Highlights of the last three decades of the Cambridge University Draghounds
by Mike Ashby
Date: 18th February 2012 Going: GOOD
Races: 7 Runners: 49 Winning Favourites 5 out of 7
A treble for the John Ferguson stable was the highlight of the meeting, although not
everything went to plan with their runners. The Men’s Open saw the Ferguson
representative Earth Dream suffer a slipping saddle problem at halfway and pulling
up whilst in the Ladies’ Open, Mister Socks ridden by Carey Williamson, came up
against the hot favourite QOZAK and had to settle for second place. The stable’s
treble came courtesy of MACKLIN ( Restricted), ELVIS THE KING ( older horse
Maiden ) and DR. HARRY WHO ( younger horse Maiden ), all ridden by the
Ferguson stable’s assistant trainer, James Owen. SHANNINA won the Members’
race for the second successive year, this time partnered by Ben Rivett, after staying
on strongly on the run-in to overhaul Mister Tibus, in the last fifty yards.
Favourite backers were mainly in their element and the only two winners to escape
their clutches were SHE IS A CRACKER partnered by young George Gorman, who
took the Men’s Open and Shannina’s repeat effort in the Member’s race was
returned at odds of 33/1.
MACKLIN: Bay gelding by Millenary out of Finisklin
Formerly ran in Ireland but this gelding has proved successful since running in
points in East Anglia. His record stands at 6 wins to-date with five other placings
from seventeen outings. Also successful in the Queen’s Cup, an Easter Monday
hunter ‘chase at Fakenham in 2013 and was pulled up in the same race, two years
later, in his only other start under rules.
Date: 28th January 2007 Going: GOOD
Races: 8 Runners: 113 Winning Favourites: 0 out of 8
The only East Anglian winner of the afternoon came in the opening Members’ race
when the sixteen year-old DEMASTA, ridden by his owner Peter Johnson, hung
on to win in a tight finish, by a neck. BELL ROCK won the Ladies’ Open, giving
Emily Jarvis her first riding success. The judge had to work overtime, here, to
decide the minor places as only two lengths separated the first five horses home.
Top jockeys took the riding honours. Richard Burton took the Intermediate race
on SPREAD THE DREAM and followed this in the next, the Men’s Open
with a win on the impressive, GO FOR BUST. Gary Hanmer won on
TOU CHARMING in the older horse Maiden and KEENANS RESERVE
in a division of the younger horse Maiden.
BELL ROCK : Chestnut gelding by Charmer out ofSule Skerry
This nine year-old was the star turn at the Cottenham course during 2007 season,
winning three Ladies’ Opens, each success with Emily Jarvis in the saddle.
In the final Cottenham fixture in April, Bell Rock broke the course record, that
had stood for sixteen years, by a second.
Date: 9th February 1997 Going: GOOD TOFIRM
Races: 7 Runners: 74 Winning Favourites: 4 out of 7
A double for Simon Sporborg with CARDINAL RICHLIEU making all to
win the Men’s Open from River Melody and Tim Moore by one and half lengths.
The stewards looked into possible interference on the run-in but the result stood.
Earlier Simon had taken the opening Hunt race on the odds-on AUCHENDOLLY
in a slowly run race.RICHARD HUNT and Lisa Rowe won the Ladies’Open,
running on well down the Cottenham straight to take the lead on the flat and
prevailing by a neck from Mountshannon.
The Open Maiden was run in two divisions with William Wales and REGAL BAY
successful in the first division although the gelding finished lame and was
Helen Pewter and ZOES PET won Division Two by a seven length margin to deny
William Wales a quick double as he had to settle for second place on Regency Cottage.
RICHARD HUNT: Bay gelding by Celtic Cone out of Member’s Mistress
This was the thirteen year-old’s last win but his 25th in total, in all races. A wonderful
servant to the Rowe family who had a great understanding with Lisa, providing her with many successes in Ladies’ Opens. The gelding was retired after pulling up in a hunter ‘chase at Huntingdon, in late February 1997.
Date: 7thMarch 1987 Going:
Races: 9 Runners : 133 Winning Favourites: 6 out of 9
George Cooper was seen at his best when CARL’S CHOICE stayed on well on
the run-in to defeat the favourite Stanwick Lad and John Sharp, in the Men’s Open,
by a neck. An even tighter finish came in the opening Members’ race which resulted
in a dead-heat. PROMINENT ARTIST ( Ollie Vaughan-Jones ) and LIGHT DEMON
( Brod Munro-Wilson ) couldn’t be separated by the judge and Brod’s 5lb overweight
might have been a deciding factor.
Owner Mrs Gaynor, trainer Lucy Wadham and jockey Don Cantillon celebrated a
double success with CODGER ( Restricted Division One ) and FORT HALL
( Adjacent Division One ). Division Two of the Adjacent went to RHUSTED and
James Fanshawe. This initiated a double for James and trainer Jill Duffield who were
back in the winner’s enclosure again after ELUSIVESPIRIT won Division One of
CARL’S CHOICE: Bay gelding by The Brianstan out of Spartan’s Girl
As a six year-old, in 1987, won two races at Cottenham in impressive style. Fell earlyon, at the 6th fence, when attempting a third course win in late March. George Cooper, owned and ridden, trained by Ruth Hayter and qualified with the Essex & Suffolk.