HORSE RACING: Cottenham's Now Ben aims for successful homecoming at festive event
PUBLISHED: 12:09 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 20 December 2019
© Graham Bishop 2019
Cottenham's Now Ben will be looking to make it a successful homecoming as the village stages a festive point-to-point event next week.
Hosted by the Cambridgeshire Harriers Hunt Club, there are 129 entries for the seven-race card, set to take place on Sunday, December 29.
Now Ben may have his work cut out to record another course win in the men's open race, facing off with the likes of ex-Paul Nicholls trained Art Mauresque, who has not won since October 2016.
In the club members conditions race, previous winner Undisputed and three-time East Anglia event winner Laser Beam will look to take the glory over the three-mile course.
The restricted race has attracted both maiden winners from the previous Cottenham meeting in Fumet D'Oudairies and Frank And Honest.
Entries for this race have also been made for past maiden winners Family Man, Pass Rusher and Phoenix Park to make a very competitive contest.
Novice rider Workbench will aim to go one better after finishing runner-up in his last meeting, but may encounter a stern challenge.
His biggest rivals include West Country Challenger The Last But One, as well as Call Me Vic who reigned victorious at the Banbury meeting.
The Joseph O'Shea trained pair of Irish Anthem and Ravished, alongside Celtic Silver and Top Smart are set to lead the ladies open race.
Ravished dominated the opposition around this course in November, but did not replicate this performance at Larkhill.
Irish Anthem was sidelined after winning three early season races, but recently returned at Alnwick when finishing second.
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Although Top Smart has been a regular visitor to the East Anglia event, this will be his first appearance on the Cottenham course.
Top Smart's final outing was in defeat to Celtic Silver at Mollington, who was midway through a three-race winning streak.
Both the three-mile and the two-and-a-half mile open maiden races have a plethora of horses that hail from stables who specialise in the development of young horses.
Admission including a racecard is £15 for adults, £13 for OAPs and students, and children under 16 go free.
The first race starts at 11am with bookmakers, trade stands and catering outlets also available.
Cottenham racecourse is located four miles north of Cambridge off the B1049 (CB24 8RG). For more information, visit www.pointingea.com or the East Anglia point-to-point Facebook page.