A gusty and cloudy day with the threats of squally rain showers was the weather that faced race spectators at the New Forest point-to-point at Larkhill. Fortunately the rain stayed away until the first pony race after the racing had finished. It was a day for local trainers with both Harriet Waight and Sally Rawlins training a winner each and Sally Alner securing another double. The riding honours were shared by Martin McIntyre and Lorcan Williams who both secured riding doubles. Lorcan who started this season as a novice with one winner to his name is now the leading rider at Larkhill after 5 meetings and must have a good chance of securing the best jockey award for the seven meetings.
Lorcan began the day with a very easy win on the Bill Dupont owned and Sally Alner trained Thereyarsee who won the Intermediate race by fifteen lengths. Supplementing his victory at the Larkhill Racing Club meeting in January Bill commented that ' this rubber stamped his ability' and added that he was not right when finishing third on his next occasion. He is next likely to be seen at Ston Easton and perhaps a Hunter Chase before the season is over
Harriet Waight was delighted to be back in the winner's enclosure when her mare Bee Crossing was left clear at the second last after the departure of Delineate and won the Maiden race by ten lengths. Describing her charge as a bit of a monkey at home she had shown ability on her debut in 2016 but had not got round this season. Bought by her mother-in-law Lucy at Ascot whilst Harriet and her husband James were on their honeymoon she is named after one of the crossings on Salisbury Plain. Martin McIntyre riding her for the first time indicated that the ease in the going had helped and described her jumping as 'fantastic'
The feature race, the Timico Mixed Open race, was a good battle between There's No Panic ridden by Will Biddick and Sidbury Hill ridden by Martin McIntyre. The latter looked to be getting the better of the argument when making a mistake at the second last but this hardly stopped him and he soon asserted with there being six lengths in hand over The Gunner Brady who stayed on to be second. Trained and owned by Sally and Stan Rawlins at Figheldean this was certainly a step up from the Hunt Race he had won earlier in the season. Sally's reaction was 'amazing' and added that she rides the gelding that they bred themselves every day at home. Commenting on his rather lacklustre performance in the Coronation Gold Cup Sally thought that Sidbury Hill was ' missing his mate in the lorry' and this time Adrenalin Flight had come with him (and finished second in the Novice Riders race)
It is rare that a Larkhill meeting takes place without a Jack Barber trained winner and this meeting was no exception when King Calvin was an easy winner of the two and a half mile Maiden. He had previously finished a good second at Milborne St Andrew but this time there was no doubt about the result. Bought by Jack at Ascot in 2016 he had run in Irish maiden races but following a wind operation he was given a very positive ride by Will Biddick and was never headed.
The Restricted race also run over two and a half miles had a dramatic conclusion with two of the eight strong field departing at the fifteenth fence and Fortune Bound when in the lead fell at the next fence. This left Swivel well clear of his remaining rivals and he was able to come veer to give James King a very easy winner. Owned by Jane Tufnell and trained by Axelle Wall the six year old Shirocco gelding is an unusual runner in point-to-points as he has won six races on the flat and amassed over £50,000 in win prize money when trained by Mark Johnston. He did not win when trained by John Ferguson and was allowed to run in a Restricted because he has only won on the flat. Axelle's husband Mark did say that when the gelding arrived in their stable there were issues with his back but they have been sorted out and he now jumps fences well. Mark with a smile did add that he has a rating of 97 on the flat and could get in one of the long distance races at Royal Ascot which is quite some way from Larkhill!
Tom Barton supplemented his Badbury Rings win last week when winning the Novice Riders for Sally Alner and Lorcan Williams. He did veer away to the left on the run in but still had three lengths in hand at the line from Adrenalin Flight and Quedillac. Sally explained that there was not any really suitable races for her charge over the next few weeks and decided to let him run two races in a week which had paid off.
The two pony races followed with Daniel Ellis aged 12 from Bridgend winning the 138 centimetres race aboard Clear the Track and Luca Morgan aged 15 winning the 148 centimetres race aboard Pacman.