Cottenham point-to-point: Olympian Victoria Pendleton wins as an owner

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton - Credit: PA

Point-to-point racing at Cottenham signed off for another season in the most extraordinary fashion with five of the six runners falling in the final race of the campaign on Saturday.

Point-to-point racing at Cottenham signed off for another season in the most extraordinary fashion with five of the six runners falling in the final race of the campaign on Saturday.

Three came to grief in the three-mile maiden, which witnessed a thrilling three-horse finish as the Surrey raider, Intercooler Turbo, just held off Le Fou Royal by a short head with Skiptothegoodbit only half a length back in third.

And the six runners for the closing two-and-a-half mile maiden went down like ninepins, most spectacularly Balkato des Bois who slithered out at the penultimate obstacle with the race at his mercy.

All this left the outsider, Muchadoaboutnothing, to come home alone and collect the prize for owner-trainer Martin Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, and his son-in-law, jockey Dickie Collinson. All the horses and riders emerged unscathed from the carnage.

The father-son trainer-jockey combination of Nick and Archie Wright, from Badlingham, near Newmarket, fared well in a high class Mens Open when It Was Me, the leading East Anglian horse of 2015, continued his rehabilitation from a disappointing 2016 campaign with a solid third place behind the Shropshire raider, Now Ben.

Dual Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton triumphed in the Ladies Open, but as an owner, rather than as a jockey.

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After her horse, Vesperal Dream, ridden by Izzy Marshall, had got up in the last few strides to defy the favourite, Sharp Suit, a crutch-wielding Pendleton was on hand to pick up the trophy.

“I hurt my ankle when I fell off him at Larkhill, down in Wiltshire, two weeks ago,” Pendleton explained.

“At the time I thought it was nothing but it swelled right up and, when I finally went to hospital a week later, I discovered that it was a fracture.

“The trophy is beautiful – and bigger than anything I got during my cycling career.”

Oxfordshire-based Alan Hill trains both Vesperal Dream and Sharp Suit and he was on the mark again in the following contest when Pride Of Parish, held off Condorman in the Restricted Race. The two other winners on the day were Torran Na Dtonn and Lough Inch.

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