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Cambridge University Hunts Club
Cottenham
Sunday 10th February 2008

by James Crispe

Georgina Andrews, Clare Hobson and Scare Lotte, three golden girls of East Anglian point-to-pointing both present and future, dominated the early stages of a sun-drenched Cambridge University United Hunts Club meeting at Cottenham yesterday (Sunday).

Andrews got her riding career off to the best possible start when, a week after reaching the minimum age of 16, she made a winning debut when guiding Moving Earth to an easy win in the opening Members Race.

The Hitchin School For Girls GCSE student is already well known in the pointing fraternity not just as the daughter of Simon Andrews, who himself partnered 169 winners between the flags and now trains, but also through her exploits on the pony racing circuit, where she was a regular winner.

Some of the credit for this inaugural triumph is due to Joyce Hulse, from Newton, near Castleacre, in Norfolk, and her son, Charlie Ward, as Moving Earth races in Mrs Hulse’s colours. Ward, who completed the Grand National course aboard Moving Earth for a second time last year in the Foxhunters, recommended him to his old riding pal Andrews as the ideal schoolmaster for his daughter.

“We always wanted to try and win a race with him and seeing him give Georgina her first victory gave me more pleasure than if I had ridden him myself,” Ward admitted.

Andrews junior, who has been schooling her father’s horses since the age of 12 and has an ambition to ride in the National itself, should have a long career in front of her and may even get close to matching her old man’s total!

Clare Hobson, from Reed near Royston, is four years older than Georgina but is only in her second season riding. She brought her career tally to five when Scare Lotte, who is bred, owned and trained by her parents, Rosemary and Harry, made short work of her rivals in the Novice Riders’ Event.

Scare Lotte cut out most of the running and Hobson revealed afterwards that her only worrying moment came on the first circuit when a loose horse swerved in front of her, almost forcing her off the course.

George Greenock, from Gateley near Fakenham, is another young rider making a name for himself this season and he gained further acclaim when holding off none other than three-time national champion Richard Burton by a neck in an exciting finish to the Mens Open race.

His mount was Caveman, trained in Wymondham by Nibby Bloom, is owned by Greenock’s mother, Countess Cathcart, who said: “Caveman has come on a bit since winning at Ampton last month but he has come on a hell of a lot since last year and jumped spectacularly today.”

David Kemp, from Kilverstone near Thetford, is a much more experienced member of the East Anglian weighing room, so it was a surprise to learn that his victory aboard Took My Eye in the middle of three Maiden races was his first at Cottenham.

Kemp is also responsible for training Took My Eye, who is owned by Barry Belchem, from Kelvedon in Essex.

The rest of the meeting belonged to visiting trainers Alan Hill, from Oxfordshire, and Di Grissell, from Brightling in Sussex, as they both registered doubles.

Hill may live a 90-mile drive away from Cottenham but it is fast becoming his home from home as the wins of Bering Gifts, in the Ladies’ Open, and Lord Brunello, in the Restricted, meant that he has landed six races at the venue already this season - and there have only been three meetings.

Grissell was getting off the mark for the campaign when Prey Bird, ridden by her daughter, Hannah, lifted the first Maiden. And she soon followed up when, Rear Gunner, ridden by Alex Merriam, from Eye in Suffolk, made an impressive debut in the finale.

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