Victoria Pendleton triumphed in the Ladies’ Open at the Cambridge University Draghounds Point-To-Point at Cottenham — but unfortunately only as an owner, rather than as a jockey, writes James Crispe.
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, a two-time Olympic cycling champion, was on hand to pick up the trophy.
“I hurt my ankle when I came off him in a race down in Wiltshire a fortnight ago,” the Mildenhall Cycling Club gold member explained.
“I thought nothing of it at the time but it swelled up and, when I finally went and got it x-rayed a week later, I discovered that it was a compound 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.
Racing at this Cambridge venue signed off for another season in extraordinary fashion with five of the six runners falling in the final race, the two and a half mile maiden.
Muchadoaboutnothing came home alone and collected the prize for owner-trainer Martin Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, and his son-in-law, jockey Dickie Collinson.
The father-son trainer-jockey combination of Nick and Archie Wright, from Badlingham, near Newmarket, suffered an agonising near miss in the three-mile Maiden when Le Fou Royal was touched off by a short head by Intercooler Turbo.
The Wrights had earlier fared better in a high class Men’s Open when It Was Me finished in a solid third place.