A horse to wish for: Southfield Theatre wins Champion Horse Award

16-June-2022
16-June-2022 11:22
in General
by Russell Smith

Sarah Bradstock can look back on the Point-to-Point season just concluded with a fair degree of satisfaction. The young rider, who acts as assistant to father Mark at their yard outside Wantage, has enjoyed the sort of season riders dream of, notching up eight winners on the old evergreen, Southfield Theatre. 

Starting just 5 fixtures into the new season, Lily and Southfield Theatre scored early at Dunsmore in mid-November winning a 3 runner Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open by 1 1/4l. Subsequent wins in January at Larkhill and Cocklebarrow, Larkhill again in February, then at Siddington in a sparsely supported March fixture, a quick fire reappearance at High Easter and the following weekend's Easter meeting at Chaddesley brought the season's tally to 7. One last victory at Tabley secured the award as Connolly's Red Mills National Champion Horse, with a record of 8 wins, and put Lily into fifth place in the Lady Riders Championship behind riders generally used to riding plenty of horses for multiple stables. 

Southfield Theatre winning at High Easter this April

Southfield Theatre is what one might describe as a talisman horse. A fourteen year old, he has a huge zest for racing, and a strong constitution. In a sport where the average number of runs per horse is 3, the old stager has run 10 times since last November, winning eight times and never being out of the first two. That total of 8 could as easily have been 10 out of 10, the winning margin of the two second places a mere 4 3/4l. 

The uncharitable among you may remark that Southfield Theatre hasn't beaten much, choosing small fields in Open and Conditions races. This is to underestimate his robustness. Week after week, he's put his best foot forward; most trainers would give their eye teeth for a horse with this sort of enthuiasm.

Between the flags, Lily Bradstock has become a go-to rider, with a remarkable 38% strike rate from her 57 starts to date. From a family steeped in racing, with a Gold Cup under their belt in Coneygree back in 2015, Lily has tried her hand at the full range of equestrian sport, from eventing to racing, and this thorough grounding plays its part in a better intuition of any horse's needs and what goes on between those ears. 

In the world of horse racing, where success is often centred around big yards with hundreds of horses, the Bradstock story bucks the trend, harking back to an era of owner-riders and small yards with one or two star horses. And whilst Lily could ride virtually before she could walk, she's unlikely just yet to be challenging the likes of Gina Andrews but is celebrating a unique partnership with one charismatic horse with a burning will to win. 

Who knows, we may well expect Southfield Theatre to reappear this November and race on past his 15th birthday. Stranger things have happened.

 

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A horse to wish for: Southfield Theatre wins Champion Horse Award

16-June-2022
16-June-2022 11:22
in General
by Russell Smith

Sarah Bradstock can look back on the Point-to-Point season just concluded with a fair degree of satisfaction. The young rider, who acts as assistant to father Mark at their yard outside Wantage, has enjoyed the sort of season riders dream of, notching up eight winners on the old evergreen, Southfield Theatre. 

Starting just 5 fixtures into the new season, Lily and Southfield Theatre scored early at Dunsmore in mid-November winning a 3 runner Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open by 1 1/4l. Subsequent wins in January at Larkhill and Cocklebarrow, Larkhill again in February, then at Siddington in a sparsely supported March fixture, a quick fire reappearance at High Easter and the following weekend's Easter meeting at Chaddesley brought the season's tally to 7. One last victory at Tabley secured the award as Connolly's Red Mills National Champion Horse, with a record of 8 wins, and put Lily into fifth place in the Lady Riders Championship behind riders generally used to riding plenty of horses for multiple stables. 

Southfield Theatre winning at High Easter this April

Southfield Theatre is what one might describe as a talisman horse. A fourteen year old, he has a huge zest for racing, and a strong constitution. In a sport where the average number of runs per horse is 3, the old stager has run 10 times since last November, winning eight times and never being out of the first two. That total of 8 could as easily have been 10 out of 10, the winning margin of the two second places a mere 4 3/4l. 

The uncharitable among you may remark that Southfield Theatre hasn't beaten much, choosing small fields in Open and Conditions races. This is to underestimate his robustness. Week after week, he's put his best foot forward; most trainers would give their eye teeth for a horse with this sort of enthuiasm.

Between the flags, Lily Bradstock has become a go-to rider, with a remarkable 38% strike rate from her 57 starts to date. From a family steeped in racing, with a Gold Cup under their belt in Coneygree back in 2015, Lily has tried her hand at the full range of equestrian sport, from eventing to racing, and this thorough grounding plays its part in a better intuition of any horse's needs and what goes on between those ears. 

In the world of horse racing, where success is often centred around big yards with hundreds of horses, the Bradstock story bucks the trend, harking back to an era of owner-riders and small yards with one or two star horses. And whilst Lily could ride virtually before she could walk, she's unlikely just yet to be challenging the likes of Gina Andrews but is celebrating a unique partnership with one charismatic horse with a burning will to win. 

Who knows, we may well expect Southfield Theatre to reappear this November and race on past his 15th birthday. Stranger things have happened.

 

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