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Hopes Just Cause can amass majestic win ratio this term




Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket trainers enjoyed good returns from the third and final meeting at Cottenham of this season’s point-to-point calendar, as local stables continue to shine.

Newmarket-trained Just Cause, from James Owen’s stables, won the Men’s Open race to continue his supreme superiority shown this season with another facile victory.

Partnered by the owner’s son 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.

Just Cause and Rupert Stearn winners of the Mens Open race at third Cottenham meet of 2019/20 Pointing East Anglia season. Picture: Graham Bishop Photography (28845723)
Just Cause and Rupert Stearn winners of the Mens Open race at third Cottenham meet of 2019/20 Pointing East Anglia season. Picture: Graham Bishop Photography (28845723)

Stearn confirmed the plan for the rest of the season would be to keep to similar races and Just Cause could amass quite a sequence, if ground conditions continue to suit.

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.

Forever Field and Archie Wright winners of the Hunt race at third Cottenham meet of 2019/20 Pointing East Anglia season. Picture: Graham Bishop Photography (28845645)
Forever Field and Archie Wright winners of the Hunt race at third Cottenham meet of 2019/20 Pointing East Anglia season. Picture: Graham Bishop Photography (28845645)

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.

Timworth-based Andrew Pennock had three runners on the day. Bold Gesture was sent off 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 2 ½ 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.

There is a weekend off fixtures before the next meeting is due to take place on Sunday, February 23, with The Waveney Harriers fixture at Higham on the Suffolk border.

There will be pony racing from 12 noon with the first point-to-point race at 1pm.