Saturday 31st December 2016
The Cambridge Harriers Hunts Club– Cottenham
Cambridge Harriers Hunts Club – Cottenham
Saturday December 31st
11.00 CHH Club Members – 19 entries
A strong entry here to start the day, which is headed by course specialist Lough Inch, a winner at the first meeting here (5 course wins in total) this tough and genuine horse looks to have possibly an easier option in the Novice Riders race but he will take all the beating in whichever race he turns up in. This looks a strong race although many are also entered in the later races. Karinga Dancer is a high recruit from under Rules, he has already shown winning form when taking the Novice Riders race at Barbury, this race will be tougher. Kayersburg won at C. Corbett earlier in the week so is unlikely to run again. Porlock Bay beat former East Anglian inhabitant, Mister Serious when taking the Intermediate at Black Forest Lodge in November and ran well behind Anquetta at Larkhill (Lough Inch beat Anquetta at the first meeting here in November). It might be hard to see Porlock Bay beating Lough Inch with that formline. Abbey Lane ran very well here last time behind Lough Inch. Andrew Pennock is likely to have had him fit for his seasonal appearance but it will be interesting to see if he can get closer this time. Celtic Silver won a 3 runner Restricted at the first Cottenham meeting and improvement will be needed to win this. Treacyswestcounty must be considered and is the possible ride of Jack Andrews, who is enjoying a fine run of form with 3 wins at C.Corbett earlier in the week. However, his win at Barbury in the Intermediate was in a fairly slow time compared to the Conditions and Mixed Open races. Dream Mistress always runs well and her mares allowance is useful and she has won here before. If fit she could well get placed and we will select her as an alternative to Lough Inch. Make sure you don’t miss the first race as it should be a good race with plenty of horses to follow as the season progresses.
Selection: Lough Inch Alternative: Dream Mistress
11.35 Restricted – 13 entries
A respectable 13 entries for what promises to be a competitive race. All the Sevens ran prominently and won his Maiden here in Nov. by a nk and with that experience should make the frame. Rated 86 is Barrafohona who ran 7 times in 2016 and looked to have won his Restricted (2ml5fl)at Whitfield in May but was placed 2nd – is he up to 3ml? 4yr Extreme Appeal still with a 7lb. advantage could make the frame following his win in the short Maiden here in Nov but all his runs to date have been over the shorter distance. Another with 7lb. in hand is the 7 yr.mare Looking Glass with 19 runs to date, her unchallenged Maiden win in Somerset in March was her best but finding Restricted company not so easy. Love Tangle has been running fairly unsuccessfully in Hurdle races and best just watched. With a 14lb. allowance Mere Detail has to be considered following a cosy win in a Mares Maiden in Ireland in May. Mr Bingley has interesting form with a short Maiden win in 2013 and then 6 pu in Restricted company but placed in his last run at Morden in May. Scorpion Star from the Pennock yard ran a weakening 12L 2nd to Celtic Silver on this track in Nov but this Trainer/Jockey/Track have history and will be in contention with a place finish possible as he will have come on from this run. Shan’t Agree has struggled in 3m Restricteds and may well again here. Urban Storm won the Kingston Blount Maiden in April by 15l and then failed in both his subsequent 2 Restricted runs pu at Mollington and Whitfield in May but ran 2nd in the Black Forest Lodge Nov. Restricted with a fast time and could repeat with a place here. Very Intense has yet to run 3m over fences but ran 2nd in a 2.5m Handicap at Kempton in April and won the short Maiden at Black Forest Lodge in Nov.
Selection: Urban Storm Alternative: Scorpion Star
12.10 Mens Open – 12 entries
Now Ben looked a useful prospect when winning this race last year by 10 lengths from Consigliere, but disappointed on a return visit in February, eventually being pulled up. He reappeared a month later to win a 4 runner open at Eyton-on-Severn, and then finished 2nd to Fruit Fayre around that course in May. Broken Eagle romped to victory in 4 points around Cottenham and Higham last season. He then went hunter chasing, finishing 2nd to Sam Cavallaro in the 2 miler at Cheltenham, with Swallows Delight in arrears. Broken Eagle then ran in the Champion Novices Hunter Chase “John Corbett” at Stratford, where he finished 4th, 22 lengths behind the winner Quiet Account. Full Trottle got his season off to the perfect start winning the mixed open at Black Forest Lodge in a thrilling finish, seeing off Grove Pride and Benvolio, the better jump at the last helped seal the victory. The Gunner Brady has also had a run, finishing 3rd in the mixed open to the easy winner Iberico, and Shy John. It Was Me has been a model of consistency and started last season with a 2nd behind Start Royal at Higham, before gaining a victory around this course in February, beating Drom by 11 lengths. However, he failed to finish in each of his next three starts, depositing his rider to the ground in each of them. Saint Roque, a former inmate of Paul Nicholls was pulled up on his final outing under rules in June, but had previously run around Fontwell on two occasions winning in April and then finishing 2nd in May. He has shown winning form following a break so is worth a check in the preliminaries.
Selection: Saint Roque Alternative: Broken Eagle
12.45 Countryside Alliance Club Members (Novice Riders) – 12 entries
Each season we mention the importance of the jockeys in the Novice Rider races; - are they long standing novices or are they starting out on an illustrious career? The problem facing us is that several the fancied runners have no declared jockey so our selections come with that caveat. – “jockey beware”! Cottenham specialist Lough Inch should win this race and it is highly likely his trainer, Tommy Morgan, will find a suitable pilot but could there be others in the pack who offer a better combination? Porlock Hill, owned and trained by former National Hunt jockey and current TV pundit, Luke Harvey, might offer the better package. Having already won an Intermediate Race this season at Black Forest (in the hands of leading jockey Darren Edwards) it seems highly likely that with his contacts Harvey should be able to source a capable work rider. Vesperal Dream has some reasonable form under Rules but blotted his copy book when running out, for the first time, in the hands of Victoria Pendleton when running in a Ladies Open at Larkhill earlier this month. Pendleton confirmed her competence last season and it seems unlikely she will let the same problem happen again – this is an easier race and she should be in the mix. Karinga Bay won a modest Novice Riders event earlier this month at Barbary Castle but we fancy this will be a more competitive event if any of the previously mentioned entrants turn up on the day. Cooladerry King had a reasonable season between the flags last year in the hands of Paddy Gerety but we question whether the same success will be achieved in the hands of a novice rider. And so, to our selection – Lough Inch knows his way round Cottenham better than most so providing we have confidence in the pilot success seems nailed on. We sense Porlock Hill might choose to go to Chaddesley so our reserve will be Vesperal Dream, who hopefully will deliver some of his NH success to get Victoria Pendleton off the mark for the season.
Selection: Lough Inch Alternative: Vesperal Dream
1.20 Ladies Open – 12 entries
The classy Karinga Dancer won four hurdles and two chases whilst with Harry Fry and still runs off an official rating of 140. He won a Novice Riders’ at Barbury convincingly in early December and given the likely fast ground should take this. Sharp Suit heads the entries in terms of point-to-point ratings and whilst he hasn’t quite fulfilled the promise he showed as a youngster back in 2014 he does have a good record in points. He ran well at the last meeting here when finishing 5 lengths behind the speedy Bound For Glory and could go close. Hazy Tom put in a series of decent runs last season including a 2nd and a 3rd in Hunter Chases. He has since changed yards but clearly has place chances. Roberto Pegasus was a decent 2.5m handicap hurdler/chaser for Alan King but didn’t show much last season and dropped a stone in the official ratings. If new connections have managed to revitalise him then he has a chance.Young Cheddar won a modest novices handicap chase for Polly Gundry in May 2015. If he could regain that form he would have a chance but as he hasn’t been seen for 19 months is probably best watched. Lauberhorn won a modest Ladies’ at Ystradowen last season and Quinsman has shown decent form in the past but has disappointed recently. Both would have to improve significantly to feature in this. It’s difficult to fancy any of the others
Selection: Karinga Dancer Alternative: Sharp Suit
1.55 Open Maiden – 19 entries
A modest entry for this contest of 19, just 1 above the safety factor of 18 and some of these also hold entries for Chaddesley Corbett on Tuesday and the following short maiden. Only 2 of these have run this season prior to entry with West Lake finishing 4th at the first fixture here, beaten just over 20 lengths by All The Sevens. Holy Dancer fell 4 out when well placed in the 2 ½ mile maiden at the same meeting. She had previously been placed on her final 2 starts last season and should enter calculations if none the worse for her fall here but is also entered in the following short maiden. Brogeen Boy has been placed 2nd on his last four runs and on his final start last season was beaten 30 lengths by Annie Jordan at Kingston Blount in May. On The Tangle is a consistent sort and he finished 2nd on his final start last season when going down by 10 lengths to Torran Na Dtonn at Higham in April. Kings Walden was 3rd on his only start last season when beaten 12 lengths by Mirs Choice at Hackwood Park in March. Alittlebitless hails from a good yard but achieved very little in all starts last season. State Department was 2nd on his only point start in April 2015 when going down by 1 length to HMS Intrepid at Holnicote. Previously he had been placed 7 times under rules when trained by Philip Hobbs. Nick Wright is responsible for 3 of the entries. Almost There, Le Fou Royal and the unraced Mr Maclenanne. Almost There has been placed on all 3 of his starts in Irish points and on his final outing was beaten 1 length by Queens Present at Maralin in May 2016. Le Fou Royal has been placed 4 times from 8 starts in Irish points, however he has failed to complete on 3 starts also. Andrew Pennock has 2 entered, Poyntzpass and Tailspin. Poyntzpass was placed once from 5 starts in Ireland when 3rd at Durrow, beaten 9 lengths by Front At The Last in February. Tailspin has been placed twice from 7 starts under rules in Ireland when with Henry De Bromhead, most recent placing was 3rd at Wexford when beaten 15 lengths by Bay Of Freedom in April. Canyouhearmenow has been placed 4 times from 6 outings in Irish points, on his final start he was 3rd beaten 15 lengths by Quarry Wizard at Dromahane in May. Miss North Light was placed 7 times from 11 starts when trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliot. Bilzic representing the yard of Tom and Gina Ellis ran on Tuesday and finished 3rd at Chaddesley Corbett so is unlikely to run today. Unraced Boomtown Knat is a half sister to winning chaser Tullyesker Hill. As usual with early season maiden contest, it’s always difficult to pick the winner but we will side with Almost There as our main selection and State Department as our alternative.
Selection: Almost There Alternative: State Department
2.30 Open Maiden (4, 5 &6 yo) – 11 entries
In this race there are five horses which are also entered in the previous race. Holy Dancer, Kings Walden, Le Fou Royal, Mr Maclennane and Boomtown Knat have been mentioned and their form researched. The problem we have is that until the day we will not know in which race they will participate. Of the others Canyouhearmenow has been 3rd in two Irish points from five outings in 2016. Kev the Car was 3rd here at the last meeting but was thirteen lengths behind the winner, did appear here and was pulled up last season, its only appearance for the year. Passage East has had five starts but shown very little so far. Skiptothegoodbit has had five outings, best so far is 4th but would appear that doesn’t stay. Somme Boy has had four starts, been 3rd on two occasions but was beaten by Kev the Car last time and although from the Pennock yard would need to show a considerable improvement in form to win this modest race. Spring Overture has had seven outings in flat races, best was 3rd in Jersey back in the summer.
To be quite frank the selections are total guesses.
Selection: Le Fou Royal Alternative: Somme Boy