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Newmarket trainer James Owen enjoys Men's Open at Cottenham point-to-point event

Newmarket trainer James Owen proved his Point-to-Point runners are in top condition at the start of the season, with victory in the Men’s Open.

He had three placed horses at the opening meeting at Cottenham a month ago and was able to improve on that with a top spot at the second meeting, again at Cottenham, on Sunday.

Just Cause, saddled by Jack Andrews, went off with strong claims in the Men’s Open as the partnership went into the race as reigning champions.

WINNER: Jack Andrews on Just Cause, winner of the Men’s Open race
WINNER: Jack Andrews on Just Cause, winner of the Men’s Open race

Andrews produced a well-judged ride aboard the horse with the pair hanging back in the field until late on, before putting in a driving finish, to collar the long-time leader Mr Mix.

Just Cause, who won this fixture last year, deserved the victory having run so well at the first Cottenham fixture but suffering defeat.

There was, however, an unfortunate incident in the race as Brave Encounter fell on the landing side of the first fence and an awkward landing for jockey Luke Scott resulted in the Magpas air ambulance being requested.

Scott received immediate attention from the course medical team and was able to walk into a vehicle ambulance. A spontaneous blanket collection raised £500 for Magpas.

Linkenholt, a chestnut gelding also owned and trained by the Newmarket trainer Owen, finished third in the same race.

Jockey Alex Chadwick had ridden the horse to a third placed finish at the opening meeting and they then occupied the same berth in the two-and-half mile Maiden race.

Having started the race slowly, Chadwick spurred the horse on and made up the lost ground as the race went on, but was unable to catch the leaders and was still three lengths behind the first two home at the finish.

Zeroshadesofgrey romped home in the Novice Riders race, beating Owen’s Vivaldi Collonges, to complete an excellent day’s racing with a large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance.

The next East Anglian fixture, hosted by the Dunston Harriers at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, will be on Sunday, January 13. The first race is scheduled for 12 noon.

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