Three runners take part at Cottenham for Bury St Edmunds trainer Andrew Pennock
A Bury St Edmunds trainer sent three runners to the third and final meeting at Cottenham of this season’s point-to-point calendar, as local stables continue to shine.
Timworth-based Andrew Pennock was unfortunate as Bold Gesture was sent off as favourite for the Restricted race, but unseated jockey Dicky Collinson three fences out.
But Morning Smiles upped his game in the three-mile Open Maiden after two non-finishing starts.
Jumping fluently in front with Archie Wright deputising for the previously injured Collinson, they were collared two fences from home and finished second, five lengths behind the winner Manicman.
In the concluding two-and-a-half mile Open Maiden, the Pennock runner No Gale was also leading when falling and bringing down another at the first fence in the straight.
There was a subsequent concern that the position of the sun had played a part in No Gale’s departure.
Newmarket-trained Just Cause, from James Owen’s stables, meanwhile won the Men’s Open race to continue his supreme superiority shown this season with another easy victory.
Partnered with jockey Rupert Stearn, their dominance was never in doubt after they took up the running two fences out and eventually finished 10 lengths ahead of their nearest rival Zeroeshadesofgrey.
Stearn said that Just Cause could amass quite a sequence in similar races, if ground conditions continue to suit the duo.
Net D’Ecosse, also from the Owen stable, finished second in the four-runner opening Hunt race but could never reach the winner Forever Field, owned and trained by Nick Wright from Badlingham.
Forever Field’s bold jumping and front-running performance proved to be a key factor. It was not a pre-meditated plan by Wright’s son, jockey Archie Wright, to ride from the front but, as his mount was enjoying life ahead of his three rivals, he continued the format.
The 10-year-old horse was bought privately by owner/trainer Wright just two months ago from five-time British jump racing Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson’s yard; and this was a pleasing performance to provide Archie with his first winner of the season.
There is a weekend off fixtures before the next meeting on Sunday, February 23, with The Waveney Harriers fixture at Higham.
There will be pony racing from 12 noon with the first point-to-point race at 1pm.