All posts by Dalia Courridge

Dalia Courridge

About Dalia Courridge

Marketing Executive at Fakenham Racecourse.
Passionate about digital marketing. Great lover of coffee, healthy living and enjoys a day at the races.

POST RACING REPORT | December Meeting

Robin swoops in for top prize after a 600-mile round trip.

Native Robin made a 600-mile round trip from Devon worthwhile when landing the £14,500 feature handicap chase at Fakenham’s fourth meeting of the season for trainer Jeremy Scott.

In-form Scott, with a 25 per cent success rate over the past three weeks, saw Nick Schofield give his eight-year-old gelding a fine ride, returned the 9/4 winner.

Native Robin was fourth on his seasonal return at Wincanton and went off the favourite in a competitive eight-runner contest.

“We left home at 2am. It’s a long, long journey but worth it now. He didn’t jump that well but was always travelling. He is consistent and a very likeable sort. I thought they went a bit quick early on and that they would come back to us and so it proved,” said Schofield, who held off bottom weight Wood Pigeon to score by half a length.

Six-year-old mare Bisoubisou won at Fakenham almost a year ago when trained by Olly Murphy and clearly likes the track as she scorched to victory in the opening handicap hurdle for trainer Sarah Humphrey.

Under Sean Bowen, the bottom weight in the field of nine kept to the inside throughout and took it up two flights out to score at 14/1 from Demon Fou and pacesetter and favourite Yeats Baby. It was the winner’s second outing for Mrs Humphrey, having been third at Huntingdon in September.

Norfolk-based rider Fergus Gregory delivered another Murphy trained winner when he got 8/11 favourite Skandiburg home in the North Creake novice hurdle.

“I’m very lucky to have Olly supporting me,” said Gregory, from Thompson near Watton, while Murphy replied: “He’s a big lad and has to look after his weight but he is very talented and has a terrific attitude to work. I think Skandiburg will be a real horse to follow next year.”

After running poorly in two bumpers, 20/1 shot San Seb made his hurdling debut a winning one when taking the Fakenham Juvenile Hurdle under Ciaran Gethings for trainer Stuart Edmunds. For Pleasure set a terrific pace before fading to leave the winner to score by 11 lengths from favourite Song for Someone.

The closest finish of the day saw By Rail get up in the final strides to beat Yourholidayisover in the Racing Welfare Chase. Pacesetter By Rail, trained by Nick Littmoden and ridden by Jack Quinlan, was headed by Yourholidayisover before the last fence but then idled in front and allowed By Rail, the top weight, returned at 7/1, to get back up on the line.

The finale, the three-mile Harpley Handicap Hurdle, saw Midnight Queen make every single yard to score at 9/2 under Alan Johns for trainer Tim Vaughan. The mare, winning for the third time this campaign, was never seriously challenged by her four rivals and romped home by nine lengths from favourite General Bux.

Words by Terry Redhead 



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The Cool Roxy Bar at Fakenham Racecourse. Venue Hire

December Meeting | DECLARATIONS

Trainer Olly Murphy and Norfolk-based jockey Fergus Gregory look set for a big day this afternoon at Fakenham (Tuesday, December 4) as the Stratford-based handler targets more glory at the north Norfolk course.

Gregory, from Thompson near Watton, regularly rides for Murphy and the pair team up with The Geegeez Geegee, a nine-year-old gelding off the course for 13 months, in the day’s feature, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund Handicap Chase over 21 furlongs at 1.10pm.

Gregory claims five pounds which could help the gelding defeat his seven rivals, the pick of whom are Zen Master, under Harry Bannister for Charlie Mann and Native Robin for Nick Schofield and Jeremy Scott.

Zen Master was twice runner-up in May and was fourth at Fontwell on chasing debut last time while Native Robin is a four-time chase winner fourth on a recent seasonal debut at Wincanton.

Gregory and Murphy have Skandiburg in the following 1.40pm novice hurdle, the four-year-old winning a National Hunt bumper at Fakenham earlier this season before finishing third on hurdles debut. Main rival is Peter Bowen’s Bang Bang Rosie, under son Sean, the mare having her first run for the Welsh trainer since leaving the yard of Ireland’s Willie Mullins.

The finale at 3.10pm sees Gregory and Murphy hold a chance with General Bux. The hurdle race features six runners with General Bux returning to the smaller obstacles after falling over fences at Lingfield last time. Chief threat is Peter Middleton’s Dowhatudodobest, the three-mile trip sure to suit after a recent Plumpton fourth.

Murphy legs up seven-pound claimer Callum McKinnes in the opening handicap hurdle at 12.40pm on Todd. The competitive 10-runner field sees Todd look to have Yeats Baby and Demon Fou to beat, the former a winner at Fakenham a fortnight ago and now up seven pounds and the latter a shock 40/1 Taunton winner.

Aidan Coleman has a leading chance in the 2.10pm Fakenham Juvenile Hurdle on Tom Symonds’ Song for Someone. A winner in France, the colt was runner-up at Ludlow on British debut.

The other chase, the 2.40pm Racing Welfare Chase, sees Fergal O’Brien’s Show’s Over, under Paddy Brennan, try to defy a seven-pound penalty for last week’s Sedgefield win when he tackles six rivals headed by recent runner-up Wisecracker.

Words by Terry Redhead. 

Selections: 12.40pm Bisoubisou, 1.10pm The Geegeez Geegee, 1.40pm Bang Bang Rosie, 2.10pm Song for Someone, 2.40pm Wisecracker, 3.10pm Dowhatudodobest.

December meeting at Fakenham Racecourse, Day out in Norfolk

December Meeting | ENTRY REPORT

Beau Sancy, having won his last three races, looks to add to trainer Olly Murphy’s superb recent success rate at Fakenham when the course’s fourth meeting of the 2018/19 National Hunt season takes place on Tuesday (December 4).

The six-year-old gelding won at Bangor and Wincanton early in October before completing his hat-trick when scoring over course and distance at Fakenham on October 31.

He is entered in the feature race, the 1.10pm Injured Jockeys’ Fund for Christmas Presents Handicap Chase over 21 furlongs, worth more than £8,000 to the winner.

Among his main rivals are Alf ‘N’ Dor and Mr Raj. The former, trained in Wales by Peter Bowen, was a Ffos Las runner-up last time and now moves up in trip from two miles.

Mr Raj, trained by Thomas Gallagher, is a 10-year-old who was fourth at Plumpton a fortnight ago when having his first run since May 2017.

The six-race card gets under way at 12.40pm with a handicap hurdle in which trainer Jeremy Scott had entered Demon, a five-year-old gelding who sprang a 40/1 shock when winning a fortnight ago at Taunton in heavy ground.

There are 26 initial entries for the 1.40pm North Creake Novice Hurdle in which Bowen has Bang Bang Rosie representing him for the first time since acquiring the six-year-old mare from Willie Mullins in Ireland. Allant is another interesting entry, set to follow up his debut third for champion trainer Nicky Henderson.

Henderson has entered debutant Fusil Raffles in the 2.10pm Fakenham Juvenile Hurdle in which John Ryan has Queen Adelaide. The three-year-old filly was third on hurdles debut at Fakenham in October, following up with a second at Hereford a fortnight ago.

The Racing Welfare Chase at 2.40pm sees Ben Case’s Wisecracker in the line-up after twice finishing runner-up, at Wincanton and Hereford, while Newmarket-based Nick Littmoden has By Rail, a four-year-old gelding fourth at Bangor in October.

The 3.10pm finale, the Harpley Handicap Hurdle over three miles has attracted 16 entries, four from Murphy’s yard and it would be interesting if he runs So Sorry Sarah, a nine-year-old mare second of seven at Stratford in October. He also has Apachee Prince, General Bux and Wood Pigeon among the original entry list.

Words by Terry Redhead



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Mizen Master gives trainer @O_J_murphy91 a landmark success after becoming his 100th career winner with victory in the first @FakenhamRC under @LewisStones6. Photo by Graham Clark

Olly Murphy celebrates a milestone moment with the 100th winner of his career

Olly Murphy celebrated a milestone moment at Fakenham on Tuesday after Mizen Master became the 100th winner of his career when finishing best of them all in the opening Racing Partnership Selling Handicap Hurdle.


Meeting the final flight of the two and a half mile contest on a good stride the 3-1 shot made his first start since undergoing a wind operation a winning one when defeating Lazarus by a length.

Murphy said: “It’s a nice milestone to get especially in my dad’s colours. My dad and mum have been fantastic since I’ve started. Fakenham has been lucky for me and I would say Mizen Master was not far off being one of my first winners.”

Teenage jockey Jack Tudor enjoyed his first victory under rules when steering the  Christian Williams trained Uno Mas (5-2) to glory by four lengths in the MF Sporting Ltd-Fitzroy’s 60th Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

I’ve had a few point-to-point winners but it’s a bit different to having one under rules. It was nice of Christian Williams to give me the chance and thankfully I have given him a winner,” said the 16 year old rider.  


The Stuart Edmunds-trained Theclockisticking (1-12) can now boast a win over both hurdles and fences at the Norfolk track after defeating sole rival Len Brennan by five lengths in the feature Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase.


“It was efficient enough but he can just go a bit left and that is why I came here. It is difficult to take much out of that but he was careful and clever,” said Edmunds.


Peter Bowen reached the 50 win mark for the season after Ontopoftheworld (5-4) defied top weight under his son Sean to defeat Darebin by a length in the Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase.

That was good to get the 50 winners up,” said Bowen.


Ontopoftheworld has been very consistent. He has just been a straightforward horse from the word go. He has won four races for us now and they may not be hot races but he has won his money and done well.”


Emmet Mullins saddled a winner from his first runner at the track after Yeats Baby (8-11) defeated fellow Irish raider Slainte And Thanks by two and three quarter lengths in the Christian Williams Racing Club Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Dawnieriver (11-10) from the yard of Michael Scudamore followed up her win at Newcastle on Friday when getting up by a neck in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Handicap Chase.



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Olly Murphy believes Foxtrot Juliet represents his best chance of adding to his healthy strike rate at Fakenham on Tuesday in the MF Sporting Ltd-Fitzroy’s 60th Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.


The Wilmcote handler has saddled 18 winners at the West Norfolk track, more than any other in the country, and hopes are high that the five-year-old mare can add to that tally by following up her last time out the victory at Wincanton by defeating her four rivals in the two-mile prize.

“She will ping off that quick ground and she is my best chance of having another winner at Fakenham,” said Murphy.

“The only worry is the weight she has to carry as she is not the biggest in the world. We are claiming 3lb off her back but she will still have over 12st to carry. She is in good order though.


Murphy will be double-handed with Mizen Master and Todd in the Racing Partnership Selling Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles which gets action on the six-race card underway at 1pm.


“This is Mizen Master’s first run after undergoing a wind operation and hopefully he will benefit from that while Todd finished second over course and distance last time. Both would have each-way claims,” added Murphy.


There may be only two runners heading to post before the Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase, which features useful hurdler Theclockisticking from the yard of Stuart Edmunds, by the time the tapes go up at 3pm with Murphy declaring a late call will be made on an appearance of Piri Massini.


“Piri Massini is in the beginners’ chase and he has won over hurdles at the track before but he won’t run if I feel the ground is too quick for him,” said Murphy.


Irish raider Sweet Destination from the yard of Garrett Ahern looks the pick of the trio set to contest the Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Handicap Chase having bolted up by 46 lengths at Plumpton last time out under Danny Mullins, who will be back on board again.

More glory could come the way of Ahern and Mullins in the concluding Christian Williams Racing Club Mares’ Handicap Hurdle through Slainte And Thanks in which six will go to post, while the 10lb claim that Niall Houlihan is able to use aboard the Gary Moore-trained Darebin could swing things in his favour in the Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase.



1.00pm Too Much Too Soon; 1.30pm Sweet Destination; 2.00pm Foxtrot Juliet; 2.30pm Theclockisticking; 3.00pm Darebin; 3.30pm Slainte And Thanks



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November Race Meeting | ENTRY REPORT

Stuart Edmunds is keen to give useful hurdler Theclockisticking his first start over fences in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase at Fakenham on Tuesday 20th November.


The three-mile prize, which is the feature contest on the six-race card, has attracted nine entries after it was re-opened including the six-year-old who already has one victory at the Norfolk track to his name after running an emphatic 32 length winner of a two-mile novice hurdle last October.


The plan is to go to Fakenham with Theclockisticking,” said Edmunds.


He has proved himself around there and Fakenham can be quite a specialist track. We thought let’s go there again and the prize money is also very good. The handicapper has probably got him over hurdles so we felt the time is right to have a go over fences.  He has done lots of schooling over fences and has been very good while he has also run in a couple of point-to-points. He is not the biggest but I can’t see why he wouldn’t be as good over fences. He will run until the ground goes very soft and that is one reason why we are going to Fakenham as it looks like it is going to be good there.”


Two Irish raiders feature among 13 entries received for the Christian Williams’ Racing Club Mares’ Handicap Hurdle in the form of the Emmet Mullins-trained Yeats Baby and Slainte And Thanks from the yard of Garrett Ahern, who also has Sweet Destination among the 11 entries in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Handicap Chase.


Donald McCain is a rare raider to the course but he could have two potential runners at the meeting with last time Kelso scorer Middlebrow among the 10 entries in the Weatherbys VAT Services’ Handicap Chase and Promise Of Peace who features among 13 names received for the MF Sporting Ltd-Fitzroy’s 60th Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle


There is often no shortage of runners at the track from trainer Olly Murphy and the Wilmcote handler is well represented once again with nine entries throughout the card including Mizen Master, The Geegeez Geegee and Todd in the Racing Partnership Selling Hurdle which gets the action underway at 1pm.


David Hunter, the clerk of the course, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming all runners and riders on Tuesday and it is fantastic to have Weatherbys as the race day sponsor. Hopefully, it will be a busy and exciting day of racing to follow on from two highly successful meetings that we have already stage this season.



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POST RACING REPORT | Greene King Raceday

A faller nine days ago at Plumpton, Knocknanuss quickly gained compensation when landing the £14,000 Greene King IPA Novice Chase at Fakenham.

“I was surprised when he fell at Plumpton. But once we knew he was ok both my dad and I said Fakenham next week,” said winning rider Jamie Moore, son of Sussex-based trainer Gary.

“He is very keen but on his day he’s a decent sort. I’m pleased for the owners, they deserve this good prize,” he added.

The 9/4 chance was left clear when odds-on favourite Movewiththetimes crashed out down the back straight after another key rival, The Linksman, had fallen at the open ditch.

There had been better times for Movewiththetimes’ jockey Barry Geragthy when his mount made a winning debut over hurdles in the opener. The odds-on Didtheyleaveuoutto got up in the dying strides to defeat pacesetter Starjac.

The Nick Gifford trained five-year-old had shown smart form in bumpers and jumped well, returned the 2/5 favourite in a slowly run contest.

Tom Scudamore made the trip from trainer David Pipe’s Somerset yard worthwhile when he landed the Greene King handicap hurdle on 4/1 chance Jacbequick.

Always up with the leaders, Jacbequick had enough left to hold off Mauricio and My Brother.

He was brilliant. He is such a professional at home and on the track. He won eight times on the flat and has now won over hurdles,” said Scudamore, after his only ride of the afternoon.

You can’t ignore Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham at Fakenham and her Dance To Paris made a winning hurdles debut under Leighton Aspell.

Hot favourite Lisa De Vassy was pulled up and left 5/1 chance Dance To Paris to waltz home in the fillies’ juvenile event, beating outsider Powerful Society.

Our Reward demolished his six rivals to coast home in the handicap hurdle by 26 lengths under Jack Quinlan for trainer Jamie Snowden. Nothing challenged the leader who was returned at 3/1.

Gavin Sheehan produced favourite Beau Sancy perfectly to take the Greene King Chase for trainer Olly Murphy. Sheehan took it up before the last to get his 15/8 gelding home to complete a hat-trick of victories.

Murphy then completed a swift double when his Skandiburg, under Fergus Gregory, won the finale, the two-mile bumper at 5/6.

Words by Terry Redhead 



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Greene King Raceday | DECLARATIONS

The famous green and gold hoops belonging to JP McManus and carried to glory so many times by retired champion jockey AP McCoy could feature strongly at Fakenham at the Greene King Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse on Wednesday, 31st October.

Provided there are no jumping horror shows at the north Norfolk course’s Halloween meeting, sponsored by Greene King, those colours could find their way into the winner’s enclosure.

The feature, at 2.30pm sees five go in the Greene King Novice Chase, with the favourite, the McManus owned Movewiththetimes under Barry Geraghty for Paul Nicholls. The gelding was pulled up at the Cheltenham Festival after two good efforts in class two events. Main rival is The Linksman, bidding for a hat-trick for Jonathan England and trainer Sam Drake in the £8,000 to the winner two-mile contest.

Geraghty rides the McManus owned and Nick Gifford trained Didtheyleaveuoutto in the 1pm opening maiden hurdle. The gelding won at Ascot before finishing 10th in the champion bumper at the Festival.

Eight go in the 1.30pm Greene King handicap hurdle headed by Dr Richard Newland’s Mauricio, out for a quick double after scoring at Southwell on Thursday. Tom Scudamore and trainer David Pipe are main rivals with Jacbequick, recently fourth at Bangor.

Five make debuts in the 10-runner juvenile fillies’ hurdle at 2pm in which Nicholls runs Lisa De Vassy under Harry Cobden. The filly was third on the flat at St Cloud in France in March.

Another debutant, Dance To Paris, goes for Lucky Wadham while one with previous hurdling experience is champion jockey Richard Johnson’s mount Top Rock Talula, Warren Greatrex’s filly a runner-up at Market Rasen before leaving Kenny Johnson’s stable.

The handicap hurdle at 3pm looks between Polished Rock and Scooby. The former, trained by Johnny Farrelly, seeks a hat-trick after Uttoxeter and Southwell wins while Graeme McPherson’s Scooby was a Fontwell scorer in May.

The Greene King chase at 3.30pm features Hepijeu, a gelding from Stuart Edmunds’ yard, winner of his last three starts, and Beau Saucy, under Gavin Sheeham for Olly Murphy, the gelding bidding for a hat-trick after Wincanton and Bangor victories.

A field of eight contest the 4pm finale, the bumper, Murphy having a favourite’s chance with Skandiburg, under Norfolk-based claimer Fergus Gregory.

Terry Redhead’s Selections:

1pm, Didtheyleaveuoutto; 1.30pm,Jacbequick; 2pm, Top Rock Talula; 2.30pm, Movewiththetimes; 3pm, Polished Rock; 3.30pm, Beau Saucy; 4pm,Trincomalee



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Green king Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse

Greene King Raceday – Wednesday 31st October

The Greene King IPA Novice Chase over two miles is the feature of Fakenham’s second meeting of the new National Hunt season on Wednesday (October 31).

A winner’s prize of £8,000 from a contest worth a total of £14,000 has attracted entries from leading trainers Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson.

Nicholls has three, including Amour De Nuit, a winner at Ludlow this week, who will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories. He has also entered Djingle and Movewiththetimes.

Henderson has pencilled in Jenkins, a winner on chase debut at Stratford while a former Fakenham scorer, Fixed Rate from Charlie Mann’s stable, is among the 14 entries off at 2.30pm.

The other chase on the seven-race card, the 3.30pm handicap chase over 21 furlongs, has attracted 12 entries, including three last-time winners.

Beau Saucy from Olly Murphy’s yard won at Wincanton last week, Tim Vaughan’s Eric The Third was successful at Plumpton in September and Hepijeu, representing Stuart Edmunds, won his last three races, at Huntingdon twice this month and at Uttoxeter in September.

The remainder of the card sees four hurdle contests and a bumper. The opening maiden hurdle at 1pm has two entries which were second last time. Mick Channon’s Glen Forsa ran at Newton Abbott while Oliver Sherwood’s grey gelding Cervaro Mix was runner-up at Fontwell a fortnight ago.

The same distance will be covered in the 1.30pm handicap hurdle in which Neil King looks to run recent Stratford winner Canford Thompson. Newmarket-based trainer Lucy Wadham had Master of Finance third at Fakenham’s opening meeting of the season and he is likely to run again.

The 2pm fillies’ hurdle may see Nicholls’ interesting Lisa De Vassy. The filly looks set for a hurdles debut having last tasted action on the flat at St Cloud in France, when third.

Polished Rock from Johnny Farrelly’s stable, is out to make it a hat-trick if going in the 3pm handicap hurdle, having won at Uttoxeter and Southwell.

The meeting ends with the bumper at 4pm, a NH flat race, in which Alex Hales may run Jimmi Chew, second in a point-to-point at Bangor in February. Norwegian Woods is another with pointing experience, Tim Vaughan’s gelding a winner at Loughanmore in Ireland when trained by Denis Paul Murphy.


Wors by Terry Redhead 



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At The Races Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse 2018


Midnight Shot stormed to his 11th career win when landing the £16,500 Sky Sports Chase at Fakenham’s opening race meeting of the 2018/19 season.

Victory by the Charlie Longsden trained eight-year-old was a reward for connections after the horse had run in the Topham Trophy at Aintree and been affected by the experience.

“The Topham frightened him. The trainer had to re-building his confidence. He’s honest and his jumping is his strength. When you ask he gives his all,” said winning rider Jonathan Burke.

It was a first Fakenham success and a 19th win of the season for Burke who moved from Ireland last season. The winner was returned at 7/2 ahead of favourite Ballykan.

David Bass made it five wins from his last nine rides when Rocky’s Treasure won the novice chase. The evens favourite had his job made easier when one of two rivals, Cultivator, was pulled up after some poor jumps. The Kim Bailey trained seven-year-old then rushed clear of Comanche Chieftain to take the £14,000 contest.

Wayne Hutchinson gave Canyon City a perfect ride to land the handicap hurdle for Neil King at 9/4. Miles To Milan cut out the pace but Hutchinson stalked the field and produced the five-year-old, out of Derby winner Authorized, to cruise home from the staying-on Todd.

There was an all-the-way winner of the selling hurdle when evens favourite Collodi ran his five rivals ragged to score by 22 lengths.

Ridden by Harry Reed, the Neil Mulholland trained gelding was never in trouble in a contest in which Excellent Result slipped over on the bend leaving the home straight. Neither horse nor Norfolk-based jockey Fergus Gregory suffered any ill effects. The winning nine-year-old was bought at auction for £10,700 by Boston-based trainer Conor Dore.

After the first three races had gone to the favourites, there was a shock when 2/9 market leader Mon Port, was beaten. Richard Johnson tried to make all but Jack Quinlan stayed close on Fearsome and took it up before the last to score at 5/1 for trainer Nick Littmoden.

The four-runner novice hurdle finale was a slowly run affair until the final half a mile when Maxime Tissier took it up on the Lucy Wadham trained 6/4 favourite Movie Legend who held off General Custard to score at 2/1.

Wors by Terry Redhead 

DATE OF NEXT RACE MEETING: The Greene King Raceday


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