POINT TO POINT RACING AT LARKHILL NEAR AMESBURY WILL BE RESUMING NEXT SATURDAY 12TH DECEMBER WITH THE FIRST RACE IS NOW DUE TO GO OFF AT 11.00AM.
7 races are scheduled to take place following the division of the Veteran Horse race. A very healthy total of 148 entries has been received and with the current going report as good it is very likely that this will be a busy meeting.
The meeting will take place under strict conditions following the Covid pandemic with a very important change that no one will be allowed on the course unless they have pre-booked. Social Distancing will need to be maintained and face masks will have to be worn whilst at the racecourse. This is the first meeting that a small number of the general public will be allowed to attend but as mentioned booking in advance is mandatory. Details about the booking can be obtained from www.pointtopoint.co.uk. More information can be obtained from the new Larkhill website www.larkhillracing.com . Live streaming for those not able to attend the meeting will be available and more information about this will be available on the Wessex point to point website www.pointingwessex.co.uk
The two feature races, the Open Races, look very strong races. The HHP Limited Ladies Open race has an entry of 19 horses with the promising Jatiluwih likely to be on the short list. A very impressive winner at Ottery St Mary when ridden by Will Biddick he has swerved an entry at Chaddesley Corbett when he was due to be ridden by Gina Andrews. Owned by David Maxwell and trained by Bethen Childs he may have too much speed for his older rivals. Of the opposition Captain Buck’s now trained by Sam Loxton won well at the last Larkhill meeting in March and has subsequently won a Chase for Paul Nicholls at Stratford and is likely to be the mount of Natalie Parker. Master Buck the apple of his owner Jacquie McCullough’s eye always runs well and his usual pilot Jo Supple knows him so well. Southfield Theatre was brushed aside at Kimble but is another who runs well at Larkhill for Lily Bradstock. Tom Barton is another course specialist as is the younger mare Miss Seagreen. The veteran Wonderful Charm, the winner of 12 races under Rules and the winner of nearly £250,000 in prize money is now in the care of Jennifer Harbison and should give her a good ride. Coningsby, the winner of a Maiden at Larkhill in 2017 won a Chase for Tom Lacey and is now in the stable of Stuart Penny and Lizzie Langton trained by Harriet Brown , the winner of a Chase at Wincanton for Colin Tizzard are two more to consider in a fascinating race.
The Mens Open race sponsored by Ashton Farms in which 22 horses are entered is of high quality with Jatiluwih holding an entry for this race along with Art Mauresque, the winner of the Hunt race at Ottery St Mary and whichever is declared to run will be the mount of Will Biddick. Salvatore from the powerful Melanie Rowley stable won three of his four starts last season including one at Larkhill. Coco LIve trained locally by Harriet Waight and Country Legend trained by Frances Bishop are both progressive but this is step up for both of them. Envoye Special who won a Hurdle for Paul Nicholls is now in the care of Chris Barber and the change of scene may rejuvenate him. Another ex- Ditcheat inmate is Capitaine the winner of 7 races and is now trained by Georgina Nicholls. Trio for Rio won two Hurdles for Trevor Hemmings and is with Clive Boultbee-Brooks. Salvatore is the selection if Jatiluwih opts for the Ladies Race.
The Webster Hart Limited sponsored Restricted race has attracted 26 entries. Grey Getaway won well at Ottery St Mary for Matt Hampton and may follow up. Scipion a four year old gelding owned by Tom Lacey is an interesting entry and if he avoids the 4 and 5 year old race then his participation should be watched. Chris Barber has entered Thechaseison and on his best form from last season he would have every chance. O’Faolains Lad won at the last Larkhill meeting in March for Stuart Penny and Winter Holiday won for owner breeder Charlotte Fuller at Maisemore Park in October. Wykham is still a Maiden but has shown good form in his runs last season. Second Time Around the winner of a National Hunt Flat race for Alan King is of interest from Joan Johnston’s yard. Smoking Pigeon is on the upgrade and won his last outing in 2020 for Dibby Brown. Staithes who won a Irish point to point ran twice for Nicky Henderson’s yard but showed little for him.
The ROR and Jockey Club Veteran’s race gives older horses a chance to be more competitive than taking on Open horses. With a large entry of 46, it has been divided.
In the first division Sally Alner has Apples Queen, a former course winner while the Tom Malone trained Art Mauresque may come here instead of the Men’s Open. Banco des logos, a dual winner in 2019 now left Dean Summersby and joined Kate Gowing. Mary Tory’s Imogens Thunder just held on in a tight finish at Milborne St Andrew in February while Knockan Run won a restricted in 2019 at Ston Easton. Network Rouge won his last two races when last seen in 2019 for Chloe Boxall. If fully wound up, he would be of interest. The admirable River Myth needed her first run of the season last year and has had a pipe opener at Maisemore. She added five victories to her score and lowered the colours of the tough Navanman. She could be hard to beat. Storm Lantern always gives his running her but could go to Barbury. Alan Hill has his horses in good form and has several but his best chance could be The Gunner Brady who comfortably won at Higham when last seen. He also has the former Colin Tizzard inmate Bramble Brook. Viens Chercher was rated 125 under rules and this half- brother to L’Ami Serge would appeal if rejuvenated. Richard Mitchell’s Milberry has a win to his name here and showed up well for a long way at Maisemore before pulling up.
The second division is equally competitive. Azure Fly took a Novice rider at Cocklebarrow in January and was then 2nd to Captain Bucks over 2n4f here in March. Big Casino took at Conditions race at Maisemore in October before unseating at Chaddesley Corbett. Course winner Chase me won a similar event at Chaddesley Corbett last week while dual winner How About it has left Alex Dunn and is now with Rebecca Welch. No Limitations comes here off the back of a good run when he was third under Bradley Gibbs at Maisemore and should be on the short list if he comes here instead of Barbury. Will Biddick has former top class chaser, Unionste entered but he was well beaten when last seen at Buckfastleigh. Vivaldi Collonges was impressive here in March and should also be noted. Always Lion was a three time winner under rules for Iain Jardine and is now with James King. The ex Dan Skelton Ange des Malberaux was a multiple winner under rules and is now with Francesca Nimmo; he could figure. The yard also has ten time winner Summer Sounds. Heist makes his British debut for Max Comley but won 5 times under rules in Ireland.
The opener is the Young horse Maiden and has several from the Nimmo yard including Adjournment who ran a very promising race when second here in March while Tom Lacey’s youngsters are always of interest and his well bred Scipion could give the Adjournment something to think about. Trooper Jones put in a good run at Chaddesley Corbett in February and should improve while Emma Yardley has the well-bred Wudyastopasking.
There are 18 entered in the finale for older maidens. Teresa Clark has Jasmin des Bordes and this ex NH horse could be a decent addition to her yard. The Waley-Cohen yard has Maitree Express entered and he looked to have every chance last time at Kimble before a mistake at the last. He could make amends. Alan Hill has entered Some Boy McCoy and he was unlucky to bump into the potentially useful Grey Getaway at Ottery in October. He too should go on the short list.