Bell Rock broke the course record as, despite a small equine entry, the Easter crowd was entertained by some exciting racing at the Cambridge University United Hunts Club Point-To-Point at Cottenham on Saturday.
Bell Rock made it a hat-trick of Ladies’ Open victories at this venue since the turn of the year as he trimmed a second off the 16-yeard-old course record.Sent off at the remarkably generous odds of 3-1 given his previous form at the track, Bell Rock skimmed around the inside rail and jumped faultlessly to beat Scare Lotte by 15 lengths.
The victory meant that jockey Emily Jarvis clinched the Cottenham Riders Championship for the season despite having had only three outings – all wins.
Owner-trained Alan Hill, from Oxfordshire, quipped afterwards: “Can we have another meeting here in May? I’ll sponsor it if you like!”
The afternoon’s most successful jockey was James Owen, who was in for a busy day as, after landing a double in the saddle, he was to spend the evening moving the string of horses trained by his girlfriend, Kelly Smith, to their new yard at Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds.
One of those horses was Rockley Beach, the first winner for seven years for owners Paul and Margaret Brightwell, from Cosford Stud in Hadleigh, who took the Open Maiden.Owen also snaffled the other Maiden race, which was restricted to Mares, aboard the Northamptonshire raider, Miss Trooper. Owen thus moved to the seven-winner mark, which leaves him tied with Matthew Mackley at the top of the East Anglian standings.
Mackley was also on the mark, landing the Men’s Open on Quality First. He allowed his closest pursuer, Rooster, to almost draw level with a blunder at the second last but rallied an then held Rooster’s late thrust by a neck.That result was compensation for trainer Martin Ward, from Sutton near Ely, after Magic To Do, ridden by his daughter, Becky, had been denied by a head in the opening Novice Riders’ Race.
This went instead to Manoram, owned and ridden by Peter Johnson, from Hoxton, between Thetford and Diss, and trained at Bradfield St Clare by Alex Embiricos.
Lane Marshall proved three lengths too strong for the Embiricos representative, Ballykillthy, to take the Restricted Race for jockey Nick Pearce, from Newmarket, and owner-trainer Sarah Humphrey, from West Wratting.
Overall it was a fine meeting, with much hard work preparing and watering the course by Michael Gingell and his team vindicated by 33 runners taking part from just 55 individual horses entered.
Race One (PPORA Club Members Race Novice Riders):
1 P Johnson’s Mandram (Suffolk) (owner),
2 Miss R Ward’s Magic To Do (Granta Harriers) (owner),
3 JM Turner’s Dunrig (Suffolk) (Miss K Smith).
Also: Bold Hunter (4), Weallwayswillbeone (ur). Head, three lengths. 6.07. SP 3-1 (Magic To Do Evens fav).
Race Two (Open Maiden Race Mares Only):
1 A Mobley’s Miss Trooper (Bicester with Whaddon Chase) (J Owen),
2 P Millington’s Edie McCredie (Fernie) (owner),
3 D Lee’s Springwood Lady (Cotswold VF) (S Peltell).
Also: Mem Octavia (4), Bally Abbie (pu), Commanche’s Charm (pu), Crow’s Choice (pu), Scalby Croft (pu).
Two lengths, 10 lengths. 6.11. SP 7-2 (Springwood Lady 11-4 fav).
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 M Ward and J Glenister’s Quality First (Cambridge University) (M Mackley),
2 Mrs P King’s Rooster (Suffolk) (A Braithwaite),
3 P Millington’s Mount Kimble (Fernie) (owner).
Neck, a distance. 6.07. SP 10-11 fav.
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 A Hill’s Bell Rock (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks) (Miss E Jarvis),
2 Mrs RE Hobson’s Scare Lotte (Puckeridge) (Miss C Hobson),
3 The Deadline Partnership’s Hot Plunge (Granta Harriers) (Miss K Smith).
Also: Lord Evro (4), Dundonald (pu), Find Me Another (pu), Militaire (pu). Fifteen lengths, 10 lengths. SP 3-1 (Scare Lotte 5-4 fav).
Race Five (Restricted Race):
1 Mrs S Humphrey’s Lane Marshall (Thurlow) (N Pearce),
2 The Pope Partner’s Ballykilthy (Cambridge University) (M Mackley),
3 P Millington’s Glenmorren (Fernie) (owner).
Three lengths, a distance. 6.06. SP 5-4 fav.
Race Six (Open Maiden Race):
1 Mrs PKJ Brightwell’s Rockley Beach (Essex and Suffolk) (J Owen),
2 P Millington’s Dromin (Fernie) (owner),
3 T North’s Yukon Jack (Cottesmore) (M Mackley).
Also: Beechbrook Gale (4), Dark Surprise (pu), Executive Friend (f), Keeper’s Cottage (pu). Five lengths, 10 lengths. 6.02. SP 5-2 (Yukon Jack 6-4 fav).
Pony Race (Children’s Pony Flat Race Novice Riders):
1 The Chadwick’s Crosswell Robbie (Fitzwilliam) (Alex Chadwick),
2 Mrs S Hanley’s Valentine Comet (East Essex) (Rory Hanley),
3 Annette Grundy’s Sir Walter (North Norfolk) (Charlotte Peasley).
Also: Poppy (4), Caxton’s Conker (5). Fourteen lengths, six lengths. 1.20. SP Evens Joint Fav (Valentine’s Comet Evens Joint Fav).