Chameron tipped to be crowned in the Coronation Cup
The feature race of the entire Larkhill season, the Coronation Gold Cup, takes place this coming Sunday at the Combined Services Point to Point. One of the National Classic races, it has a long history with its first running taking place in 1953. Traditionally attracting a high quality field it is a race that many leading horses are targeted at and this year is no exception.
Although the entry for the race is smaller than usual it will be a race to savour. The going is currently reported as good and the Clerk of the Course has advised that all of the bends have been moved since the last meeting. With the weather forecast remaining unchanged for the next week this will be an opportunity to enjoy the horse racing as well as the trade stands that will be present. The first race is scheduled for 12.45pm.
The Coronation Gold Cup includes a previous winner,namely Chameron, the winner in 2020. Now owned by Nick Sutton and to be ridden by his son Ben he has a very good record at the Wiltshire course but will need to jump better than on his last outing at Buckfastleigh. Maitree Express is a rapidly improving gelding and recorded a comfortable victory in the Mixed Open at the last meeting and must be on the short list. Sixteen Letters was also a winner at the last meeting. Paul Nicholls has entered Rhythm is a Dancer, the winner of three chases and four hurdles, for his daughter Olive to ride. Caid du Berlais brings the best form to the race having won the Punchestown Champion Hunter Chase on two occasions and he may be the one to give Maitree Express a battle to the line.
The Ladies Conditions race has attracted the biggest entry of the card with a total of 24 horses including Sixteen Letters mentioned above. Fan Club Aulmes was a good winner for Amber Fennell-Jackson at the last meeting but he might run in the Novice Riders race. Both Champagne Lily and Largy Mountain have yet to run this season but both bring good form. The former named won four point to points when in the care of Phil Rowley but did not distinguish herself when trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies when she was switched under Rules. Now back in the care of Phil Rowley a return to Pointing might bring about a return to form. Largy Mountain won three of five starts last season for Fran Nimmo and could give Alice Stevens a good ride. Others to consider are the mare Minim Mouse the likely ride for Chloe Emsley, Ange des Malberaux and Robin des People, placed second and third at the recent Heythrop meeting and Cheltenham Mati the likely mount of Lily Bradstock.
The Novice Riders race, which is the first race of the day, has 23 entries including several entered in the Ladies Conditions race. Sametegal brings the best form from his National Hunt days but he unseated Olive Nicholls at the seventh fence on his Pointing debut. With a clear round he might prove difficult to beat but Molineaux is proving to be an ideal schoolmaster for Freddie Gingell having given him his first winning ride at Buckfastleigh. He has already beaten Captain Buck’s at the Larkhill Racing Club meeting and there is no reason to suppose that the form will be reversed. Looksnowtlikebrian won at Barbury Castle under Oisin Radford and has been placed since. Paul Nicholls also has a share in Virak who gave his daughter Olive a fall at Cocklebarrow but this normal reliable jumper might be the choice if he is chosen to run.
The Restricted race includes three horses who have already won their Maiden races this season. Oval Street won well at Higham, Patch Me Up won the first race of the season at Pyle and Olly Norse won a two-runner affair at Larkhill in November. Subsequently placed second behind Footloose in a Restricted he is clearly progressing. Best to Come won at Bratton for the late Jason Warner last May whereas Ballymac Boy was runner up in a Restricted at Revesby Park. Arcal Fifty runs well at his local course and was runner up in his Hunt race at the last meeting. In an open looking race Olly Norse is a tentative choice.