Saturday 31st December @ Cottenham - C H H C
Fast times recorded by classy course specialists were enjoyed by a large New Year’s Eve crowd at Cottenham’s second fixture of the season. Quick ground meant speed was the key attribute which suited the prolific Broken Eagle perfectly as he spread-eagled the field from the front in the Men’s Open to provide Oxfordshire trainer Alan Hill with the first part of a double on the day.
Ridden by Alan’s son Joe, Broken Eagle was winning at this fixture for the third time in his career and never saw another rival in a hugely impressive display of jumping at speed. “We gave Broken Eagle a wind operation in the summer which has improved him”, noted the winning jockey. “The Foxhunters at Aintree is our ultimate aim for him this season.”
Stablemate Sharp Suit made equally short work of his rivals in the Ladies Open under the current National Ladies Champion Gina Andrews, who recorded her 150th career winner at Chaddesley Corbett earlier in the week.
Andrews commented: "That’s Sharp Suit’s fourth win here at Cottenham and the tenth of his career overall. That’s my third victory of the season so far which is a better start than last year and I am very much aiming at winning the national championship for the fourth time if I can”.
Further evidence of the horses-for-courses nature of Cottenham was provided by two winners for the Morgan Family.
Lough Inch won at the course for the sixth time in his career when sauntering to victory under Rory Bevin in the Novice Riders’ contest for Melton Mowbray trainer Tommy Morgan. The pair proving far too strong for runner-up Vesperal Dream ridden by Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton.
“Rory is very keen and comes in regularly to ride out for us so I was keen to reward him with a good opportunity”, mused Morgan whose sister Kelly, based at Oakham in Rutland, trained Extreme Appeal to win the Restricted Race earlier in the day.
The opening Club Members Race was won in fine style by the consistent Porlock Bay for his enthusiastic ex-jockey turned television presenter owner/trainer Luke Harvey.
“Luckily the horse was fitter than the man leading him up”, quipped Harvey referring to his co-presenter Jason Weaver who was acting as stable staff for the day and cuts a slightly more portly figure than in his riding days.
A name to note for the future is Mr Maclennane who defied noticeable inexperience to win on his racecourse debut in the Open Maiden.
“We bought him as an unbroken three year-old at the store sales in Ireland two years ago and he has been very green at home, so to win so well on debut is hugely encouraging”, eulogised winning jockey Archie Wright who was riding for his father Nick Wright based nearby at Badlingham.
The victory of Somme Boy in the concluding two-and-a-half maiden was a third successive win in the race for local trainer Andrew Pennock from Timworth near Bury St Edmunds.
This was the first success of a new partnership for Andrew with Welsh jockey Evan David following the decision of former stable jockey Ben Rivett not to ride any more following a brief comeback at the first Cottenham fixture.
GOING: GOOD TO FIRM
Cambridgeshire Harriers Hunt Club Members’
1st PORLOCK BAY (Darren Edwards) 9/4 Fav
2nd Treacywestcounty (Jack Andrews) 4/1
3rd Abbey Lane ( Evan David) 4/1
Time: 5 mins 46 secs Distances: 3L, Neck 10 ran
1st EXTREME APPEAL (Sam Davies-Thomas) 6/4 Fav
2nd Scorpon Star ( Evan David) 7/2
3rdMere Detail ( Max Kendrick ) 13/2
Time: 5-56 Dists: 2L, 4L 7 ran
1st BROKEN EAGLE (Joe Hill) 2/5 Fav
2nd It Was Me ( Archie Wright) 9/2
3rd Saint Roque ( Freddie Henderson) 4/1
Time: 5-44 Dists: 15L, 2L 5 ran
Countryside Alliance Club Members ( Novice Riders)
1st LOUGH INCH ( Rory Bevin) 2/5 Fav
2nd Vesperal Dream ( Victoria Pendleton) 6/1
3rd Billie Magern ( Gareth Henderson) 25/1
Time: 5-48 Dists: 6L, 4L 9 ran
1st SHARP SUIT ( Gina Andrews) 1/3 Fav
2nd Roberto Pegasus ( Kate Gowing ) 8/1
3rd Quinsman ( Louise Allan) 10/1
Time: 5-52 Dists: 4L, 3L 7 ran
1st Mr MACLENNANE ( Archie Wright) 3/1
2nd Miss North Light ( Philip York ) 4/1
3rd Aliitlebitless ( Hugh Nugent ) 12/1
Tailspin 5/2 Fav (pu)
Time: 6-02 Dists: 3L, 3L 8 ran
Open Maiden ( 4,5 & 6–year-olds ) 2 ½ miles
1st SOMME BOY ( Evan David) 5/1
2nd Kev The Car( Rupert Stearn) 5/2
3rd Le Fou Royal ( Archie Wright ) 2/1 Fav
Time: 4-43 Dist: 1L, 1L 7 ran