All posts by David Hunter

Greene King Raceday – Preview of Wednesdays Racecard

There may be just four runners declared for the feature chase at Fakenham’s second National Hunt meeting of the season on Wednesday (Oct 28) but the two-mile novice chase looks competitive.
The 3.02pm Greene King IPA Novice Chase sees reigning champion jump jockey Brian Hughes on board likely favourite Gaelic Coast, looking to land a hat-trick of victories for trainer Donald McCain.
The six-year-old gelding won at Bangor in February and at Doncaster the previous month but faces a stiff test from three rivals, including the Paul Nicholls trained Mick Pastor. Mick Pastor underwent wind surgery after finishing tenth in the Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and now makes his chasing debut
Another chasing debutant is the Nick Littmoden trained Imperil, under Jack Quinlan, the gelding fourth at Fakenham over hurdles in March while Timetochill completes the quartet, representing Kelly Morgan under Jack Tudor, the mare third at Uttoxeter on chase debut in August.
The two Greene King sponsored handicap hurdles have attracted the biggest fields, both featuring 10 runners.
The three-miler at 2.32pm features Sunny Express, third at Uttoxeter in September for trainer Warren Greatrex and Vinnie’s Gateway for whom Lewis Stones claims seven pounds for trainer Olly Murphy. The gelding was third at Ludlow earlier this month. Another with chances is Jonjoala, having her second run for trainer Alex Hales, the first a winning one at Plumpton a year ago.
The 10-runner 3.32pm two-miler features nine-year-old Glimpse of Gold under Alexander Thorne for trainer Sarah Humphrey. The gelding won at Fakenham in April 2017 and was runner-up at Huntingdon a fortnight ago. Main rivals are Jackson Hill, a Plumpton runner-up and Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Beauty, third at Ffos Las recently.
Ten, including five newcomers, go in the finale at 4.02, the bumper. Dunefinch is an interesting debutant for trainer Stuart Edmunds. Likely market leader Sun Rising Hill makes a hat-trick bid and Lucy Wadham’s Martello Sky, a grey filly second at Market Rasen in March, hold good chances.
The card opens with a maiden hurdle at 1.02pm in which Olly Murphy saddles Plenty in the Tank under Aidan Coleman while nine go in the fillies’ juvenile hurdle at 2.02pm with Sean Curran running two, Talking About You and Treats of Dingle.
The other chase, at 1.32pm, sees a quintet tackle 21 furlongs with likely favourite 11-year-old Fakenham regular Princeton Royale under Bryony Frost for Neil King. The gelding has won six of 24 chases, including at Fakenham in June 2018.

Please see the link below for the digital racecard.

https://issuu.com/weatherbys/docs/fakenham_-_2020-10-28_-_digital?fr=sNmFiZDIxMjg1NTA

Also downloadable as a pdf (click here to download)

Greene King Raceday 28th October – Race Preview

Almost 100 initial entries have been received for the second meeting of Fakenham Racecourse’s 2020/21 National Hunt season which takes place on Wednesday (October 28).
As with the opening meeting of the new season just over a week ago, racing will take place behind closed doors, with no members of the public allowed, due to the Covid restrictions.
The seven-race fixture, supported by Greene King, sees a class three chase as the feature of the day and six entries have been received for the contest, the Greene King IPA Novice Chase over two miles at 3.02pm.
Champion jockey Brian Hughes has been booked by northern-based trainer Donald McCain to ride hat-trick seeking Gaelic Coast, the six-year-old gelding a winner at Doncaster in January and at Bangor the following month.
The excellent prize money on offer has also attracted entries from the stables of top trainers Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson in the form of Mick Pastor and Fred.
The Nicholls trained Mick Pastor, with Harry Cobden booked to ride, was last seen finishing 10th in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Fred, a five-year-old gelding, is another hat-trick seeker, his last two runs ending in victories at Musselburgh in February and at Kempton the previous Boxing Day.
Fakenham’s two ‘Double Up’ bonus races have attracted a large number of initial entries. The two contests are both handicap hurdles, at 2.32pm over three miles and at 3.32pm over two miles.
The Greene King IPA Handicap Hurdle at 2.32pm has 17 entries and they include the Olly Murphy trained pair Todd and Vinnie’s Getaway, the former a course and distance winner in November last year and Vinnie’s Getaway finishing third at Ludlow three weeks ago.
A total of 19 entries have been received for the 3.32pm Greene King IPA Handicap Hurdle including the interesting Operatic Export from Dr Richard Newland’s yard. The horse is another seeking a hat-trick of victories, after winning, at Newton Abbott and Sedgefield, both in September.
The card starts at 1.02pm and closes at 4.02pm with the Hempton National Hunt Open flat race over two miles. Entries include a possible seven debutants as well as the Alex Hales trained Sun Rising Hill. The four-year-old was a winner of a point-to-point at Buckfastleigh on debut before scoring at Market Rasen in September on a first run for Hales, who has an excellent record at the north Norfolk track.
Terry Redhead – Racing Pundit

Please see the link below for the digital racecard.

https://issuu.com/weatherbys/docs/fakenham_-_2020-10-28_-_digital?fr=sNmFiZDIxMjg1NTA

Also downloadable as a pdf (click here to download)

Racing Report from 16th October

It was an historic Friday at Fakenham when the first meeting of the 2020/2021 season was held with no members of the public present, due to Covid restrictions.
But that didn’t detract from a successful opening fixture which proved a great day for jockey Aidan Coleman.
Sidelined with a serious injury for three months, Coleman returned to ride for new boss, trainer Olly Murphy, and took the honours in the maiden hurdle on 6/5 favourite Here Comes Johny.
A runner-up at Market Rasen, Here Comes Johny tracked the leaders before storming clear and scoring by 11 lengths from Paul Nicholls’ Switch Hitter.
“What a great ride for a first one back from injury. He is a super jumper and did everything I wanted him to do,” said Coleman.
Impressive winner of the three-mile novice chase was the Stuart Edmunds’ trained Wolf of Windlesham under Ciaran Gethings, the outsider of the four at 11/1.
The gelding was trained as a two-year-old by Barry Hills and has suffered a string of injuries. But he jumped superbly to take the prize.
“It’s a brilliant training performance just to get him on the track. He has lots of class and was superb. I think he will improve for that,” said Gethings.
The feature three-mile chase proved dramatic. Fixed Rate, under Harry Bannister for Charlie Mann, looked like repeating his 2017 Fakenham success only to suffer a dreadful fall at the final fence.
That left long-time leader, 4/1 joint favourite Sir Jack Yeats ahead and, under James Bowen for Richard Spencer, he held on to win by a neck from 2019 Norfolk National winner Hepijeu.
The honour of being the new season’s first winner went to Neil Mulholland’s The Twisler, ridden from the front by Harry Reed. The 11/4 joint favourite beat fellow market leader Skeaping, winner of the race last season, to land the selling hurdle.
Only three went in the mares’ novice chase. Odds-on favourite Bit on the Side led and the order never changed until two out when the James Bowen ridden Jubilympics, trained by Emma Lavelle, took it up to score at 9/4 to complete a double for the rider..
Easiest winner was 4/1 favourite Cary’s Commodity in the handicap hurdle, a first Fakenham success for Jonjo O’Neill. Hat-trick seeking Tayzar fell at the second and Cary’s Commodity then cruised home by 14 lengths.
The finale went to evens favourite Cormier under Danny Cook for Brian Ellison, the gelding following up a recent Uttoxeter success in fine style.
Terry Redhead Racing Pundit

Sky Sports Raceday 16th October – Preview of Fridays Card

Fakenham Racecourse opens its 2020/21 National Hunt season on Friday with a seven-race card, backed by Sky Sports Racing, taking place behind closed doors due to Covid 19 restrictions.

“It’s behind closed doors racing so absolutely no members of the public will be allowed onto the racecourse and people must not try turning up. They will be turned away,” said Fakenham Chief Executive, David Hunter.

The leading two contests on the card have attracted plenty of runners with 14 declared for the 3.10pm Handicap Hurdle and nine for the Handicap Chase 30 minutes later.

Hat-trick seeking Tayzar is likely favourite for the Handicap Hurdle under seven-pound claimer Theo Gillard for trainer Ruth Jefferson. The nine-year-old gelding won at Sedgefield just over a week ago, following on from a September success at Warwick.

Mercian Prince under Eddie Edge for Amy Murphy and Bartholomew J for Harry Cobden and Simon Pearce look the main rivals.

The former had a seasonal pipe-opener at Warwick in September while Bartholomew J was a Southwell runner-up in August a month after a victory at that Nottinghamshire course.

The 3.40pm Handicap Chase over three miles features nine, including three former Fakenham winners.

Hepijeu under Ciaran Gethings for Stuart Edmunds, won the Norfolk National in 2019, while Fixed Rate, Harry Bannister for Charlie Mann, was a 2017 Fakenham victor.

Princeton Royale, under Bryony Frost for Neil King, is the other ex-Fakenham winner, the 11-year-old scoring last time out, in September at Stratford in a race in which Fixed Rate was eighth.

Two others with big chances are Favorito Buck’s under Cobden for trainer Paul Nicholls and Kilfilum Cross for Henry Oliver, the grey gelding a Chepstow runner-up in a big field at class two level in March.

The card starts at 1pm with a conditional jockeys’ selling hurdle in which likely favourite is the Charlie Todd ridden Doux Pretender for trainer Charles Pogson, the gelding having his first run for Pogson since leaving Nicky Henderson’s stable.

Only four mares go in the 1.35pm Novice Chase with Sam Twiston-Davies riding for his trainer father Nigel on Bit On The Side, third last time at Newton Abbott after two successes. She makes her chasing debut as does Edmunds’ Deputy’s Oscar, a Sandown runner-up last time.

Five contest the 2.10pm Maiden Hurdle in which Cobden and Nicholls go with likely market leader Switch Hitter, while 30 minutes later four tackle the three-mile Novice Chase.

A competitive tussle seems assured with Young Wolf for Jonjo O’Neill, Canyon City, for Frost and King, and Olly Murphy’s Skandiburg under Aidan Coleman, all making strong claims.

A 10-runner Novice Hurdle ends the card at 4.10pm with the Brian Ellison trained Cormier, under Danny Cook, a recent Uttoxeter winner, looking the possible favourite.

Following Friday’s meeting, the remaining 2020 fixtures are on October 28, November 17 and 30 and December 20.

Terry Redhead – Racing Pundit

Please see the link below for the digital racecard.

https://issuu.com/weatherbys/docs/fakenham_-_2020-10-16_-_digital?fr=sMjkwYTIwNzk1MTE

Also downloadable as a pdf (click here to download)

POST RACING REPORT - Sun Shocker As King Swoops For A Valentines Day Double

Sky Sports Raceday – Friday 16th October

Fakenham Racecourse opens its 2020/21 National Hunt season on Friday although the opening meeting, backed by Sky Sports Racing, will operate without members of the public present due to the Covid 19 restrictions.

“It’s behind closed doors racing so absolutely no members of the public will be allowed onto the racecourse and people must not try turning up. They will be turned away,” said Fakenham Chief Executive, David Hunter.

But the mood at the north Norfolk track remains postive with Fakenham announcing that it will contribute a minimum of £22,000 of its own money towards prize money on each of the five race days that remain in 2020, as well as having two races per day that qualify for prize money bonuses.

David Hunter explained: “Like all racecourses we have had a difficult time since Covid raised its ugly head. We lost three meetings at the end of last season but it could have been a lot worse and we have to be grateful that our caravan and camping site has been, and continues to be, very popular with guests.

“We want to hit the floor running on Friday and offer the best possible racing experience to owners, trainers, jockeys and all professionals involved in this great sport.

“Prize money is essential for the wellbeing of the sport and Fakenham has always committed as much as it can to the pot. In a time of Covid uncertainty that commitment remains strong and Fakenham will contribute at least £22,000 of its own funds to each remaining fixture in 2020. We hope to be able to do the same for 2021.

“Also, we will offer two handicap races each day as ‘Double Up Bonus Races’. If the winning horse in each bonus race, is trained by the same trainer, then the winning owner of each will get an extra £2,000.”

Feature races on Friday, when there are seven contests from 1pm to 4.10pm are the ‘Double Up’ races at 3.10pm and 3.40pm.

The 3.10pm Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles and the 3.40pm Download the At The Races App Handicap Chase over three miles, are both worth £15,000.

And the seven scheduled races have attracted a massive initial entry of 133 horses, including 27 for the feature hurdle contest and 17 for the feature chase.

Please see the link below for the digital racecard.

https://issuu.com/weatherbys/docs/fakenham_-_2020-10-16_-_digital?fr=sMjkwYTIwNzk1MTE

Also downloadable as a pdf (click here to download)

Fakenham Racecourse makes Prize Money Commitment for Remainder of 2020

PRESS RELEASE – PRESS RELEASE – PRESS RELEASE

Fakenham Racecourse makes Prize Money Commitment for Remainder of 2020
Despite the setbacks incurred by the Covid 19 pandemic, Fakenham Racecourse announces that it
will contribute a minimum of £22,000 of its own money towards prize money on each of the five
race days that remain in 2020, as well as having two handicap races per race day that qualify for
prize money bonuses.

Fakenham’s Chief Executive & Clerk of the Course David Hunter explains:

‘Like all racecourses we have had a very difficult time since Covid raised its ugly head in March
this year. We lost three race meetings at the tail end of last season but it could have been a lot worse
and against that gloomy backdrop we have to be very grateful that our touring caravan and camping
site has been, and continues to be, very popular with guests as a result of staycations.

We start racing again on 16th October, either behind closed doors or with a limited number of the
public, and we want to hit the floor running and offer the best possible racing experience to owners,
trainers, jockeys and all those professionals involved in this great sport. Race prize money is
essential for the well being of the sport and Fakenham has always proudly committed as much as it
can to the prize money pot. In this time of Covid uncertainty that commitment remains as strong as
ever and today I can announce that Fakenham will contribute at least £22,000 of its own funds to
the prize money at each remaining fixture in 2020 and we hope to be able to do the same for 2021.
This figure is 75% of the prize money contribution we made in pre-Covid times and when it is
added to Horse Racing Betting Levy Board and British Horseracing Authority grants it means each
race meeting will offer in excess of £60,000 for a six or seven race card. Furthermore, Fakenham
will continue to charge zero entry fees to the owners for all our races. This is something we have
proudly done for many years and, along with Newton Abbott racecourse, are the only two courses
in the country that do this.

Also, from October onwards we shall offer two pre-selected handicap races on each day as ‘Double
Up Bonus Races’. If the winning horse in each bonus race, on the same day, is trained by the same
trainer then the winning owner of each race will get an extra £2,000 added to their prize money. We
hope this will encourage more entries into the races and will create fun, interest and excitement.’

Fakenham is a hive of activity with changes taking place to some buildings and facilities to
accommodate Covid 19 protocols; track and jump preparations; steady irrigation of the ground;
local race day staff being trained in new procedures and many guests still enjoying holidays on the
caravan and camping site.

David continues, ‘This time of the year is always pretty frantic as we get back into the swing of
racing, but this year it is even greater as we have not raced since mid-March, and we have so many
other things to consider and accommodate. Currently we are planning for both behind closed doors
racing and racing with a limited number of the public in attendance. If it is the latter, the public will
be made up of Annual Members and those who have booked tables in the Firth Restaurant.’


Fakenham Racecourse Fakenham Racecourse is an independently owned, national hunt racecourse
that, despite being called Fakenham Racecourse, is in fact in the small parish hamlet of Pudding
Norton. Racing has taken place at this site since 1905. Previously the races took place closer to
King’s Lynn at East Winch from 1884 until 1905.
For any further information please contact David Hunter on 07767 802206,
david@fakenhamracecourse.co.uk

Fakenham Racecourse & TJC Landrovers

Fakenham Racecourse is delighted to announce a new working relationship with TJC Landrovers, the result of which is a purpose prepared Landrover 110 utility vehicle being made available to the racecourse ground staff.

TJC Landrovers is an independent , specialist Landrover garage based at Weasenham, Norfolk, contact enquiries@tjclandrovers.co.uk . Its owner, Tony Cable says. ‘A lot of my customers, and potential new customers, enjoy a day at Fakenham Races and us providing a suitable utility vehicle to the racecourse seems a perfect fit. Racing happens in all weather and it is vital that the ground staff can get to any part of the course quickly with the right tools and equipment to deal with situations when they arise. The Landrover 110 pick up fits the bill perfectly. It can literally go anywhere, it has a high load capacity and a large towing capability. I found the right vehicle and my garage has completely rebuilt it and made it fit for purpose along with eye-catching paint work’.

David Hunter, CEO of Fakenham Racecourse said, ‘Tony is a great friend of the racecourse. He always comes racing and when one of my colleague, Trudi Moulton, asked Tony if he could help he immediately said yes. The result is a stunning Landrover that is perfect for the job we need. Every day the ground staff need to move heavy, bulky and awkward kit and this vehicle more than fits the bill’.

Fakenham Racecourse Indian Food

Eat Out to Help Out – Punjabi Cuisine at Fakenham Racecourse

Come and eat at our Indian Punjabi Restaurant located at Fakenham Racecourse.  We will have tables set out in the restaurant as well as giving you the chance to eat outside and enjoy the stunning surroundings of the racecourse.

Enter the racecourse via NR21 7NY (opposite Jewsons), continue past The Gallows Sports Centre and follow signs for car parking and directions to Punjab Restaurant.

Eat as much as you like from our main menu for just £10. We will be open from 3rd August 2020 on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August. Book early to avoid disappointment.

To book a table follow this link https://www.currylicious.co.uk/product-page/book-a-table or ring on 07957 402402

Great British September Clean: 11th-27th September 2020

Fakenham Racecourse Team will be joining with Fakenham Town Council during September as part of the Keep Britain Tidy Clean to litter pick in Fakenham.

To ensure that the campaign complies with the current Government guidance in relation to COVID-19, the campaign has been amended slightly to ensure the health and safety of all participants and supporting staff.

More information to follow nearer the time.