Cottenham under starters orders as Point-to-Point term begins in East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 15:55 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 29 November 2018
© Graham Bishop 2017
Cottenham will again hold the traditional East Anglian season opener as the 2018-19 season gets underway on Sunday.
The first race starts at noon and will be followed by the popular second meeting of the campaign between Christmas and New year.
With the near certainty of decent going, these two fixtures have historically provided two excellent days of racing,
One East Anglian trainer who is likely to have horses fit and raring to go at Cottenham will be Andrew Pennock.
The last few years have seen Pennock’s training career take a steep upward trajectory with his winners to runners’ percentages in recent seasons enough to make most professional trainers green.
Pennock’s undoubtable skill is bringing maidens up through the grades and as usual he has some new maidens for this season, but it would be great to see him with a good open horse and Steele’s Terrace, who was impressive last season, will start in that grade.
East Anglia’s leading gentleman rider of last season, Archie Wright, will also hope to get his season underway at Cottenham and a new unraced recruit to his father Nick Wright’s yard, Durban Thunder.
In A Blue Dust is another to keep an eye on from the Wright yard as they don’t think they have seen the best of him yet, despite an impressive win in a Conditions race at Cottenham last year, arguably the training performance of the season with the horse having been off the track since November 2014.
Looking further ahead into the season, trainer James Owen will be another name to keep note of.
The last couple of seasons have seen Owen do well with a small group of horses for owner riders Tim Gredley and Rupert Stearn.
Net D’Ecosse, a recent Goffs purchase for Gredley, looks to be a good buy and should be a horse to keep track of through the season.
All are hoping for a successful season and favourable weather conditions to allow fixtures to take place as scheduled.
*The opening meeting of the Point-to-Point season is at Cottenham near Cambridge on Sunday, December 2.
The racecourse is situated four miles north of Cambridge, off the B1049, postcode CB24 8RG.
There will be six scheduled steeplechase races from noon, as well as tradestands, catering outlets and bookmakers.
Entry is £15 adults, including racecard, and £13 for seniors and students, with under-16s getting in free.