Point to Point news: New Forest Hunt at Larkhill
The New Forest Hunt at Larkhill, Saturday 16th March
FORMER top chaser Gone To Lunch came out of retirement to win a thrilling New Forest Novice Riders' race at Larkhill on Saturday. The mount of trainer Camilla Scott's 19-year-old daughter, Laura, Gone To Lunch caught Barneys Mate in the dying strides despite jumping the last five lengths in arrears.
The Stuart Penny-trained Who Else Knew led up the final climb and stayed on strongly to land the Mixed Open for owners Heather Hayes, Geoff Miller and Bryan Young. "He got a nice blow up the hill and it was never a bother after", smiled Tom Ellis, who had won Fakenham's Hunter Chase aboard Penmore Mill 24 hours earlier. "My girlfriend Gina Andrews was offered the ride on Who Else Knew, but stayed loyal to her long-standing patron Nigel Padfield. It could be a quiet journey home though".
Charlie Brooks and Tom Lacey introduced yet another nice prospect when four-year-old debutant Vazaro Delafayette landed the 2m4f Maiden. The French-bred showed his inexperience in the early stages, but produced an impressive turn of speed when Sam Drinkwater pressed the button after the second last.
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Will Biddick reached the 16-winner mark aboard The Wealerdealer, a comfortable winner of the Conditions race despite swerving on the run-in. Will's hopes of a double were dashed when leader Prince Of Pop was outjumped at the last by Kostaquarta (Jack Barber) in the 3-mile Maiden.
Garstin (Matt Hampton) finished alone in the Restricted for trainer Sally Alner and owners Percy and Anne Tory, Mary Smith, Nicky Turner and Moy Schicht.
The two well-supported pony races were won by William Rekert riding Churchill (138cm) and Christopher Barber aboard Second Chance IV (148cm).
Quantock Staghounds at Cothelstone, Sunday 17th March
MISS Midnight was a brave winner of the Quantock Staghounds Ladies Open, the feature of Sunday's Cothelstone card. The Mary Tory-trained mare led throughout the final circuit under Suzy Berry before holding off Vicky Wade's persistent challenge aboard Charlotte Budd's Havenstone. "That's the first time she's ever won first time out and I actually think she's better than she was last season, but we're lucky to have her", said Mary.
Trainer Sue Popham and jockey Michael Legg combined for a double with Swansbrook n the Men's Open and Getaway Driver in the Maiden.
Sam Allwood rode a double on back-to-back Hunt race winner Little Cornham and Restricted winner Blinding Lights. "Darren Edwards is at Buckfastleigh and owners Andy Pollard and Janet Down suggested Sam", said Little Cornham's trainer, Charlotte Tizzard, adding that the six-year-old would have preferred better ground.
Well-backed four-year-old debutant Cadeau George and Vicky Wade passed Best Bide Quiet (Jo Buck) on the flat to take the 2m4f Maiden for owner-breeder Paul Gilbard and Brompton Regis trainer Neil Harris.
'Two' seemed to be Pete and Kathy Musgrave's lucky number after their Nobody Tells Me and Jamie Thomas had finished alone in a match for the Confined. "Our last Cothelstone winner finished alone in a two-horse race, and it's two years since Nobody Tells Me won a race", said Pete.
... and this weekend
The Wilton Hunt at Milborne St Andrew, Saturday 23rd March
THE Claire Hitch-trained Batu Ferringhi, who made a trip from Devon to win at the South Dorset, can justify another trip to Milborne St Andrew by taking the Wilton Men's Open on Saturday. The nine entries also include the Peatys' Pastek, a winner on the corresponding card in 2012, Parkam Jack, who carries John and Floss Symes' Whizzaar and Robin Will colours, course winner Gunner Be Quick and Kingston St Mary runner-up Doran's Lodge.
Turthen and Horsham Lad look the two to choose from for the Ladies contest. Horsham Lad is a relentless stayer and may just outlast Turthen.
Turthen is among the 12 entries for the PPORA Club Members race and will get the vote if facing the starter. Crank Hill came from miles off the pace to win at the South Dorset and is the obvious selection in Turthen's absence.
Barbury winner Buster and Thinkaboutit, a good winner at Charlton Horethorne, are two for the Restricted shortlist, but Ned White has finished runner-up in his last two outings and can get his head in front here.
Pastek and Charlton Horethorne runner-up Mayo Rock can fight out the Hunt race.
Two Maiden contests complete the seven race card. Blue Buttons is suggested for the 2m4f event. Gospel Preacher chased up the progressive Robin Will at Chipley Park and may be the one for the 3 mile race.
The course at Milborne St Andrew is just off the A354 midway between Blandford and Dorchester. First race: 1pm.
Mendip Farmers at Ston Easton, Sunday 24th March
WELLOW trainer Chloe Roddick can land a quick double with Sericina in the Confined and Tara Point in the the 2m4f Maiden, the opening two contests at the Mendip Farmers fixture at Ston Easton on Sunday.
Quedillac, trained at Inwood by Stuart Penny for 87-year-old Isle of Wight owner Hazel Goody, can follow up his 2012 success in the AGA Ladies Open.
The aptly named Mendip Express has looked a star of the future in his three outings this season and cannot be opposed in the men's contest.
Thinkaboutit comfortably landed the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale 3 mile Maiden and can follow up with another popular success for Castle Cary owners Ray and Evelyn Targett in the Restricted. Urban Hymn fell at the 13th in Thinkaboutit's Charlton Horethorne race, but looks the one for the closing 3 mile Maiden.
Two pony races, qualifiers for the Wessex Area Finals in May, follow the point-to-point racing.
The course lies off the A37, 5 miles north of Shepton Mallet. First race: 12.30pm.