Hot Plunge proved himself one of the best horses in East Anglia when following up his recent Higham win with a devastating display in the Men’s Open at the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Point-To-Point at Cottenham on Saturday.
Hot Plunge is a strong, nervous type who gets himself into such a stew before races that he often forfeits his chance at the start.
But jockey James Owen, from Newmarket, and his girlfriend, trainer Kelly Smith, have come up with a strategy whereby they keep the 11-year-old on the move well behind the field before the start and intentionally set off in rear, forfeiting only about ten lengths.
For the second week running it worked like a dream and Owen was able to spend the entire run-in celebrating as Hot Plunge came home 20 lengths of the gallant veteran, Demasta.
AWe’re aiming him at the handicap hunter chase at Newton Abbott but he will go for the two miler at Cheltenham beforehand and he may need to win that and get a penalty for me to be able to do the weight at Newton Abbott, Owen said. I can’t understand why people keep knocking him – his back was out and he twisted his pelvis when he refused to race at Higham.
The other outstanding performance on a hectic nine-race afternoon came from Scare Lotte in particular from her 19-year-old rider, Clare Hobson, who, on just her fifth ride, beat two of the nation’s best riders, Dave Mansell and Julian Pritchard, in a close finish.Hobson delivered Scare Lotte, who is trained by her father, Harry, at Reed near Royston, with a perfectly-timed challenge to lead approaching the final fence. She then survived a slipping saddle, which twisted around to the left in the last few yards, to beat Itsalf by three lengths.
Scare Lotte will now be aimed at the final of the Hiscox Series at Cheltenham on May 2.
The male riding honours went the way of another Newmarket-based pilot, Nick Pearce, who registered his first ever double aboard Philson-Warrior, in the Hunt Race, and Lane Marshall, in one of four Maiden races.
Philson-Warrior is trained for owners Roy Green and Brian Sayer, from Soham, by Katie Thory, who hails from Great Gidding, near Peterborough. And Lane Marshall is trained at West Wratting, near Haverhill, by Sarah Humphrey.
The Ladies’ Open was a carbon copy of the corresponding race at the previous Cottenham meeting with Oxfordshire raider Bell Rock beating Viscount Bankes
The best finish of the day was left until last when another Oxfordshire visitor, Cabrillo, touched off Smart Alex to lose his maiden status.
Gloucestershire was the destination for two more trophies, Cullen Road landing a Maiden and Paserella edging home in the Restricted.
And Worcestershire got one on the board when the father and son owner-rider team of Adrian and Adam Brown lifted the first of the Maidens.
Finally, two unfortunate incidents during the afternoon saw participants suffering serious injuries. Jockey Andrew Pennock, who lives near Sudbury in Suffolk, fractured four bones in his neck when his mount Phriapatius, fell fatally in the final race.
And Paddock Steward Chris Walton, from Spalding, suffered a broken jaw when kicked before that fateful last contest. Best wishes go to the pair, who are both expected to make full recoveries.
Race One (Member’s):
1 R Green and B Sayer’s Philson-Warriort (Fitzwilliam Milton) (N Pearce),
2 F Allan’s Round The Bend (Fitzwilliam Milton) (Miss L Allan),
3 H Hill’s Groovejet (Fitzwilliam Milton) (A Williams).
Also: General Confusion (4), Bobbies Ryde (pu), Bold Hunter (ur).Five lengths, a distance. 6.02. Win £1.80. DF £2.80. SP 4/5 fav.
Race Two (Intermediate):
1 Mrs R Hobson’s Scare Lotte (Puckeridge) (Miss C Hobson),
2 D Morgan’s It’s Alf (Cotswold VF), (D Mansell),
3 Mrs P Duncan’s Fergal’s Find (Cotswold), (J Pritchard).
Also: Corrie Mor (4), Tupgill Turbo (5), Real Cracker (6), Bewleys Newlands (pu), Breezy Betsy (pu), Bullrush (pu), Go Classic (pu), Rakatia (pu), Stormy Pass (pu). Three lengths, two lengths. 5.56. Win £4.20. DF £88. SP 7/2 (Fergal’s Find evens fav).
Race Three (Men’s Open):
1 The Deadline Partnership’s Hot Plunge (Granta Harriers) (J Owen),
2 P Johnson’s Demasta (Cambridge University) (owner),
3 Mrs G Trescakes’ Spread The Dream (S and W Wilts) (R Burton).
Also: Caber (4), Noblefir (5), Cool Chilli (pu), Coonogue (pu), Doe Nal Rua (pu), Infidel (ur). Twenty lengths, five lengths. 6.00. Win £3.40. DF £8. SP 5/2 (Spread The Dream 4/9 fav).
Race Four (Ladies’ Open):
1 A Hill’s Bell Rock (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (Miss E Jarvis),
2 Mrs R Gasson’s Viscount Bankes (Farmers Bloodhounds) (Miss H Watson)
3 The Apache Partnership’s Redskin Raider (N Staffs) (Miss S Sharratt).
Also: Fantastic Champion (4), Wincy Spider (5), Oh So Droll (6), Jemaro (7), Another Client (pu), Gran Dana (pu), Gregory Peckory (ur), John the Greek (pu), Lawman (pu), The Wiley Kalmuck (pu). Two lengths, four lengths. 5.54. Win £3.20. DF £3.20. SP 2/1 fav.
Race Five (Restricted):
1 D Renney’s Paserella (Heythrop) (D Renney),
2 Mrs R Gasson’s Breeze To The Top (Farmers Bloodhounds) (Miss H Watson)
3 Miss M Bayliss and N Bayliss’ Polar Summit (Cotswold) (D Mansell).
Also: Saddler’s Scene (4), View Hollow (5), Ballykilthy (6), Society Scandal (7), Irish Prince (8), CLB Jemilla (9), According to This (pu), Ballinaboola (pu), Captive (pu), Memsahi Ki Behan (pu), Treble Trouble (pu). Head, three lengths. 5.50. Win £5.70. DF £16.70. SP 11/2 (Saddler’s Scene 5/2 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden, Division One):
1 A G Brown’s Black Leopard (N Ledbury) (A Brown),
2 G Sanderson’s Joey the Schnoze (Grove and Rufford) (M Mackley),
3 Mr and Mrs A Barr’s Irishtown Leader (S Notts), (F Barr).
Also: Lord Venture (4), Fiery Dipper (5), Another Carlton (pu), Cragg Prince (pu), On The Deck (pu), Red Windsor (pu), Throwaparty (pu). Ten lengths, three lengths. 6.05. Win £5.40. DF £2.80. SP 5/1 (Joey the Schnoze 4/6 fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden, Division Two):
1 C Clarke’s Cullen Road (Heythrop) (M Wall),
2 Mrs E England’s Albert House (S Herefords) (D Mansell),
3 Mrs P Brightwell’s Rockley Beach (Essex and Suffolk) (J Owen).
Also: Dart A Trump (4), Bold Leader (ur), Keepers’ Cottage (pu), Mem Octavia (pu), Scalby Croft (ur), Stanwick Jester (pu), Tony’s Dream (pu). Twenty lengths, five lengths. 5.57. SP 8-1 (Albert House 4-5 fav).
Race Eight (Open Maiden, 4,5,6 and 7 year-olds, Division One ):
1 Mrs SJ Humphrey’s Lane Marshall (Thurlow) (N Pearce),
2 S Flook’s Granary House (Teme Valley) (D Mansell),
3 J Pritchard’s If You Must (Warwicks) (B Way).
Also: Perfect Prefect (4), Me And Pat (5), Books Delight (pu), Firebrand Rising (ur), Merano (pu). Five lengths, eight lengths. 4.38. SP 7-1 (Me And Pat 6-4 fav).
Race Nine (Open Maiden, 4,5,6 and 7 year-olds, Division Two):
1 Miss S Firmin’s Cabrillo (Bicester with Whaddon Chase) (L Morgan),
2 D Mee’s Smart Alex (Fernie) (A Merriam),
3 G Costelloe’s Twilight Eagle (Albrighton) (Miss S Beddoes).
Also: Pride Of The Oaks (4), Holle Berry (5), Harry’s Simmie (ur), Ordis Rise (pu), Phriapatius (f), Trevira (ur), Unfair Dismissal (f). Neck, two lengths. 4.48. SP 8-1 (Pride Of The Oaks 5-2 fav).
Pony Race One (Children’s Flat Race Ponies 13.2hh and under):
1 Miss D Taylor’s Gold Dawn Chorus (N Norfolk Harriers) (Miss India Taylor),
2 Mrs C Robinson’s Jeremy Fisher (Albrighton) (Miss Kitty Robinson),
3 J Haynes’ Henry (Bicester/Whaddon Chase) (Joey Haynes).
Also: Ladybird (4), Babybullet (disq), Oscar. 1.21.
Pony Race Two (Children’s Flat Race Ponies 13.2hh and under):
1 Miss S Slender’s Sparkling Destiny (Fitzwilliam)(Miss Shannon Slender),
2 The Chadwick family’s Crosswell Robbie (Fitzwilliam) (Alex Chadwick),
3 Elaine Russell’s Llanfilo Gem (Fitzwilliam) (James Russell). 1.19.