Sunday 31st December 2017
The Cambridge Harriers Hunts Club– Cottenham
THE CAMBRIDGE HARRIERS HUNTS CLUB – COTTENHAM
Sunday 31st December 2017
11.00 CH Club Members Conditions– 32 entries
Lough Inch the “King” of Cottenham could be back for his seasonal debut in the opening race of the Cottenham New Year’s Eve fixture. No doubt the likely favourite it is amazing to think he is still only 10 years old as he seems to have been around for ever. Penalised for previous successes it will be interesting to see if he has retained his usual enthusiasm as he approaches his 11th birthday. Despite his presence we feel this is a wide open event. The second division of the Club Members race on the 3rd December saw four of the entrants for this event fighting out the finish with the ultimate victor being Gallox Bridge. Runner up that day was Derksen with Mr Syntax in third place and Exclusive Rights, who had led for most of the race, fading into 4th. We must remind readers that this was a 2m4f race and today’s trip will be over 3 miles. We expect these four to finish in a different order and think Exclusive Rights will come out on top in the capable hands of Claire Hardwick. Whether this one can hold a candle to Lough Inch remains to be seen but she will get the Mares Allowance which might be handy. However there are a number of other runners which might surprise. Rendevous Peak, ridden by National Champion Will Biddick, was turned over when 4/1 on favourite at Barbary Castle a few weeks ago. Clearly well fancied on the day he led for a long way but simply tired over the last half mile in soft ground so the likely fast ground at Cottenham might just bring him to the top of the pack. As was said earlier this is an open race and one interesting runner is Throthethatch. Now owned by Jenny Pidgeon, who’s been associated with a number of good horses over the years, its form first time out after a long break has been exceptional. Formerly with Lucinda Russell, for whom he won after a long break, then with Dan Skelton, for whom he won after a long break, can the Pigeon team fulfil the same achievement? The probable booking of Gina Andrews looks interesting. The Gredley family have some lovely horses running between the flags and Just Cause seems a fascinating acquisition. Looked to hold a winning lead two out at Barbary jockey Tim Gredley probably wasn’t prepared for the driving finish of William Money ridden by the latest member of the Brace family to catch the eye. We feel that Just Cause looks a likely pointing star of the future and if he doesn’t win today there will be victories later in the season. Amigo may need the run which will probably be the case of many of the runners however one horse that is sure to arrive fit and well is Change of Luck an inmate of the powerful Alan Hill yard. This one improved with each outing last season ending his campaign with third place in the Subaru restricted final.
We could name many more as “in with a chance” and it is one of the most difficult races to predict. It will surprise many to read that we will go against Lough Inch preferring the Tim Gredley mount Just Cause and in reserve the lightly weighted Exclusive Rights. Each way investments are recommended!
11.35 Restricted – 15 entries
A month on and an excellent 15 runner entry. Rain midweek so could be on the soft side. 9 yr Blackwood Rover missed 2016 but has been running under rules in 2017 placed twice in Class 5 chases under Leighton Aspell but what can he do over a longer 3m trip and 12st. instead of 10.5st.- watch the market for indicators. 4yr Emtidaad will not have the large weight allowance that he had last season - placed twice and then won the Garthorpe Maiden in Feb. easily but fell in the lead in the Hunt race at Maisemore Park in March – possible frame finish. Full Batten is an ex Gordon Elliott horse who had seven outings in Ireland and was 2nd twice in Hurdles then ran six times in Points and was 3rd on three occasions, the last time out was in late August at Sligo – won the short Maiden on this track earlier this month under Gina Andrews and if he can handle 3m and step up in grade could well repeat here. Ka Maresco earlier this year placed in 2 short Maidens and then won another easily under Jamie Codd at Kingston Blount – again distance and grade but a frame finish possible. Kalabaloo from the well-known Ellis/Andrews yard won the April Dromahane Maiden by 6l. - his only run and now up a grade so watch the market. Le Legro has been Hurdling (2nd at Worcester in Aug 2016) and pu in his only Chase start last season. Lily’s Got Wings with a mares allowance did not perform in Ireland over 3m but won the short Maiden easily under Jack Andrews at Barbary in Nov. – one to watch and see if she can handle 3m here. Lords Park Star won and 2nd. in Stradbally Maidens in 2014 then Hurdling since with no great success. Loveyoutothemoon pu on his only run this season at Larkhill so will have come on for the run but could struggle in this company. Mountain Eagle won his Maiden at Lingstown in 2015 then under rules – placed in 3 hurdle races and 2l 3rd to Cold Knight giving 14lb in a 2.5ml Grade 4 Chase at Stratford in May so not to be ignored. Mr Maclennane from the well-known Wright yard won the Open Maiden on this track a year ago on firm going and then a distant 4th at Dingley in April to Aunty Joan – could struggle in this company. From the Ellis yard -only 1 run from Roysta’s Spirit last season, a 25l 3rd in a short Restricted at Chaddesley Corbett – one to just watch. Skiuptothegoodbit won his Maiden staying on well at Hackwood Park in March but has struggled in subsequent Restricted races and could do here. The maiden Irish pointer This Breac has had 8 runs without getting his head in front but there was evidence of improvement as the Irish season progressed -. the well known Pennock team did get more out of this Carlo Bank maiden on this track a month ago with an easy 7l win over Fair Exchange and will go close here again.
A really difficult race to call with so many highly rated so going for distance / going experience and yard.
Selection: This Breac Alternative: Kalabaloo
12.10 Mens Open – 18 entries
A number of these hold alternative engagements, but it could still end up that we will have another good men’s open to watch.
Gallox Bridge was victorious in the 2nd division of the club member’s race held over 2½ miles at the last meeting. Held up off the pace he made rapid progress after jumping the 3rd last, to take the lead turning into the home straight, and stayed on well to beat Derksen by 1½ lengths. Bivouac made a promising start for the season at the same meeting, finishing third, six lengths behind Bear’s Affair and Full Trottle, whilst West Lake finished a distant 4th. Stable companion Just Cause also made a promising start to the season, finishing an 8 length 2nd to William Money in a novice rider’s race at Barbury Castle. William Money the odds on favourite to win that race had the benefit of a run the week before where he finished 2nd to Top Wood. William Money has then gone on to finish 4th in a conditions race at Wadebridge, 30 lengths behind Mic’s Delight. Now Ben also ran at the Barbury meeting, but was pulled up in the mixed open won by Iberico. Back in June Now Ben won one of the Championship races at Stratford, beating Tinkers Hill Tommy. He has won around Cottenham on a couple of occasions beating Consigliere into 2nd place both times. Consigliere’s stable companion Broken Eagle has won many points and eventually won a hunter chase, beating Always Archie around Huntingdon last season, but did fail to finish in three other contests, including the Stratford race won by Now Ben. Lough Inch, the winning most pointer of last season, has been a regular visitor to Cottenham, winning on 7 previous occasions. Lough Inch has been well placed to win so often that this will only be the fourth time he has contested an open race. Of those that have previously been running under rules, Such A Legend won a 2m 3 ½ furlong chase at Chepstow in April, before finishing 2nd at Southwell and then being pulled up at Worcester. My Friend George has not run since May 2016, having run up a sequence of four 2nd places following a win at Sedgefield in the February of that year.
Selection: Now Ben Alternative: Bivouac
12.45 CA Club Members Conditions (Novice Riders) – 15 entries
A modest entry of just 15 for this contest but there are some very good horses amongst these. The top rated is Creepy who won three times last season and two of those were under his jockey today Charlie Dee. His final victory was at Kingston Blount in May when he beat Ravethebrave by 7 lengths. Tim Gredley has the choice of two James Owen trained runners. Bivouac would appear to be the stronger runner and he was 3rd here at the previous meeting when beaten just over 6 lengths by Bear’s Affair in the men’s open and this is an easier race. (West Lake was 40 lengths adrift in 4th in this race). The other possible runner is Just Cause who was 2nd at Barbury Castle last month when going down by 8 lengths to William Money. William Money has run since his Barbury victory when he was 4th at Wadebridge three weeks ago beaten 26 lengths by Mic’s Delight. Derksen was 2nd at the previous meeting when going down by 1 ½ lengths to Gallox Bridge in a division of the 2 ½ miles conditions race. Ballybough Gorta gave Noah Brazg a great first ride when he finished 3rd here in another division of the 2 ½ mile conditions race when finishing 12 ¾ lengths adrift of Celtic Silver. (Shah Of Persia pulled up in this race). Robin des People was a two time scorer last season, a maiden and a restricted. He finished 8th on his final run last season in the Subaru Restricted hunter chase final at Stratford. Midnight Chorister is a three time winning chaser when trained by Alex Hales. His last win coming at Southwell in a 2 mile chase in March 2016. Such A Legend won a 2 ½ mile Chepstow handicap chase in April 2017 when trained by Kim Bailey. Que Sera won a 2 mile hurdle when in the care of Philip Hobbs when scoring by 2 ½ lengths at Towcester in December 2015. We will side with Bivouac who ran well here in a stronger race at the previous meeting as our choice. As he has the benefit of a run we will make Derksen our alternative just ahead of seasonal debutant Creepy.
Selection: Bivouac Alternative: Derksen
1.20 Ladies Open – 21 entries
Top billing goes to the admirable Lough Inch who has won 7 of his 8 starts at this track. He has entries for other races on the card but if connections go for this then he will be difficult to oppose. The lightly raced Top Smart has won 5 of 8 his pointing starts and only Western Diva has beaten him in the last two seasons. He hasn’t been tried at Cottenham before but shouldn’t be far away. Foxcub ran well into 2nd behind Bound For Glory at the last meeting here on his first point start and should come on for that run. Mon Parrain put in some good performances in Hunter Chases early last season rating into the 140s but disappointed on his first point start at Barbury last month; Ericht finished tailed off in the same race. Both horses are capable of much better. Ivy Gate beat a strong field including Sybarite on his only GB Point start at Cocklebarrow back in January but hasn’t been seen since. He’s presumably had some sort of set-back but could put up a strong showing if back to form. Western Diva won three Opens last season but looked well beaten when falling at the last meeting here and weakened rapidly again when running a week later at Wadebridge. She now has something to prove. Amigo showed good form when winning two Conditions Races last season and has place chances. Weather Warning sprung a major surprise at Fakenham last season when beating Lough Inch but his recent form has otherwise been modest. For ‘n’ Against and Karinga Dancer were aimed mainly at Members’ and Novice Riders’ races last season and will have to find more to feature in this.Treacyswestcounty is a consistent performer who has run mainly in Members’ races but will also have to find more. Of the other recent recruits from NH: Expedite was going well at Larkhill but finished tailed off; Sand Blast was a distant 5th in the Ladies at last meeting here - both should some on for those runs. Midnight Chorister, Shimla Dawn and Throthethatch have all shown fairly modest recent form.
Selection: Lough Inch Alternative: Top Smart
1.55 Open Maiden – 22 entries
With several of these featured in the preview for the finale, we will concentrate on some of the remaining entries.
Chasetheisland, Latenightpass, Come On Harriet, Iwillifiwant and Desert Retreat all met in the 3 mile maiden race at the last meeting behind the easy winner This Breac. Chasetheisland did best, finishing 3rd, 10 ¼ lengths behind the winner, whilst racecourse debutant Latenightpass finished 4 lengths further back in 4th, with Come On Harriet finishing last of the five finishers. Come On Harriet and Winola are closely matched on their run at Dingley in May, where Winola finished 2nd, behind Loveyoutothemoon, in a mares maiden race, just ahead of Come On Harriet. Rainbow Stripes has been place 2nd or 3rd nine times during the last three seasons. On his last run at Charing in April he finished a close 4th to Roll Of The Dice. Sandygate has had just the one run in points having previously been placed under rules for Philip Hobbs. His one outing was at High Easter, where he finished 2nd, three lengths behind Toosey. Summer Sounds has been running under rules, but was pulled up on his final outing at Huntingdon in April, having previously finished 2nd to D’nailor in a 2m 5f race at Fakenham. The Captain, a stablemate of The Sting was favourite to win a 2 ½ mile maiden at Bitterley in April, but was pulled up, his rider Alex Edwards having made a remarkable recovery to keep the partnership intact midway through the race, and should improve for the experience.
Selection: The Sting Alternative: Chasetheisland
2.30 Open Maiden (2m4f) – 20 entries
Nine of the horses entered here are also entered in the previous Open Maiden race. With the expected going likely to be on the soft side owners may decide on this lesser distance, Horses that have had a run already this season must be at an advantage so this will influence decisions. Almost There was placed in Irish Maiden points, was 2nd on two occasions and 3rd once. Is in the Nick Wright yard so could expect this one to be fit and ready. Coyoacan was 2nd here at the previous meeting to Full Batten but the going then was good to firm which may not suit this one. Danny’s Star was 3rd twice last season in January and April and would be hoping for better things here. Desert Retreat from the Alan Hill yard was expected to run better than it did at the last meeting here weakening three out, but do not discount this one. Holy Street, owned by Stephen Howlett the Chairman of East Anglian PtP Area Committee is trained by the Tom Ellis/ Gina Andrews team. Was previously trained by Alan King, ran five times under rules best being 2nd out of four at Uttoxeter last May. Night at Tara, ex Dan Skelton, was 3rd in a Hurdle race at Uttoxeter last July and previous to that 3rd in a NH Flat race. Sulamani the Late had ten outings under rules and was placed 3rd three times and 2nd once at Sedgefield in March so has plenty of experience giving owners a promising expectation here. The Dapper Prince was placed 2nd twice last season but both were on good ground, ran at Alnwick earlier this month, was prominent to the 11th but pulled at the 14th. The Sting, from a good yard, ran at the Barbury Racecourse in late November and made good progress to be in with an even chance two out and but then fell at the last fence. At the time of completing this preview the snow is falling and the forecast suggests more rain on Friday, soft ground expected which could effect number of runners.
Selection: The Sting Alternative: Almost There.