The curtain falls on Larkhill for the last time this season as the final meeting, the New Forest Hounds, takes place on Sunday. This is the seventh meeting at the busiest point to point course in the country and the course has coped well with all of races run since November. The current going is reported as good and with the weather seemingly set fair for the weekend the opportunity should not be missed to enjoy the wide open spaces of Larkhill as spring starts and the skylarks will be soaring in the sky. There is a charity race at 11.30 and after the 6 point to point races there will be two pony races sponsored by Fortune College.
The feature race, the Southwick Court Fine Wines sponsored Mixed Open, has attracted a total of nine horses and of these Rose of Arcadia stands out. The mare has looked very impressive in her two victories so far at Badbury Rings and Charlton Horethorne and despite a 3 pound penalty this should not stop her. Of her potential rivals another mare Country Legend is in good form having scored at Milborne St Andrew last weekend but she might be rerouted to the Conditions race. Igor won a Mixed Open at the course in December but has not maintained his form. Envoye Special from Chris Barber’s stable has been running in Hunter Chases and seems to find three miles at the extreme of his stamina. Rhythm Is A Dancer was runner up to Maitree Express in the Coronation Gold Cup but did not enjoy the softer going at Charlton Horethorne. Sixteen Letters is another course winner but holds other entries whereas Story of Friends was second at Cothelstone in Conditions race for Tom Malone but has now changed hands since that run.
The meeting begins with the LeMieux sponsored Conditions race where both Country Legend and Sixteen Letters hold entries. Freddie Gingell who would partner Rose of Arcadia in the Mixed Open holds a strong chance in this race with Molineaux who has already won three races this season and was caught on the line at Cothelstone on his last outing. He may be too good for his rivals. Golden Poet has been running well for Alice Procter and Coco Live is another who runs well at Larkhill. Arcal Fifty who is now at the veteran stage is a course regular and it would be good to see him in the mix at the finish. Drumlee Getaway won a Restricted race at Cocklebarrow but this is a steep rise in class for him.
The Landford Estates sponsored Maiden for 6 year old and upward feature several horses who have already been placed at Larkhill this season. These include Mighty Altogether who was runner up to Kauto No Risk in February and a repeat of that performance might be good enough. Spectacular Rival and Mithmaar were second and third behind Special Buddy over 2 and a half miles in February and as there was only a neck between them another close finish may be on the cards. Party Town from the stable of Charlie and Fran Poste may prefer the better going than he found when falling at the third last at Charlton Horethorne. The six year old Do No More boasts some fairly uninspiring form from nine races in Ireland but now in the capable hands of Luke Price who had a winner with another ex-Irish gelding on Sunday he might be one to look out for.
GPG Law sponsor the Maiden race for 4 and 5 year olds over two and a half miles. Springtown Sal trained by Bradley Gibbs brings place form from her last race in Ireland in December and she looks the one to beat. No Risk with Lou was not disgraced on his debut over fences at Great Trethew whereas the four year old Doyen Quest by Doyen is a full brother to a winning pointer and is in the capable hands of Tom Weston.
The Restricted race may see a quick reappearance for Captain Mc who made all under Martin McIntyre to win at Ston Easton on Sunday. Bought privately out of Noel Meade’s yard he boasted some useful Hurdle form and could run up a sequence. WhotheMan won his Maiden at Higham and was then fourth at Kingston Blount and with Bradley Gibbs stable in good form this could be another winner for him. Cashmoll was third behind Arcal Fifty at the course in February whereas Ballymac Boy has been placed three times in Restricted races and if travelling from his Northern base he should be considered.
The meeting concludes with the Conditions race for Novice Riders for which entries for Coco Live and Golden Poet are held and are mentioned above. Monsieur Gibraltar won a similar race at Ston Easton and if declared again he will take some beating. Lillington represents Colin Tizzard and Freddie Gingell and they will be hoping that the better ground produces a better performance than that at Charlton Horethorne. Slievegar has already won at Larkhill but his form since has been disappointing. Rien Du Tout is another who may appreciate the better going whereas the well-bred Foreign Secretary who has switched across the Irish Sea is another in the hands of Luke Price and his English pointing debut should be noted.
Larkhill Racecourse is to be found 5m NW of Amesbury, Nr A303, A345 and A360 – Postcode SP4 8QR. . First race 12.30pm Etickets from www.pointingwessex.co.uk Entry Costs on race day £12.50 per person by cash or card, race cards £3, children go free