by Brian & Gill Armstrong

Spectators enjoyed gloriously sunny conditions at the New Forest Foxhounds point-to-point at Larkhill on Saturday. The opening Confined Hunts race went to the Sally Alner-trained Oscar Wilde who jumped well throughout and regained the lead entering the straight for a 5 length win. This was a second win of the season for Stoke Wake rider Dan Drake, 19, who looks after three horses at the Alner yard including Kingscliff, winner of the Christies Foxhunters Challenge Cup at Cheltenham just 48 hours earlier.

Kustom Kat Grizzly and Rowan Cope regained the lead two out to take the Open Maiden (Division One) race. Kustom Kat Grizzly is one of eight horses trained at Stewkley near Leighton Buzzard by Fiona Kehoe and is owned by an eight-man syndicate. Fiona, who runs a catering business in the summer months, bought the horse out of the ring at Doncaster Sales two years ago.

Kingscliff’s rider Richard Young also got on the scoresheet when Sun Lark made most of the running to take the Open Maiden (Division Two) race. Sun Lark is trained at Ibberton by Andy and Susie Old for Fiona and Charles Wilson, who bred Sun Lark at their Pitts Farm Stud at Glanvilles Wootton. Sun Lark’s dam Sunylyn won seven races and is a sister to 1985 Cheltenham Foxhunters winner Elmboy.

The Open Maiden (Division Three) race went to Stormy Pass and Charlie Wadland, who had already asserted when long-time leader Rosalee Royale fell at the last. Stormy Pass is owned and trained near Rugby by ex-Joint Warwickshire Hunt Master Jenny Hayward who bought the horse privately out of Paul Webber’s stable in September.

Sally Alner completed a double when Woodlands Beau took the 14-runner Mixed Open under Nick Mitchell. Woodlands Beau runs for a syndicate, headed by Stoke Wake’s Richard Jenks, which leases the horse from David Briers. Jackie Jenner, who looks after dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate, took part in this race, completing the course on her own One Of The Natives.

Julian Pritchard won on his only ride of the day when Carbonado forged clear from three out for a 12 length win from disappointing favourite Find Me Another. Carbonado, who relished the good to firm ground, is owned and trained by Thornbury farmers Jill and Bill Tuck.

The complexion of the Restricted changed when favourite Duncliffe and Ablington Down fell independently at the sixth fence. Sylphide and Jim Jenkins forged clear from four out to beat Dante’s Promise with Highway Oak back in third. Sylphide was homebred by Highworth owner, John Manners, who reported that the horse’s five-year-old half-sister Rakassa will shortly be making her hurdling debut.

The closing PPORA Club Members race went to the Richard Barber-trained Ease The Pressure and 17-year-old Nick Williams, who got up on the run in to deny Blackwater Brave and Harry Fry, 16, with Wild Edric in third. This was Ease The Pressure’s fourth Larkhill win of the season for owner Ray Geddes, who bought the horse at Doncaster Sales in November.