The 14th Regiment Royal Artillery staged the final Point-to-Point
in the Wessex Area 2002 season at Larkhill Racecourse on Salisbury
Plain on Wednesday evening (29th May). Highlights were a double for
rider Dominic Alers-Hankey and an exciting finish to the Mixed
The opening Ablington Challenge race, a 1½ mile charity flat
race staged in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal, went to
Storm Cry, who forged well clear in the straight under Compton
Martin farmer-turned-airline-pilot Tony Harris, who last rode in
point-to-points in 1998 but may make a come-back next season to
ride his Miss Biddy. Storm Cry is trained at Wells by Malcolm
Saunders, who owns the horse in partnership with IT specialist
The 12-runner Restricted went to Mac Five who stayed on strongly
under Dominic Alers-Hankey to catch long-time leader Quit the Creek
on the run-in. Mac Five who benefited from the good ground, is
owned by Martin Holland and Hugh Davies but ran in the colours of
West Bagborough trainer Sue Popham who reported that the horse may
run under Rules next season.
The Confined went to Members Cruise who made virtually all under
25-year-old Tor Sturgis, riding for the first time since breaking
her collar bone when Members Cruise was brought down at the South
& West Wilts. Members Cruise is owned by octogenarian retired
farmer Eric Smith of Clyffe Pypard and was a first ever winner for
trainers Richard and Gill Bryan, also from Clyffe Pypard.
Lord Philip comfortably held only other finisher Enoch to take the
5, 6 and 7 year old Open Maiden in the hands of owner/trainer
Godfrey Maundrell. Lord Philip was purchased privately from Jim Old
12 months ago and is one of seven horses trained by Godfrey at his
There was a close finish to the Mixed Open when 17-year-old
Granville Grill and Tor Strugis were caught in the last two strides
by Springford and Dominic Alers-Hankey, with favourite Lankridge a
further neck away in third. Granville Grill, unfortunately
disqualified at the South & West Wilts and running probably his
last race, would have been an enormously popular winner, but credit
must go to Springford, also unlucky on several occasions this
season. Springford is owned by Bristol company director Michael
O'Connor and is one of two horses trained by Caroline Keevil from
her livery yard near the old Castle of Comfort course.
Gami and Rilly Goschen headed long time leader Can't Be Scrabble at
the last to take the Open Maiden and provide hospitalised Seaton
joint owner Martin Salter with a welcome boost. Gami is trained at
Forton by Philip Greenwood who bought the horse privately two years
ago from Phillip Hobbs on behalf of Salter and Jacqui McCullough.
Philip was keen to credit Richard Woollacott for the work he has
done schooling the horse this season.
The Intermediate went to Susies Melody and Guy Weatherley who led
off the final bend to give Upham trainer Kate Buckett a winner with
her last runner of the season. Susies Melody is owned by Anna Reed
from Newport, Isle of Wight who bought the horse privately from Dan
Dennis three years ago.