The Cambridgeshire Harriers Hunt Club at Cottenham on Sunday 29th December.

A late Christmas treat is in store for all those who venture to Cottenham four days later, with 129 entries being made for the seven race card that commences at 11:00 a.m.

The action commences with a club members conditions race over the full three mile trip, with recent course winner Undisputed amongst the entries. Champagne Lilly, who also hails from the Philip Rowley yard remains has been off the track since 2018, but remains unbeaten following two victories in the spring of 2018, and one in 2017. Accord who must should a 10lb penalty won his second and third starts in the concluding weeks of the season, whilst Laser Beam who notched up a three timer in East Anglia, appeared to get bogged down by the softer going at Cheltenham in May.

The restricted race has attracted significantly more entries than at the previous Cottenham fixture, with both maiden winners from that meeting, Fumet D’Oudairies and Frank And Honest featuring, whilst entries have also been made for recent maiden winners Family Man, Pass Rusher and Phoenix Park to make a very competitive renewal.

At this time of the year, we often see a number of horses continuing their careers in the pointing arena, and the men’s open is no exception.  Cottenham regular, Now Ben will have his work cut out to hold off their challenge.   The classiest amongst those entered is the ex Paul Nicholls trained Art Mauresque, who has in the past locked horns with the likes of Top Notch, Waiting Patiently, Charbel and the like, but has not passed the post in front since October 2016.  Ballynagour, soon to celebrate his 14th birthday, also ran in races at the highest level, but his last victory was around Auteuil in 2015 for David Pipe.  He had a spin around Larkhill, quickly building up a lead at the 12th, before falling at the third last whilst still holding a 5 length lead.  In this same race Djin Conti, a two time winner for Harry Whittington in handicap chases in the spring of this year, raced prominently, until fading in the last half mile.

The novice riders race could see Workbench try to improve on his runner-up position from the last meeting, when just failing to beat Undisputed over 2 ½ miles. His biggest rivals could come from West Country challenger The Last But One, who finished 2nd on his seasonal reappearance at Wadebridge, having won six races last season as well as being placed 2nd on his other three starts and Call Me Vic who was victorious at the recent Barbury meeting.

The Joseph O’Shea trained pair of Irish Anthem and Ravished, alongwith Celtic Silver and Top Smart head the entries in the ladies open race. Ravished gave the opposition a lesson in jumping to score decisively around this course in November, but did not replicate this performance at Larkhill and could never get on terms with Southfield Theatre.  Stable companion Irish Anthem won three early season races last year, but was then sidelined, reappeared at Alnwick, finishing second.  Although only running a few times each season, the likeable Top Smart has been a regular visitor to East Anglia although this will be his first outing at Cottenham.  Twice successful last season, Top Smart’s third and final outing was in defeat to Celtic Silver at Mollington, who was midway through a three race winning streak.

Both the three mile and the two and a half mile maiden races have a plethora of horses that hail from stables who specialise in the development of young horses, with many having shown glimpses of form last season, either here or in Ireland. Two winners amongst the entries are You Too Bonny Lass and Quinta Do Mar who both won point to point flat races for their connections before meeting in the point to point bumper at Aintree, in which they were well beaten.  A good look at these in the parade ring will be a must to see some aspiring talent.

This is definitely a meeting not to be missed.

Admission including racecard £15 for adults, £13 for OAP’s and Students, Children under 16 admitted free.

Tradestands, catering outlets and local bookmakers will be in attendance.

First of seven scheduled races is at 11am.

Cottenham Racecourse Directions:

Cottenham racecourse is situated 4 miles north of Cambridge ( Sat Nav CB24 8RG ).

From A14 take junction 33 past Milton. Turn left along Landbeach Road on a section of Dual carriageway. This road changes to High Street through Landbeach and then Green End. Turn right along Cottenham Road. The Racecourse is on your right.

From the North travel along the A10 until you reach the Waterbeach junction. Turn right along Landbeach Road. Turn right along Green End and then left at Cottenham Road.  The Racecourse in on the right.

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