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CAMBRIDGE HARRIERS HUNT CLUB
SUNDAY 6 JANUARY 2002
by Dom Bradshaw
The 2002 season kicked off
at Cottenham on Sunday, but not before passing two inspections the day before. On the day
itself, visibility throughout was poor due to heavy fog with only the first three fences
able to be viewed for the majority of the races.
The Restricted went North yet again, but this
time to Scotland with the Phillipa Shirley-Beavan trained Running Mute (Luke Morgan) an
impressive winner from the Gill Walford trained Clashbridane (Mark Walford) with Im
Dreaming (Andy Martin) back in third. Running Mute appeared to do this very nicely and
should be watched closely as he progresses through the ranks. The runner up and the third
should both be capable of taking a small race.
The Mens Open had a disappointing turn out
with only five runners. Of those five, three were 12-year-olds and the other two were
13-year-olds, which made this more like a veterans race!
The Intermediate also had a poor turn out
with only five turning up for the second race in a row. Richard Burton took this on the
11-year-old Jorodec who stayed on stoutly after the last to deny Claywalls (Charlie
Shirley-Beavan) with Oxendale (Philip Bull) three lengths further back in third.
The Ladies Open provided another winner for
the Northern area, with the prize going this time to Billie Thompsons Heart Of
Avondale (Carrie Ford). Formerly a useful hurdler with Nicky Henderson, the 9-year-old
Broken Hearted mare appeared to trounce her field here and looks the type to run up a
sequence in Ladies races, just as stable mate Balisteros did two seasons ago.
Greenwich (Robert Biddlecombe), who was
placed in Hunter Chases last season, simply outclassed his rivals in the 8-year-old &
over Maiden coming home a good distance clear of the rest. The winner has been called a
number of rude names in the past, but there is no doubting that he has ability. The
Marilyn Scudamore yard appear to have finally found the key to him and he should be able
to take a Restricted at least.
The first division of the 5, 6 & 7-year-old Maiden over 2miles 4furlongs went to Themanfromcarlisle (Polly Gundry), a debutante from the Goess-Saurau yard. He came home the proverbial country mile clear of the only other finisher, Crown Rule (Harry Fowler). The winner is a 6-year-old son of Jupiter Island and if the way he galloped and jumped here is anything to go by, he is a real star of the future. Put him into your notebooks now!
A double for the Marilyn Scudamore\Robert Biddlecombe partnership was completed in the final race, division two of the above, with Zaffaran Winds scoring nicely from the fast finishing Harrys Mare (Polly Gundry) and Lovelock (Neil King). The winner has been disappointing under rules but this looked like more his level. Like stable mate Greenwich, he should have little trouble collecting a Restricted. The second and third both ran creditably and should be good enough to take a Maiden before the end of the season.
Its disappointing that so few East Anglian trainers didnt support the meeting with only fifteen out of the total number of seventy three runners actually coming from the East Anglian region. When a course can offer good jumping ground, as Cottenham did on Sunday, it does seem a pity that more local people can't support them.
However, despite the fog it was wonderful to be racing once again and Michael Gingell and staff should be praised for getting the fixture at all after the big freeze than wed all encountered over the previous weeks.
Maiden (8yo and over - 3m)
Maiden (5, 6 & 7yo - 2m4f - Division One)
Maiden (5, 6 & 7yo - 2m4f - Division Two)