Exciting season ahead in East Anglian point-to-point racing
PUBLISHED: 15:02 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:02 27 November 2018
© Graham Bishop 2016
Cottenham, the traditional East Anglian season opener, will again hold the first meeting of the 2018-19 point-to-point season this Sunday, followed by the ever popular second meeting at the same venue on December 30.
With the near certainty of decent going, these two fixtures have historically provided two excellent days of racing,
One East Anglian trainer who is likely to have horses fit and raring to go at Cottenham will be Andrew Pennock.
The last few years have seen Pennock’s training career take a steep upward trajectory. His winners to runners’ percentages in recent seasons are enough to make most professional trainers green with envy.
His undoubtable skill is bringing maidens up through the grades and as usual he has some new maidens for this season, but it would be great to see him with a good open horse – and Steele’s Terrace, who was impressive last season, will start in that grade.
East Anglia’s leading male rider of last season, Archie Wright, will also hope to get his season underway at Cottenham and a new unraced recruit to his father Nick Wright’s yard, Durban Thunder.
In A Blue Dust is another to keep an eye on from the Wright yard, as they don’t think they have seen the best of him yet. That’s despite his impressive win in a conditions race at Cottenham last year, arguably the training performance of the season, the horse having been off the track since November 2014.
Looking further ahead into the season, trainer James Owen will be another name to keep note of. The last couple of seasons have seen Owen do well with a small group of horses for owner riders Tim Gredley and Rupert Stearn.
Net D’Ecosse, a recent Goffs purchase for Gredley, looks to be a good buy and should be a horse to keep track of through the season.
All point-to-point fans will be hoping for a successful season and favourable weather conditions to allow fixtures to take place as scheduled. A full preview of the opening meeting, at Cottenham near Cambridge on Sunday, with the first race at 12 noon, will appear in Saturday’s paper.