THE CAMBRIDGE UNITED HUNTS CLUB – COTTENHAM
Sunday 2nd December 2018
12.00 PPORA Club Members Conditions– 14 entries
An entry of 14 for the opening contest of the 2018-19 East Anglian point to point season. Karinga Dancer is now in the veteran stage but was a winner at Higham in January when he beat Hawkhurt by 6 lengths. On his final outing last season, he was 2nd at Chaddesley Corbett beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Best Director in April over this trip. Derksen scored 4 times last season under jockey Alice Stevens, on his last start he beat Dusk Till Dawn at Dingley in June by 2 lengths. Brave Encounter was a 2 time point scorer for David Kemp before going under rules for trainer Jamie Snowden. He won on his final start at Newton Abbott in October 2016 when beating Tikkapick by 4 lengths in a 3 mile 2 furlongs handicap chase but hasn’t run again since that day. Gallox Bridge won at this meeting last season when beating another possible rival Derksen by 1 ½ lengths. Tangoed won a Kingston Blount 2 mile 5 furlong maiden in May 2017 when beating Breakdown Cover by 12 lengths and then was placed in two subsequent bumper outings for trainer Harry Whittington but has achieved very little in 6 other outings but he is only a 5 year old and may appreciate a return to points. Moscow Me won on his final start last season when beating Take The Crown by ¾ of a length at Garthorpe in June with another rival today Blackwood Rover a further neck away in 3rd. According To Trev was placed 6 times last season but seems very hard to win with and has changed stables since his last outing. Moscow Blaze is a 5 time point winner but hasn’t run since finishing 2nd at Bratton Down in June 2016 when going down by 17 lengths to Bay Central in the ladies open. Local Show is a 2 time rules winner and won a point in Ireland in March 2014. His last rules win came in January 2016 when trained by Ben Pauling, he won a 4 runner novice chase under Nico De Boinville at Kempton by a head from Onenightinvienna. However he showed little in his subsequent starts but the return to pointing may spark a revival. The Andrew Pennock trained Torran Na Dtonn missed last season but was unbeaten in two starts in 2017 inc a win here in February when beating Can Mestret by 8L. As always at this time of the season fitness needs to be taken on trust and a visit to the paddock is essential. We will side with Karinga Dancer as our selection and it’s a close call for our alternative but Derksen hails from a very astute yard and he is our next choice marginally ahead of his conqueror here last season Gallox Bridge.
Selection: Karinga Dancer Alternative:: Derksen
12.35 Mens Open – 15 entries
The largest entry has a couple of Cottenham stalwarts amongst their number and both hail from stables that were victorious last weekend. Now Ben, from the Philip Rowley yard has won around Cottenham in each of the last three seasons, whilst the Alan Hill trained Broken Eagle has also won three times around this course. Now Ben won three races last season, easily accounting for Burtredgipandgump around this course. With further victories at Brampton Bryan and Eyton on Severn later in the season Now Ben had been beaten by Thetalkinghorse at Brafield, where perhaps the holding ground was against him. A repeat victory at Stratford at the end of the season did not materialise in the Champions Hunter Chase where he was pulled up. Broken Eagle had a quiet season with only two victories in four outings, one of which was a non event where his sole adversary pulled up at the 5th fence. His victory at Fakenham was a different matter where he trounced the useful Master Workman in the men’s open, it was therefore disappointing that he was turned over by Starkie in a 2 ½ mile ladies open at Hackwood Park on his final outing. Tim Gredley has both Just Cause and new acquisition Net d’Ecosse entered. Just Cause was successful in three points last season, twice in novice riders’ races under Tim Gredley and once for Jack Andrews in a men’s open on his final outing of the season. Amongst his other outings were several placed efforts, but were interspersed with a couple of mishaps along the way. Net d’Ecosse travelled to Barbury last week for his first run for connections where he was ridden by Jack Andrews. Having taken the lead at the 12th he got no further than the next, unseating his rider in the race won by Shotavodka. This former Noel Meade inmate won a 2 ½ mile handicap chase at Kilbeggan in May, and may be suited to this track. Mr Mix is another to have changed hands this year, having previously been in the care of Paul Nicholls. The winner of a couple of hurdles races and a couple of chases, his most recent victory was just over 12 months ago in a 3 ¼ mile handicap chase at Wincanton where he beat Forgotten Gold by 2 ¼ lengths. Brave Encounter, an inmate of the David Kemp yard in 2016 when he won two points (at Horseheath and Parham) and placed in another three, was purchased to run under rules for Jamie Snowden and ran three times later that year, finishing 3rd on his first outing and then winning the next two, at Fontwell and Newton Abbot but has been off the track since.
Selection: Now Ben Alternative: Broken Eagle
1.10 Ladies Open – 7 entries
The entry is made up of seven horses of which three have alternative entries, on the Cottenham card, namely Curragh Hall, Fever Pitch and Net d’Ecosse. Curragh Hall currently 0/17 in points and hunter ‘chases and appears outclassed as does Fever Pitch, who has recently joined an East Anglia based stable but his overall record doesn’t compare to some of the other entrants. Net d’Ecosse an expensive, recent purchase from Gigginstown Stud by Tim Gredley and now based with trainer James Owen, unseated Jack Andrews on his GB pointing debut at Barbury last weekend, after leading for three-quarters of the Mixed Open race. The veteran Abbey Lane has changed stables and has been off the course for 18 months and cannot be considered. Sharp Suit regularly appears at Cottenham, apart from last season, and has an impressive record at the course and will probably be partnered by Gina Andrews. Red Spinner could make his pointing debut having won races for Donald McCain and more recently Kim Bailey under NH rules. None of the gelding’s outings or wins, though, have exceeded 2 ½ miles. Foxcub switched to pointing and hunter ‘chasing last season and was very successful winning three races including a success at the Cheltenham Hunter ‘Chase meeting. The 10 year old was runner-up in this race last year. Favourites don’t have a great record in this race having been successful only once in the last five seasons but if Net d’Ecosse runs, in this race, he should buck the trend.
Selection: Net d’Ecosse Alternative: Foxcub
1.45 Restricted – 4 entries
A rather sad 4-entry event compared with 14 last year. Ground on the firm side and Fox Valley from well known E. Anglian connections will probably go off favourite with a 7lb advantage – over from Ireland and a 6L Mares Maiden winner at Kinsale in June on good ground. Full Batten has experience, ground should suit and won his Maiden over the shorter distance at this meeting in 2017, placed twice since in Restricteds but out of his depth in a Fontwell H.C. 6yr. Mr Snuffles placed once in a Maiden last season at Dingley but otherwise not impressive, won a 4 runner short Maiden last week by 25l. and probably was not stretched so hopefully will run here but can he do 3m? 20L. 2nd to the progressive Hawkhurst in this race last season Urban Storm has experience in spades and ran well in short distance H.C.’s at the end of the season and may run into a place.
Selection: Fox Valley Alternative: Urban Storm
2.20 Open Maiden – 7 entries
Here we go again and with a number of these double entered it’s likely to be a poor race, which will be a disappointment for many.
One pointer in early season races is which yard gets them fit early and this race has a couple of stalwarts in that area namely Andrew Pennock and Alan Hill. Pennock’s runner is Farran Dancer a nicely bred but modest Irish pointer. This type of horse however has proven to be the classic Pinnock yard favourite from which he frequently reaps great reward. Captiva Island represents the highly successful Alan Hill yard, will be ridden by the talented Jack Andrews and is bound to be ready to run. He had some reasonable form under rules, when trained by Olly Murphy, having originally started life racing in Ireland from the Gordon Elliot yard. The doubts are that he only ran once in a Novice Chase and was subsequently offloaded by Olly Murphy when pulling up despite the assistance of Aiden Coleman additionally he is also entered in the Young Maiden race where we expect he may run. Tom Ellis has a couple entered including the 4-year-old Hot to Trot, which only had one run last season. It may well have had a subsequent minor problem as it featured prominently during its race at Dingley and only pulled up toward the end. A look in the paddock is recommended before making any decisions. This one is also entered in the Young Maiden Race. They also have entered Late Night Pass which raced a few times last season without getting his head in front. He was beaten some distance by Sandygate at the second Cottenham meeting last season. Sandygate has been trying without success between the flags since March 2017 so unless connections have found his secret we expect he may have to play a secondary role in this race. Finally, of those we feel have a chance, is Black Jewel trained by the very accomplished Francesca Nimmo. Plenty of jumping experience in Irish National Hunt handicap chases and whilst he never set the world on fire he was a very safe conveyance and ideal for his relative novice owner/ rider. So taking everything into account we will opt for the Andrew Pinnock trained Farran Dancer, favourite in his first Irish Point when trained by E P O’Brien, he was moved on quickly to the O’Donovan yard but simply didn’t cut the mustard – it will be interesting to see if Pennock can find the missing link.
Selection: Farran Dancer Alternative: Captiva Island
2.55 Open Maiden (2m4f) – 5 entries
Captiva Island and Hot to Trot are also entered in the Open Maiden where their form has been mentioned. Of the other three Linkenholt would, without confidence, appear the favourite. Form has been very moderate having had five runs from the Oliver Sherwood yard with no success. Now with James Owen, had four outings last season, best being 3rd at Dingley where lead approaching the last, made a mistake and weakened. Signed and Sealed is from a successful yard and have Jack Andrews booked to ride. Previously was with Neil Mulholland and did win once on the All Weather also placed five times, had one run over Hurdles last December at Southall when pulled up before two out. Be interesting to see how it competes in points. This is Tambourine Sam’s first appearance on a racecourse, hopefully will give the owners some encouragement. At a guess we expect Captive Island to run in the previous race leaving possibly four to compete here. Choice is Linkenholt but not with much confidence.
Selection: Linkenholt Alternative: Signed and Sealed