Cottenham Point-To-Point welcomes almost 60 horses and riders - but no special guest Victoria Pendleton
- Credit: Archant
She began her cycling career in Mildenhall, went onto to win nine world titles, and her reappearance locally in her new sport of point-to-point was eagerly anticipated.
But Victoria Pendleton disappointed the crowd at Cottenham on Saturday when she opted to head west and to Devon for her first experience of point-to-point.
In the event she declared herself “really pleased” to clear 17 fences.
Her absence from Cottenham didn’t detract from a brilliant day of competition with winners from as far afield as Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire and Sussex.
There were no local winners winners although Dickie Collinson, the area’s most successful jockey last season, managed a close second in the closing race of the day riding Rupert Wells for Bury St Edmunds trainer Andrew Pennock.
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The most memorable success went to Angela Rucker riding her faithful servant, Sagalyrique, in the ladies open.
The combination have now won the race four times in a row which is believed to be a record, and Rucker rode to a storming finish to get up on the line taking the spoils by a neck, from the hot favourite and long time leader Penmore Mill.
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There were also some other exciting performances with one in particular, Lilbitluso, from the Joseph O’Shea yard in Staffordshire, winning the Open Maiden in particularly stylish fashion, by a distance.
In the saddle was top northern jockey Gillan Crow who had suffered defeat in the men’s open earlier in the day aboard another of O’Shea’s, Executive Benefit.
Victor in that race was the classy veteran Consigliere ridden by his normal pilot Joe Hill. One other rider in the race was Sam Waley-Cohen who had been seen on Saturday riding in the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury where he had a crunching fall aboard The Young Master at the first fence.
He bought two horses to Cottenham from his Warwickshire base but sadly left empty handed.
Cottenham will now look forward to their next meeting, which will be on January 3.