The Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) at Badbury Rings
BRASSICK and Round Tom can fight out the finish of the Bonhams Men’s Open at Badbury Rings on Sunday.
The former, a £35,000 Doncaster purchase after winning a bumper, a hurdle race and two steeplechases, made a promising debut for William and Angela Rucker when third in a competitive Kelso hunter chase three weeks ago.
Round Tom made an impressive return to hunt racing last season, winning three of his four races. Five-time hurdle race winner Akbabend, Chipley Park third Hameldown Tor, Oedipe – winner of 10 races between the flags – Velka Pardubice contestant Zest For Life and Thinkaboutthat, the winner of his last four 2013 races for Raymond and Evelyn Targett are five more to consider.
Brassick and Round Tom will both be suited by the Badbury Rings course and its free-draining surface, but Round Tom is fancied to hold off his rivals’ late challenge.
The season’s current leading horse Byerley Bear and Master Medic, who is bidding for a ninth consecutive success, are hard to separate in the AGA Ladies Open, which has attracted 24 entries.
The Ruckers have a strong hand with Beneficial Reform and the consistent Sagalyrique, while Aikideau won comfortably at Larkhill. Moscow Blaze and Silver Token would be suited by testing conditions.
The main dangers are the prolific Double Mead, the winner of 18 races including 10 point-to-points and five hunter chases, and 15-race winner Start Royal, who returned to his brilliant best at Higham in January.
Master Medic is selected to forge clear of his rivals approaching the last.
Thinkaboutthat is among the 36 entries for the opening Conditions race. Different Trades, Larkhill winner Garstin and Frances Bishop’s newcomer Theatre Evening are three others to consider. Martin Peaty’s 2012 winner Pastek can give his supporters a run for their money at longer odds, but Champagne Rosie can resume winning ways after probably finding conditions too testing when third at Chipley Park.
The 29 entries for the Novice Riders’ contest include former top class hurdler Khyber Kim, who is an automatic selection if facing the starter. Piment D’Estruval, the front-running Clew Bay Cove, stable companions State Benefit and Stonemaster – a Thorpe Lodge winner last weekend – and Flanshan are five more to consider.
Barneys Mate has been the UK’s leading schoolmaster for several seasons and looks the one to give Khyber Kim the most to do.
Un Ami, who found conditions too testing at Black Forest Lodge, and Ladfromhighworth can contest the finish of the Restricted.
The Maiden has been divided at entry. Go On Henry, Overtown Express and Volatility are three to consider in Division One. Earthpower and Tigeralley are two suggestions for Division 2.
The course lies between Wimborne and Blandford, four miles NW of Wimborne on the B3082 (DT11 9JL).
Gates open at 9am for a variety of entertainment including terrier racing, hound parade, ongoing children’s activities, silent auction, a large shopping village with varied food outlets and much more. First race: Noon.