Robert Cundy, who recently took over as trainer at George Cooper’s farm at Raydon, near Hadleigh, made a dream start to his new job when Alittlemoreaction pulled off a 33-1 shock at the Cambridge University Draghounds Point-To-Point at Cottenham on Sunday.
Ridden by Wymondham’s Rupert Stearn, who continued his current purple patch with a third win in four weeks, Alittlemoreaction belied the bookies expectations with a convincing 15 length triumph in the Older Horse Maiden.Owned by Lady Green, from Stutton, and Trevor Buxton, from Harkstead, the eight-year-old had showed virtually nothing in nine previous career starts but was a lot more active here and has clearly thrived since arriving at Raydon a few months ago.
Another local trainer with something to celebrate was Alex Embiricos, who notched her first win since moving from Newmarket to her new yard at Bradfield St Clare near Bury St Edmunds.
This came thanks to Ballykilthy who, partnered by Eye’s Alex Merriam, won a thrilling Members Race. Embiricos has been struggling with a back injury but hopes to return to the saddle soon provided she gets the all clear from her specialist.
Lucy Franks, from Woodbridge, gave Sure Future a fine ride to finish just a length back in second and, on this evidence, should not be long in landing her all-important first career victory.
The rest of the eight-race card was dominated by visitors from outside East Anglia. The highlight was a brilliant display of jumping from Guignol du Cochet in the Ladies’ Open.
Trained on the Welsh border by Steve Flook, he made ground at almost every obstacle under a very positive ride and held off the favourite, Titus Bramble, by a neck. Jockey Sue Sharratt, who put up two pounds overweight, chuckled afterwards: “Given the extra weight, it’s just as well I won!”
The Men’s equivalent saw a first Open race victory for Wiltshire raider, Rhythm King, who seems an unlikely specialist at this sharp right-handed track given his tendency to hang left, but has now won 13 of his last 18 starts.
There was carnage at the second last in the first of a pair of two and a half mile Maidens, with five horses coming to grief, leaving Lincolnshire visitor Chestnut House to defeat Inch Overand only one other finisher.
The closing short Maiden went to the Day family – jockey Jon and owner-trainers Tony and Kathy – after Silver Styx edged out Hills Of Rakaposhi by a head in a humdinging finish.
Phil York, from Surrey, was on the wrong end of that narrow verdict, but had gone one better earlier when Benny impressed in disposing of 14 rivals in the Restricted Race.
The Gloucestershire trainer-jockey combination of Graeme McPherson and Justin Mort enjoyed a red letter day as they registered their first victories when the 20-1 chance Mr Naborro lifted the Intermediate Race.
Race One (Members’ Race):
1 The allied P and L Partnership’s Ballykilthy (Cambs University) (A Merriam),
2 G Frank’s Sure Future (Cambs University) (Miss L Franks),
3 C Sporborg and H Hill’s Lightningconductor (Cambs University) (A Braithwaite).
Also: Demasta (4), Berewolf (5), Hail Stone (6), Coverdale (7), Atlantic Drift (pu), Lolloping Lad (f), Shoemaker (f). One length, three lengths. 6.16. W £4.30. DF £4. SP 2-1 fav.
Race Two (Intermediate Race):
1 J G Mort’s Mr Naborro (Cotswold) (J Mort),
2 Mrs S K Edmunds and J Busby’s Teeton Glaive (Grafton) (S Morris),
3 Lady Susan Watson’s Just Fluster (Middleton) (S Charlton).
Also: Wincy Spider (4), Rocja (5), Keegan Bearnais (6), General Confusion (7), Colonel Ludlow (pu), Get Off My Cloud (pu), King’s Reply (pu). Six lengths, three lengths. 6.12. W £39.80. DF £2.70 (second horse with any other). SP 20-1 (Get Off My Cloud 4-5 fav).
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 G Maundrell’s Rhythm King (Royal Artillery) (owner),
2 M Robinson’s Silver Streak (Burton) (R Armson),
3 G Kerr’s The Vintage Dancer (Fernie) (R Barrett).
Also: Galway Breeze (4), Good Bone (5), Another Dude (6), Keltic Heritage (7), Storm Forecast (8), Absinther (pu), Infidel (pu), Nightwatchman (pu), Star Glow (pu), Tate Tirol (pu). Ten lengths, half a length. 6.03. W £2.70. DF £4.10. SP 4-5 fav.
Race Four (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 S Flook and G Jones’ Guignol Du Cochet (Radnor and West Hereford) (Miss S Sharratt),
2 Mrs L Garrett’s Titus Bramble (Berkeley) (Miss C Allen),
3 Ms A M Hays Bush Hill Bandit (Thurlow) (Miss L Allan).
Also: Polish Cloud (4), Pounsley Mill (5), Catherine’s Way (pu), Left Bank (pu), O Jays Alibi (pu), Rommel (pu), Stacky Light (pu). Neck, 10 lengths. 6.10. W £5.70. DF £8.10. SP 7-1 (Titus Bramble 6-4 fav).
Race Five (Restricted Race):
1 R York’s Benny (Staff College and RMAS Drag) (P York),
2 J Priday’s Gumlayloy (Radnor and West Hereford) (A Wintle),
3 T Warner’s Alpine Racer (Berkeley) (Miss C Allen).
Also: Tallow Bridge (4), Bewleys Newlands (5), Lawman (6), Coppeen Sam (7), Northern Breeze (8), Twist of Faith (9), Kingfisher Star (10), Joves Shadow (pu), Moscow’s Return (ur), Rakatia (pu), Sunyblaze (pu), Tengrand (pu). Five lengths, four lengths. 6.10. W £4.30. DF £71.70. SP 4-1 (Tengrand 7-4 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race – 8yo and over):
1 Lady Green and T Buxton’s Alittlemoreaction (Essex and Suffolk) (R Stearn),
2 H Hill’s Nottoladylike (Granta Harriers) (G Dyne),
3 Mrs Y Davess’ Red Return (Chid, Lec and Cowdray) (N Pearce).
Also: Noble Deed (4), Euro Craft (5), Kismet (6), Memsahib Ki Behan (7), Ashley Marsh (8), Billy Whitelies (9), Alfie Moon (pu), Divine Mist (pu), Funny Money (ur), Irishtown Leader (ur), Izzuthefox (pu), Kippour (pu), Merlots Mystery (pu). Fifteen lengths, 10 lengths. 6.16. W £32.60. DF £6.60 (second horse with any other). SP 33-1 (Euro Craft 4-1 fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race – 4,5,6 and 7yo – 2½ miles Division One):
1 M Robinson’s Chestnut House (Burton) (R Armson),
2 S Brookshaw’s Inch Over (North Shropshire) (R Burton),
3 Mrs R Hobson’s Scare Lotte (Puckeridge) (S Salmon).
Also: Builers Boy (pu), Fair Promise (u), Four Melons (f), Lanicene (bd), Pierre De Lune (bd), Royal Blazer (bd), Stirrup Cup (pu), Warrier Dan (pu), You And Yours (f). Eight lengths, a distance. 4.49. W £16. DF £10.80. SP 5-1 (Four Melons 6-4 fav).
Race Eight (Open Maiden Race – 4,5,6 and 7yo – 2½ miles Division Two):
1 Mr and Mrs A Day’s Silver Styx (Atherstone) (J Day),
2 R Fielder’s Hills of Rakaposhi (Surrey Union) (P York),
3 L Wilson’s Foxton Brook (Pytchley) (S Morris).
Also: Ballards Boy (4), She’s A Terror (5), We Got Him (6), Top Boots (7), Clever Liz (8), Lewis Du Montceau (9), Eastern Leader (f), Hillybe (pu), Island Fortress (pu). Head, Eight lengths. 4.48. W £22.60. DF £69.50. SP 14-1 (Foxton Brooke 5-4 fav).