there is a big tank crossing (marked with big metal poles with flourescent yellow tops.) Turn LEFT there and just keep coming until you get to the racecourse.
See you all soon.