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Laser Beam hones in on victory in front of bumper crowd at Cottenham

Point-to-point returned to East Anglia on Sunday, with a bumper holiday crowd in attendance at Cottenham for the second fixture of the calendar.

On a glorious December day, the sun shone on two stables from the region, which came away from the meeting with winners.

A total of 76 runners faced the starter, for the seven races, on ground conditions described officially as “good” and by jockeys as perfect jumping ground.

Laser Beam and Sam Lee winners of the Club Members’ Conditions race at Cottenham for Timworth-based Andrew PennockPicture: Graham Bishop Photography (25589735)
Laser Beam and Sam Lee winners of the Club Members’ Conditions race at Cottenham for Timworth-based Andrew PennockPicture: Graham Bishop Photography (25589735)

The standard was set with a high bar for this season, after the first two cracking Cottenham meetings.

James Owen, whose stables are based in Hamilton Road in Newmarket, had indicated in pre-season that Fiddler Of Dooney was his selection as the horse to follow for the season.

Apparently there are shares available in Fiddler of Dooney who is considered an exciting prospect for the East Anglian circuit this season.

This gelding, who will be seven-years-old turning into January, has been placed in Irish Point-To-Points/Hunterchases at a very affordable price – you can contact James Owen Racing at www,jamesowenracing.com to sign up – and, after this first winning run at Cottenham, he looks an even better proposition for a possible interest.

Alex Chadwick had the ride and the partnership won the three mile Open Maiden by a half a length.

Net d’Ecosse was Owen’s other runner, on the day, who took his place in the Men's Open.

In what turned out to be quite a hot race, run in the fastest time of the day, Net d’Ecosse kept pace with the leaders but had no answer to the class of the winner Art Mauresque and finished in fifth place with Rupert Stearn taking the ride.

Timworth-based Andrew Pennock, trainer of Laser Beam was also delighted with his winner of the opening race on the card, a Club Members’ Conditions contest.

Pennock would have been encouraged by the performance of Sam Lee, on his debut ride for the stable, who had Laser Beam to the fore approaching six fences out.

The partnership then capitalised on the departure of the previously unbeaten favourite, Champagne Lilly, three fences from home and came home four lengths clear of their nearest rival.

The Pennock stable had further runners in both Maiden events. But Luscious Lilly unfortunately fell in the three mile race whilst the stable had two runners in the closing younger horse Maiden race.

Morning Smiles pulled up, when not in contention but there was a satisfactory British debut for Bold Gesture. With Sam Lee again in the saddle, they made a sterling effort to win the race but had to be content with second place, beaten three lengths, by Oscars Flame.

* The next East Anglian fixture, hosted by the Dunston Harriers at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, is on Sunday, January 12 (12pm).

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