Superb treble for Nick Wright at Cottenham, despite having just four runners on the card

Plenty of good racing at Cottenham point to point on Sunday

Plenty of good racing at Cottenham point to point on Sunday - Credit: EADT Feature

It was a New Year’s Eve to remember for local Badlingham trainer Nick Wright and his team at Cottenham on Sunday as they registered a magnificent treble from just four runners on the card, writes Matt Coleman.

Victory in the opening Hunt Club Conditions Race for In A Blue Dust was testament to Wright’s training skills combined with his son Archie’s prowess in the saddle, as the grey gelding was produced late under a patient ride to win on his first racecourse appearance for more than three years.

“He suffered a tendon injury when winning here back in November 2014 so we’ve just had to be patient with him but today makes it all worthwhile”, noted the winning handler.

Nick and Archie Wright registered a quick-fire double in the second race with an impressive performance from their progressive six year-old Mr Maclennane who has now won twice from four outings.

“He won the Maiden on this card last year and had been working well at home. This is the first time he has raced on soft ground and as a son of Witness Box he seemed to relish it,” beamed the victorious jockey.

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The memorable hat-trick was completed with a noteworthy performance from Nick Wright’s new recruit Almost There in the Open Maiden.

The six year-old mare put together a slick round of jumping to win in the style of a classy prospect which excited the winning trainer.

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“She doesn’t show much speed at home but she was very impressive there and hopefully we can target some of the mares’ point-to-points and hunter chases this season. What an amazing day,” added Wright.

Even the Wright yard’s fourth runner, Bertredgipandgump, ran with aplomb, but could not cope with last season’s Champion Novice Hunter Chaser Now Ben in the Men’s Open.

Justifying the long journey from Phil Rowley’s yard at Bridgnorth in Shropshire, Now Ben was able to coast home under Alex Edwards having been left clear when second favourite Bivouac unseated Tim Gredley at the second last fence.

“That’s his third win at Cottenham, he loves it here”, exclaimed winning part-owner David Minton, “we’ll aim him at a hunter chase at Ludlow next and his big goal is the Champion Hunter Chase at Stratford in June.”

Former International Show Jumper Tim Gredley did not have to wait long to made amends with success aboard his own Just Cause in the following Club Members Conditions Race for Novice Riders.

The combination had to survive another error at the second last fence, but ultimately proved far too good for their toiling rivals. Recruited from the Gigginstown Stud Dispersal in August, this was Just Cause’s first success in a UK Point-to-Point following his second place last month at Barbury Castle on debut for James Owen’s Newmarket yard.

The long journey from Yorkshire paid off for Sheriff Hutton trainer Christine Drury with her new recruit Shimla Dawn who, despite racing freely under jockey Emma Todd in the early stages, stayed on tenaciously to thwart the patiently-ridden favourite Ivy Gate in the Ladies Open.

This was Shimla Dawn’s first run in a Point-to-Point having formerly been trained by Mark Walford under rules.

A rousing finish concluded the day for the 2m4f maiden with National Champion Will Biddick aboard Danny’s Star for Worcester-based trainer Martin Weston just getting the better of double-seeking Alex Edwards on The Captain.





CHHC Members Conditions

1st In A Blue Dust Archie Wright 8/1

2nd Mr Syntax Richard Collinson 5/1

3rd One Fine Morning Charles Clover 25/1

Time 6-17 Dists: 2L 3L 13 ran, Amigo 5/2f 8th.

Restricted Race

1st Mr Maclennane Archie Wright 4/1

2nd Blackwood Rover Carey Williamson 20/1

3rd Lords Park Star Jack Day 12/1

Time 6-17 Dists: 14L 2L 11 ran, Full Batten 5/4f 6th.

Men’s Open

1st Now Ben Alex Edwards Evsf

2nd Burtredgipandgump Archie Wright 4/1

3rd The Gunner Brady Zac Baker 10/1

Time 6-15 Dists: 22L 5L 6 ran.

Novice Riders

1st Just Cause Tim Gredley 6/4f

2nd West Lake Kate Gowing 5/1

3rd Ballybough Gorta Noah Brazg 8/1

Time 6-12 Dists: Dist 8L 9 ran.

Ladies Open

1st Shimla Dawn Emma Todd 5/2

2nd Ivy Gate Ali Stirling 6/4f

3rd Treacyswestcounty Brodie Hampson 4/1

Time 6-13 Dists: 4L 1L 8 ran.

Open Maiden

1st Almost There Archie Wright 2/1

2nd Tricky Silence Sam Lee 12/1

3rd Sandygate Richard Collinson 6/1

Time 6-24 Dists: 5L 3L 12 ran, The Sting 7/4f 5th.

4 5 and 6 Year Old Maiden 2 ½ Miles

1st Danny’s Star Will Biddick 4/1

2nd The Captain Alex Edwards 4/1

3rd Desert Retreat Gareth Henderson 5/1

Time 4-50 Dists: 1L 6L 8 ran, Holy Street 6/4f 4th.

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