Horses came from far and wide to celebrate the start of a new Point-To-Point season at the Cambridge University United Hunts Club fixture at Cottenham on Sunday.
Frosty Run got the meeting off to the best possible start for the East Anglian contigent, repelling three invaders from outside the area to land the Novice Riders’ event.
But the closest the home team came to victory in the six subsequent races was a couple of third places.
Frosty Run, who is trained at Biggleswade by owner Mike Burman, could be a horse to follow this term as he won despite not being suited by the tight course.
A third career success for jockey Emma Bell, he took up the running at the third last and came home a distance clear of High Rank.
East Anglia can perhaps lay some claim to the classiest winner of the day, Burntoakboy, as he is owned and trained by Richard Newland, who now lives is Worcester but was a student at Cambridge Univeristy and his father, Professor David Newland, still lives nearby in the village of Ickleton.
Burntoakboy, who is a leading candidate for the Cheltenham Foxhunter next March, only had to show a proportion of the talent that has carried him to a number of big race triumphs under rules to saunter ten lengths clear of Killarney Prince in the Men’s Open.
Back in third was the front-running Ballyowen, making a promising reappearance for the Norfolk trainer-rider combination of Fred Farrow and Alex Vaughan-Jones.
Burntoakboy gave his financial supporters a measly return as he was sent off the 5-2 on favourite. But an even shorter-priced favourite was overturned in the following Ladies’ Open as Minouchka lost her unbeaten recod between the flags when going down by a length and a half to Big Moment.
Big Moment is trained at Winchester in Hampshire by Jenny Gordon while Minouchka had ventured all the way from Scotland to vie for the £275 first prize.
However, Minouchka’s travelling companion, Quotica de Poyans, at least made the long journey worthwile for owner-trainer Phillipa Shirley-Beavan by landing one of a pair of two and a half mile Maidens.
The other went to the impressive Gentleman Anshan, a visitor from Oxfordshire, while the three mile Maiden went to another from the same county, More Trouble.
One to keep an eye out for from this contest is third-placed Grey Shark, who was making a promising debut for trainer-rider James Owen, from Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds.
The closest finish of the day came in the Restricted Race as Stroom Bank, trained in Yorkshire by Sarah-Jane Stilgoe, got the better of Mysaynoway by a neck.
Race One (PPORA Club Members Race, novice riders):
1 M S Burman’s Frosty Run (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (Miss E Bell),
2 H Franklin and T Brown’s High Rank (Bicester with Whaddon Chase) (H Franklin),
3 V Thompson’s Erte (Percy) (Ms J Bond).
Also: Dark Thunder (4). Distance, three lengths. 6.18. SP 5-4 fav.
Race Two (Men’s Open Race):
1 Dr R and Mrs L Newland’s Burntoakboy (Worcs) (T Weston),
2 J Mann’s Killarney Prince (Warwicks) (P Mann),
3 J Sargeant’s Ballyowen (West Norfolk) (A Vaughan-Jones).
Also: Ashgreen (4), Duke of Stradone (5), Polar Scout (6), Bonne Noel’s (ur), Brown Teddy (ur), Prelude D’Estruval (pu). Ten lengths, three lengths. 6.09. SP 1-2 fav.
Race Three (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 R Douglas’ Big Moment (Ashford Vale) (Miss C Douglas),
2 Mrs S Shirley-Bevan’s Minouchka (Jedforest) (Miss K Bryson),
3 J Allen’s Salinas (Croome and West Warwicks) (Miss H Watson).
Also: Interdit (4), Sapega (5), Master Rex (6), Moscow Gold (7), Bell Rock (pu), Gregory Peckory (pu), Iberus (ur), Olivier (pu). One-and-a-half lengths, 15 lengths. SP 10-1 (Minouchka 1-3 fav).
Race Four (Restricted Race):
1 Mrs S Stilgoe’s Stroom Bank (Sinnington) (M Bennison),
2 The Turk Family’s Mysaynoway (Surrey Union) (G Gallagher),
3 C Hitchings’ All Thyne Greats (North Ledbury) (N Oliver).
Also: Balableu (4), Galaxy Bond (5), Droppy’s (6), Whatever You Think (7), Taxi Fare (8), Breeze to the Top (pu), Siam De Baune (pu). Neck, three lengths. 6.14. SP 5-1 (Whatever You Think 6-4 fav).
Race Five (Open Maiden Race):
1 I Mann’s More Trouble (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (J Tudor),
2 Miss H Bevan’s The Galleryman (Ludlow) (J Hamer),
3 P Andrew’s Grey Shark (Cottesmore) (J Owen).
Also: Clande Boye (4), Whosethatfor (5), Cowboys Crunch (ur), Essenbee (pu), Farran Fore (pu), Nectar De Guye (ur), Rakaman (pu), Redskyatnight (f), The Logical Man (pu). One length, 10 lengths. 6.16. SP 6-4 fav.
Race Six (Open Maiden Race, Division One):
1 Mrs S Shirley-Bevan’s Quotica De Poyans (Jedforest), (Miss K Bryson),
2 Mrs K York’s Nessa (Staff College) (P York),
3 S Clark’s Glad Star (York and Ainstys) (Miss R Clark).
Also: There Ya Go (4), Red Law (5), Just Playfull (6), Delgany Run (7), Salveo (8), To the Wind (9), Digger Time (f). Four lengths, eight lengths. 4.47. SP 5-2 fav.
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race, Division Two):
1 Mrs R Gasson’s Gentleman Anshaw (Farmers Bloodhounds) (Miss H Watson),
2 D Fremel’s Idun (Staff College) (P York),
3 The Turk Family’s Podium Pete (Surrey Union) (G Gallagher).
Also: Porto Vechio (4), Abbotts Mount (f), Latvian Princess (pu), Master Saddler (pu), Trenley Lawn (pu). Fifteen lengths, distance. 4.55. SP 6-4 fav.