|Cottenham once again provided
the backdrop for the opening fixture of the new season. With mild weather
and the going described as “good fast ground”, there were eight
well-contested races to enjoy.
Appropriately, it was an East Anglian horse, The Red Boy, that took the
first race of the new season, the CHHC Club Members.
Always travelling well for Andrew Braithwaite, the Sporborg trained
10-year-old quickened up nicely to come home three lengths clear of the
favourite, The Kings Fling (Polly Gundry), with Pendle Hill (Andrew Hickman)
a further five lengths away in third.
The winner tends to put in his best efforts when fresh and all of his four
wins have come at Cottenham. While in this frame of mind, he should go on
Both the runner up and the third will come on for the run.
Colonel Conca (Christian Ward-Thomas), a three-time winner in the Northern
area in 2003, but now with the Ruth Hayter yard, looked well in the paddock
and was well supported in the betting ring, but ran disappointingly and was
tailed off when pulling up. He’ll improve for this and this run should
probably be dismissed.
Polly Gundry quickly made amends in the
Restricted, booting home the ex-Irish Fertile Valley four lengths clear of
the David Pipe “hotpot” Oneminutetofive (Ashley Farrant).
The winner, an 8-year-old son of Sir Harry Lewis, jumped well on the whole
and has the scope to win more races.
The runner up lost nothing in defeat and looks a restricted certainty,
albeit at prohibitive odds.
A distance further back, Jims Belief (George Cooper) just got the better of
Hessac (Nicky Tinkler) for third place. Both have a squeak in lesser
Teeton Fizz (Andrew Sansome) was never dangerous, but finished fast in fifth
and should be noted when reappearing on a more testing track.
The Mens Open saw a winner from Yorkshire in
the shape of Guilsborough Gorse. Well ridden by Mick Channon’s
pupil-assistant, Mark Walford, and trained by his mother Gill, the nine year
old finished strongly to win by two lengths from Cape Stormer (Marcus
Gorman) with Hotters (Will Hill) a further two lengths away in third.
The winner’s as consistent as they come and should be knocking on the door
once again this season.
Cape Stormer, formerly a decent chaser when trained by Paul Nicholls, looked
full of running, but couldn’t catch the winner. He should have little
problem in taking a race or two over the coming months.
A poor performer under rules, Hotters ran well above expectations and would
only have to reproduce this form to score.
You would have to say that the well-supported Gallant Glen was unlucky, as
he was travelling well in the lead when he was carried out by a loose head
when turning into the straight at the end of the first circuit. Compensation
One to take out of the race is Silver Lake (Paul Cowley) who wasn’t far away
in fourth. This grey son of Roselier was the top 6-year-old pointer in Eire
and a winner of two hurdle races when trained by Noel Chance. This was his
first appearance on a racecourse since 2000 and he showed enough zest to
suggest that he’ll be back in the winner’s enclosure before too long.
Dusk Duel, a useful hurdler\chaser when
trained by Nicky Henderson, made the smooth transition to points, taking the
Ladies Open under a confident ride from Jane Williams. Always travelling
well, the 9-year-old took up the running three from home from the eventual
runner up, Winter Gale (Laura Eddery), and came home clear by five lengths.
This was an impressive performance to say the least and it will take a good
horse to lower his colours in this company.
Like stable-mate Guilsborough Gorse, Winter Gale is a model of consistency
and ran well enough here to suggest that he can take a race of this type.
Garolo (Susie Samworth) didn’t look all that keen, but plugged on to take
third from the fast finishing Buckland Lad (Hannah Grissell), the latter
capable of taking a small race on a more testing track.
Sea Tarth (Hannah Kinsey) stayed on through beaten horses and will be seen
to better advantage when encountering a test of stamina.
The grand old Scottish raider Balisteros was never travelling for Pauline
Robson and was well beaten a long way from home.
David Pipe gained some compensation for
Oneminutetofive’s defeat, sending out the French bred Tictac (Tim Eaves) to
win the CA Club Members Novice Riders race by 15-lengths from Aughmor River
Although this was a poor race, the winner, last seen when winning an Auteuil
Claiming Chase back in June 2000, did this with ease and should be seen to
even better advantage with a bit of cut in the ground.
Minster Sunshine completed a Yorkshire
double, landing the 8-year-old and above Maiden, under an enterprising ride
from Nicky Tinkler. Sent to the front early, the 10-year-old held off the
late challenge of Morph (Philip York) by three-quarters-of-a-length, the
pair a distance clear of Jolly Jake (Ed Walker).
Minster Sunshine stays and jumps particularly well and should have no
problem taking a restricted and the runner up looks nailed on to land a
Jolly Jake appears woefully one paced but has made the frame on many
occasions and deserves a change of luck.
Beat The Retreat (Ed Andrewes) made a pleasing pointing debut in fourth and
should be capable of winning a maiden.
House Colours (Niall Saville) was never put into the race, but might be ok
In Division 1 of the 2m4f 5,6 & 7-year old
Maiden, Cash ‘N’ Carrots (Andy Martin) and Gray Knight (James Tudor), a
9,000gns purchase out of Henrietta Knight’s yard and were neck and neck at
the final fence, but the former took a heavy fall, leaving Tudor’s mount to
come home clear of the fast finishing Tooley Park (Andrew Sansome) and Krac
De Mirande (Sam Waley-Cohen).
The winner was doing his best work at the end of the race and should be able
to find the stamina required now that he is forced to step up to three-miles
Tooley Park wasn’t sighted four from home, but came with a late rush to
claim second. This was a reasonable first start for his new trainer\rider
and he could take a small race.
Krac De Mirande appeared to blow-up in the latter stages and should come on
for the run.
Cousin George (Richard Burton) went out tamely and came in a well-beaten
fourth, although it should be noted that he appeared to be carrying plenty
The unlucky Cash ‘N’ Carrots had shown zero under rules, but did little
wrong here. He took a heavy fall, but thankfully only appeared to be winded,
much to the relief of spectators and all concerned. If he can recover from
this tough start, then he could land a small race if putting his best hoof
Terimon’s Dream (Julian Pritchard) went off
like a scalded cat in Division 2 of the 2m4f 5,6 & 7-year old Maiden, but
was a spent force by halfway, leaving sprint-bred Viscount Bankes (Andy
Martin) to take up the running and come home fifteen-lengths to the good of
ex-Irish Big Brendan (Alex Charles-Jones) and Drumdowney Lad (Philip York).
This was a useful performance by this 6-year-old son of Clantime, but he’ll
have to find a little more stamina if he’s to succeed in three-mile events.
Big Brendan should improve for a step up in trip.
Drumdowney Lad did his best attempt to bury Philip York in the paddock and
doesn’t look the easiest of rides, but this won’t stop him laying claim to a
race of this ilk.
Fourth placed Cimmaroon (Ashley Farrant) was never asked a serious question
and will improve considerably for this.
The well-supported Mister Ringa (Andrew Braithwaite) was still to be asked a
question when losing his rider.
Potter’s Wheel, a good looking 5-year-old by Elmaamul, was slowly away and
appeared to be given a quiet ride by Richard Burton. He should improve for