Point-To-Point: Wahiba Sands can make class tell

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The Independent Online

The season makes its earliest- ever start at Cottenham on Monday where there are 168 entries for the seven races, run at half-hourly intervals to allow for a probable division of the second maiden (2.00).

The season makes its earliest- ever start at Cottenham on Monday where there are 168 entries for the seven races, run at half-hourly intervals to allow for a probable division of the second maiden (2.00).

Wahiba Sands will make his pointing debut in the ladies' open (1.0) under Lucy Bridges. The 11-year-old is now trained in Dorset by her mother, Helen, who said: "He's in very good order and I've been told that Cottenham is a good course to start him off at as his stamina might be a bit suspect in points."

Andsuephi, winner of the corresponding event in 2003, misses the race, so Wahiba Sands, who once beat "former pointer" Best Mate, should have most to fear from Stromness. The eight-year-old showed fair form under Rules for Alan King and is now with Heather Irving.

Richard Burton expects to have four rides, which may include Pot Shot in the opening club members (11.00). However, the one to be on is Ikrenel Royal, a winner over fences in France and also successful at Sandown for Nicky Henderson.

Always On The Line won first time out last season and then failed to make the grade in hunter-chases, but should appreciate the return to smaller fences in the mens' open (12.0).

Sort It Out, placed over hurdles in Ireland for David Wachman, has more than enough ability to win the 1.30.

Monday's fixture: Cambridgeshire Harriers at Cottenham (First race 11.00, entry £8 per head). 4m north of Cambridge, near B1049, Exit 14, M11.

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