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.

Fakenham Races,National Jump Racing in Norfolk

Ton up original entry for Fakenham’s Christmas raceday

There are 100 initial entries for Fakenham Racecourse’s six-race Christmas raceday scheduled for Tuesday (December 17th).

 

The feature race of the day is the 1.40pm Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs, a contest worth more than £16,000.

Among the 12 entries are four last time out winners, Eureu Du Boulay, Kilbrew Boy, One Style and Thomas Todd.

Eureu Du Boulay, a gelding from Richard Hobson’s yard was a Fontwell winner in November while One Style, trained by Venetia Williams, hasn’t been seen on a racecourse since two victories, at Market Rasen and Hereford, in April 2018.

Kilbrew Boy, trained by Ben Case, was a winner at Fakenham’s Christmas raceday last year, but that was over hurdles. The gelding will be having his third chase, having been a runner-up before winning last time at Wincanton.

Thomas Todd, trained by Laura Morgan, knows his way around the north Norfolk track, having scored at the October 30 meeting over the same distance.

Laura will be hoping for more success in the 2.40 pm Fakenham Christmas Novice Handicap Chase when she has Gold Field entered. The five-year-old will be making a chasing debut, having been third at Fakenham, over hurdles, at the last meeting.

The action begins at 12.40 pm with a mares’ novice hurdle over two miles in which Tom George has entered Zoutoise while that event is followed by a handicap hurdle over three miles at 1.10 pm.

Wymondham-based trainer Caroline Fryer has two entries in five-year-old Amethea and seven-year-old Schap while Fakenham regular Olly Murphy has the likely favourite in Todd, a winner on the same card last year and also a winner at the course’s last meeting on November 19 when accounting for three rivals.

One interesting contender in the original entry list for the 2.10 pm Handicap Hurdle is the Michael Scudamore trained Justice Knight, the seven-year-old gelding a winner last time at Musselburgh.

The card closes with the 3.10 pm Happy Christmas Maiden Hurdle for which there has been an initial entry of 20 runners.

And the day, and the calendar year could end with a royal winner. Master trainer Nicky Henderson has four-year-old Steal A March among the runners, the gelding, owned by The Queen, fourth on hurdling debut at Newbury early in November.

Report by Terry Redhead

 

By the way, we do encourage all racegoers to get into Christmas spirit and support the National Christmas Jumper Day by wearing their favourite Christmas Jumper on Tuesday’s race day and donating £2 (optional) to Save The Children charity

 

 

 

 


 




Home alone Imperial Aura kicks off chase career in great style

Imperial Aura produced an immaculate display of jumping on chase debut to finish alone in Fakenham’s feature race of its six-race card on Tuesday.

The £16,000 Weatherby Beginners’ Chase over three miles saw trainer Kim Bailey’s six-year-old cruise home after his two rivals unseated the rider and pulled up respectively.

Imperial Aura, third in the Chepstow Silver Trophy Hurdle last time, took well to the bigger obstacles and pleasing connections, returned at the remarkable odds of 1/25.

 

“He is a lovely horse. He jumped brilliantly and is natural. The form of the Silver Trophy is good and we have always thought a lot of him. He is a natural chaser and that’s why we have wasted no time in switching him to fences. I know it was a small field but he did it so well,” said winning jockey David Bass.

 

There was a royal winner in the Mares’ Chase when Chequered View, under Patrick Cowley, scored for owner The Princess Royal, and trainer Martin Keighley.

The 13/8 chance was clear with half a mile to go in the three-mile chase and easily made it two wins from two at the track, stepping up after finishing runner-up at Hereford a month ago.

Partick Cowley wins with Chequered View . Weatherbys Raceday. Fakenham Racecourse
Partick Cowley wins with Chequered View

Carnspindle got up for second in the four-runner contest in which Bridget Andrews was thankfully unhurt after a crashing fall on Ratoute Yutty on the second circuit.

The third chase of the day saw top weight Paddy’s Poem triumph in a high-tempo two-miler, winning at 6/1 under James Davies for the in-form Nick Gifford stable.

Favourite Master Vintage was looking to complete a hat-trick but when he faded it was left for the winner to hold off the determined challenge of Defi Sacre to take the spoils.

The Olly Murphy trained gelding Todd reserves his best efforts for Fakenham and he won for the third time at the course when landing the opening selling hurdle under Callum McKinnes.

1st Race. Todd. J Callum McKinnes (first yellow n brown). Weatherbys Raceday. Fakenham Races
1st Race winner TODD was ridden by Callum McKinnes

A runner-up at the previous Fakenham meeting, 2/1 chance Todd took it up two flights out and comfortably held off the favourite, another former course winner, Skeaping, by three lengths to earn McKinnes his first victory at the track.

Fergus Gillard made his Fakenham debut a winning one when landing the Four Tenners Amateur Rider’s Handicap Hurdle on the David Pipe trained evens favourite Paricolor.

Making his handicap debut, the three-year-old fell when running well at Wincanton recently and despite some sloppy early jumping, won by nine lengths from top weight Eva’s Diva.

There was last-flight drama in the finale when favourite Viking Ruby unseated Harry Reed as he challenged eventual winner Perfect Moment. Perfect Moment had led for most of the three-mile trip under Tom O’Brien for trainer Michael Roberts, returned at 9/2.

Fakenham Racecourse Weatherbys Raceday 2019

Who’s betting against Imperial Aura being one of Fakenham’s shortest priced winners?

Fakenham could witness one of its shortest priced winners this afternoon in the £16,000 feature contest on the six-race card.

The Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase at 2.40pm over three miles has attracted just three runners and the Kim Bailey trained Imperial Aura is likely to be sent off at around 1/20, under jockey David Bass.

Imperial Aura, a six-year-old gelding, will be making his chasing debut but last time out was an eye-catching third in the Silver Trophy Hurdle at Chepstow, looking a real chaser in the making.

His two rivals, Parsonal and Positive Touch look well held. Parsonal, under Ben Poste for trainer Sarah Humphrey, failed to win in seven point-to-points and has only a third place to show from five races under rules.

Positive Touch, under Liam Treadwell for Dai Williams, failed to complete in five point-to-points and has been tailed off in three attempts over hurdles.

While the field are small, the remaining contests should prove more competitive. The 3.10pm Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase over two miles sees six line-up with favourite Master Vintage, a hat-trick seeking gelding from Richard Phillips’ yard under three-pound claimer Daniel Hiskett. Master Vintage won at Market Rasen before making all at Huntingdon to score again last week.

His main rival appears to be Defi Sacre for Richard Hobson, the ex-French winning chaser better than his fourth at Huntingdon a fortnight ago.

The third chase is the 1.40pm Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Chase over three miles which could go to Chequered View under Patrick Cowley for trainer Martin Keighley. The gelding won at Worcester in September.

Main rival is Black Tulip, champion jockey Richard Johnson’s only ride of the day. Henry Daly’s mare was only third on her season reappearance at Stratford having been in the frame four times last season.

The card opens with the 1.10pm selling hurdle in which Todd, for Olly Murphy, second at the course three weeks ago, and Skeaping, a Fakenham winner earlier this season for Phil Middleton, look the main contenders.

Amateur riders have the Four Tenners Handicap Hurdle at 2.10pm in which Middleton will be looking for further success for Eva’s Diva while the 3.40pm finale, the Sculthorpe Mares’ Hurdle, could go to favourite Viking Ruby, under Harry Reed for Neil Mulholland, the six-year-old successful last time at Taunton.

 


 

Terry Redhead’s Selections: 1.10pm Skeaping, 1.40pm Black Tulip, 2.10pm Eva’s Diva, 2.40pm Imperial Aura, 3.10pm Defi Sacre, 3.40pm Viking Ruby.

 

Words by Terry Redhead.

Gold Standard Fakenham all set for a three-chase card

Fakenham racecourse, basking in the glory of retaining the Racehorse Owners’ Association Gold Standard Award this week, stages its third meeting of the National Hunt season on Tuesday (November 19) with a six-race card featuring three chases.

 

David Hunter, the Clerk and Chief Executive of Fakenham Racecourse, said: “We are delighted and proud to have retained the award once again. Credit goes to the entire racecourse team who have worked very hard to make our owners and trainers experience an enjoyable one.  This is a very important customer group, therefore it is essential to ensure we continue to strive for excellence and make further improvements.”

 

The feature race is the 2.40pm Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase over three miles. Top trainer Nicky Henderson has a superb strike rate at the north Norfolk course and has entered Pym, a runner-up when making a chasing debut at Huntingdon earlier this month.

Dan Skelton has two entries in New Quay and Supremely Lucky. The latter was the runner-up of chase debut at Worcester recently while New Quay will be making a chasing debut in a first run since finishing third over hurdles at Market Rasen in April.

Half an hour later the Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase has 10 entries, including Richard Phillips’ Master Vintage, seeking a hat-trick after successes at Huntingdon and Market Rasen. Thomas Todd, from Laura Morgan’s stable, a course and distance winner just three weeks ago is also entered.

Earlier, at 1.40pm the Weatherbys Racing Bank Mares Chase has six entries, including Chequered View from Martin Keighley’s stable, the horse stepping up in trip after a runners-up spot at Hereford and a Worcester success.

The first race of the day is the selling hurdle at 1.10pm for which 11 are entered, including Phil Middleton’s Skeaping, a winner at Fakenham on the course’s opening day of the season. After that October 18 win, Skeaping won again the following day, at Stratford.

Amateur riders get the chance to shine at 2.10pm in the Four Tenners Novice Handicap Hurdle and the 11 entries include Donald McCain’s Two Blondes, runner-up at Fakenham’s last meeting on October 30.

The finale, at 3.40pm, is the Sculthorpe Mares Handicap Hurdle over three miles for which nine have been entered, including Neil Mulholland’s Viking Ruby, a Taunton winner at the end of October.

Words by Terry Redhead 


 

 




Responsible Gambling Week 2019

Fakenham Racecourse signed up to support Responsible Gambling Week 2019

Fakenham Racecourse has signed up to support Responsible Gambling Week, an industry-wide campaign to trigger a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly.

Responsible Gambling Week 2019, which takes place from November 7th – November 13th under the hashtag #RGWeek19, is the public face of the industry’s year-round commitment to promote safer gambling. More than 120,000 staff at thousands of gambling venues and online sites are taking part, and this marks the second consecutive year that racecourses across the UK and Ireland are participating.

Fakenham Racecourse support will encompass carrying #RGWeek19 messages on LED screens on racedays and publishing information on #RGWeek19 on the course website and across social channels throughout the week detailing the five key responsible gambling behaviours:

 

  • Only spend what you can afford
  • Set your limits for time and money
  • Gambling is not the answer to any problem
  • Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea
  • Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your personal relationship

 

The campaign is led by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, comprised of all the gambling trade associations, and in Ireland by the Irish Bookmakers Association. The objective is to trigger a national conversation about safer gambling, highlighting the tools, advice and help available to customers, and the initiatives being taken by operators to promote social responsibility throughout the year.

The campaign has also attracted the support of the Racecourse Association and the British Horseracing Authority, who will support Responsible Gambling Week 2019, on their website and across their social channels.

A new website www.responsiblegamblingUK.org, will act as an information hub, providing a comprehensive one-stop service for consumers all year round, educating them about all aspects of responsible gambling.

Chief Executive and Clerk of Fakenham Racecourse, David Hunter said:

“We are very supportive of the Racecourse Association in promoting this campaign and we are glad to be joining the nationwide conversation about safer gambling. More people need to be aware and mindful of gambling responsibly and we encourage everyone to partake in this initiative.”

 

Responsible Gambling Week 2019
Responsible Gambling Week 2019

John Hagan, chairman of the IGRG, said:

“We are delighted that Fakenham Racecourse will be supporting Responsible Gambling Week. We want to take the message about safer gambling even further this year and are confident this will be our biggest campaign yet. The continued engagement and support of racecourses in the UK and Ireland is enormously helpful in highlighting the week and triggering a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly throughout the year.”

Gold Standard Award for Fakenham Racecourse 2016

Fakenham Racecourse gets Gold Standard by ROA

The Racehorse Owners Association is delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 Gold Standard Awards for racecourses, and the successful introduction of the ROA Quality Mark. The ROA Gold Standard has celebrated racecourse performance since 2006, rewarding and recognising those tracks that provide an excellent experience to owners with a runner on the day.

 

The Gold Standard has continued to evolve and develop since its inception, and for 2019 and beyond it will also run in parallel to the ROA Quality Mark, a mark which awards Accreditation status to racecourses who achieve a minimum standard of performance. We are delighted to announce that all 60 racecourses assessed achieved Accreditation

The ROA Quality Mark is assessed by AA Hospitality Services, who provide an independent and objective assessment of the raceday experience across all 60 racecourses*. The assessment measures 50 aspects of the raceday, from pre-arrival, through all aspects of the raceday experience, to the departure and post-raceday contact.

Simon Numphud, Managing Director of AA Hospitality Services said, “We are delighted to work in partnership with the ROA and racecourses and develop the Quality Mark. Our detailed assessments have been designed specifically to evaluate the racehorse owner’s experience and also provide objective independent feedback to racecourses. We are looking forward to developing and evolving the scheme for 2020 in order to achieve ongoing enhancements to the ownership experience.”

The Gold Standard Award focuses on the more subjective aspects of the raceday experience; those elements that “surprise and delight” and are truly memorable. It also looks at how all ownership types and level of involvement are treated – from the syndicate member to the sole owner – as well as considering prize-money, equine welfare and how all those who may have special requirements are able to access and enjoy the day.

The final decision regarding the 2019 Award winners was made by the ROA Raceday Committee, and was reached by utilising the scores from a number of sources (listed below), underpinned by the AA Quality Mark Assessment report:

• the ROA Raceday Committee Assessment report
• ROA member feedback
• National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) Assessment

The courses which gained the Gold Standard Award for 2019 are:

LARGE COURSES (10)
• Aintree
• Ascot
• Ayr
• Cheltenham
• Chester
• Haydock
• Newmarket July
• Newmarket Rowley Mile
• Sandown
• York

SMALL COURSES (11)
• Bangor-on-Dee
• Carlisle
• Fakenham
• Hamilton
• Market Rasen
• Musselburgh
• Newton Abbot
• Nottingham
• Perth
• Thirsk
• Wetherby

David Hunter, the Clerk and Chief Executive of Fakenham Racecourse, said:

“We are delighted and proud to have retained the ROA Gold Standard Award once again. Credit goes to the entire Fakenham Racecourse team who have worked very hard to make our Owners and Trainers experience an enjoyable one.  This is a very important customer group to us, therefore it is essential to ensure we continue to strive for excellence and make further improvements. “

 

ROA Chief Executive and Chairman of the ROA Raceday Committee, Charlie Liverton, said:

“We offer our congratulations to those courses receiving the Gold Standard Award this year. They each proved that whilst capital expenditure can reap rewards, it is often those that think outside the box that get the highest accolades. This could be as simple as a glass of champagne upon arrival, a personalised owners’ badge or a unique and coveted winner’s memento. For those courses not on the list this year, we urge them to take on board the feedback from the AA and ROA Raceday Committee, to look at what the Gold Standard winners are undertaking, and above all to think objectively about their experience if they were the owner.

Going forward, both the Gold Standard Award and Racecourse Quality Mark initiatives will continue to develop in line with owners’ changing expectations, and we will also look outside racing to further understand what excellence looks like.

The development of the parallel schemes will additionally form a key element of the ROA-led Industry Ownership Strategy undertaken to date, which has seen a vital focus on the delivery of the raceday experience to owners. With 44% of lapsed racehorse owners citing their experience on a racecourse as a key factor in giving up their involvement, this presents a compelling opportunity for change.”

 

The winners of the Most Improved and Racecourse of the Year Awards in both categories will be announced at the ROA Horseracing Awards dinner on Thursday, December 12, 2019, in London.

 

Harry Skelton after Nube Negra's victory in the Greene King Novices Chase Picture:: Sonya Duncan

Cheers for Nube Negra as Skelton’s gelding looks a star in the making

Nube Negra looked a potential star chaser to follow after taking the feature Greene King IPA Novices Chase very impressively at Fakenham.  The five-year-old gelding, ridden by Harry Skelton for brother Dan, produced an immaculate display, winning at 2/5.

That was really good. It’s a tight and difficult track for novices and he’s done the job well. He will have learned a lot,” said Skelton, his mount making it two chases out of two after winning a month ago at Warwick.

“We looked after him over hurdles and gave him an extra year but he is a real chaser. Chasing is definitely his game,” said Skelton, adding that Sandown’s Henry VIII Novice Chase could be Nube Negra’s next target.

Harry Skelton after Nube Negra's victory in the Greene King Novices Chase Picture:: Sonya Duncan
Harry Skelton after Nube Negra’s victory in the Greene King Novices Chase Picture:: Sonya Duncan

The gelding was never troubled in the two-miler and won from Encore Champs who snatched second on the line, 10 lengths adrift.

 

Peterborough-based trainer Pam Sly loves Fakenham and she won the Greene King IPA Hurdle with Welland, at 7/1. Ridden by Paul O’Brien, Welland, owned and trained by Sly, is a gelding who has been ‘difficult to train.’

 

“He’s always going lame. He’s been to the vets many times and they can’t seem to sort it. But that was nice and he could win again,” said Sly, who in 10 days goes into hospital for her fifth hip operation.

 

“I shall be able to watch the replay on my Ipad while I recover. I love it at Fakenham, the prize money is so good,” she added. Welland moved through the pack half a mile out and jumped clear at the final flight to score.

 

Trainer Alan King introduced grey filly Midnight’s Gift to hurdling and the three-year-old obliged to beat another newcomer, Break The Rules, in a tight finish.

Tom Cannon had Midnight’s Gift handy and hit the front entering the home straight. Champion jockey Richard Johnson looked a danger on Break The Rules but the 6/5 favourite held on by a short head.

Nicky Henderson’s odds on favourite Falco Blitz had an easy victory in the opening Foulsham Primary School Maiden Hurdle, ending a run of three second-places.

Nico de Boinville pushed the 4/5 chance off in front for the two-mile trip and despite a mistake at the hurdle in front of the stands, never saw a rival in a six-length success.

Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham has a great strike rate at the north Norfolk track and her Regarding Ruth was a comfortable winner of the three-mile Greene King Handicap Hurdle under Maxime Tissier. The mare raced clear over the final half mile and, returned at 9/2, won by five lengths.

The day’s second chase, the David Hall Has Finally Retired Chase, was an all-the-way three-mile success for Ryan Day on the Laura Morgan trained Thomas Todd. The 9/2 chance jumped well to win from Twasn’t The Plan.

The finale, the bumper, saw Gavin Sheehan notch his 40th win of the season in getting home on Paul Webber’s Litigate, returned at 16/1, beating Presence of Mind.

 

Words by Terry Redhead.

Greene King Raceday Declarations by Terry Redhead. Fakenham Racecourse

Top trainer Henderson bids to top and tail Fakenham’s Greene King raceday

Leading trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville bid to book-end this afternoon’s seven-race card at Fakenham.

In the 1.10pm opener on Greene King race day, Henderson and de Boinville hold a favourite’s chance with Falco Blitz, a gelding second in two of his four hurdle contests. Last time he was runner-up at Newton Abbott, despite going off 4/7 favourite, beaten by a rival who has won again since. Main rival is High Change, a winner on hurdles debut for trainer Charlie Hills at Ffos Las.

In the 4.10pm finale, Henderson and De Boinville have debutant Hijack, a four-year-old tipped to make a good start in the National Hunt flat race.

 

Another debutant, Ever So Cool, under Harry Skelton for brother Dan, is fancied while one with experience is Largy Mouth, having the first run for Brian Ellison, having scored on debut at Ayr.

The £14,000 feature is the 2.40pm Greene King Novice Chase for which five go, headed by Nube Negra for the Skeltons. The five-year-old won at Warwick this month and faces four rivals, including Ar Mest and Fleur Irlandaise.

Ar Mest, under Josh Moore for father Gary, makes a chase debut while Fleur Irlandaise makes her debut for Nick Littmoden. Jack Quinlan rides the filly who won at Dieppe in August when trained by Yannick Fouin.

 

Greene King also sponsors two hurdle races. The 1.40pm could go to Brambledown who looks to go one better than his last two runs. The Gary Moore gelding was runner-up at Ludlow after having been beaten into the second spot at Plumpton. Musical Stardust, under Kielan Woods for Alex Hales, also holds a chance, the mare third last time out.

 

The 3.10pm handicap hurdle sees trainer Tim Vaughan and jockey Alan Johns make the trip from Wales with Nathan’s Pride, fourth last time at Fontwell. Also hopeful is Richard Dunne on Neil Mulholland’s The Detainee, third at Exeter recently.

The second chase, at 3.40pm sees Johns and Vaughan run Twasn’t the Plan, second at Ffos Las a fortnight ago while Nigel Twiston-Davies legs up Jordan Nailor on Double Court, second at Perth last time.

At 2.10pm eight debutants go in the fillies’ juvenile hurdle. Worth checking are Alan King’s grey filly Midnight Gift and Ellison’s Juals Spirit.

 


 

Selections: 1.10pm Falco Blitz, 1.40pm Brambledown, 2.10pm Midnight’s Gift, 2.40pm Ar Mest, 3.10pm The Detainee, 3.40pm Twasn’t the Plan, 4.10pm Hijack.

Words by Terry Redhead.

Responsible gambling week #RGWeek19

The Racecourse Association Signs up to Support Responsible Gambling Week 2019

The Racecourse Association (RCA) has signed up to support Responsible Gambling Week, an industry-wide campaign to trigger a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly. Fakenham Racecourse is also very proud to support and raise awareness about responsible gambling.

Responsible Gambling Week 2019, which takes place from November 7th – November 13th under the hashtag #RGWeek19, is the public face of the industry’s year-round commitment to promoting safer gambling. More than 120,000 staff at thousands of gambling venues and online sites are taking part, and this marks the second consecutive year that racecourses across the UK and Ireland are participating.

The RCA’s support will encourage its member racecourses to carry #RGWeek19 messages on LED screens on race days and publishing information on #RGWeek19 on the course website and across social channels throughout the week detailing the five key responsible gambling behaviours:

  • Only spend what you can afford
  • Set your limits for time and money
  • Gambling is not the answer to any problem
  • Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea
  • Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your personal relationship

 

The campaign is led by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, comprised of all the gambling trade associations, and in Ireland by the Irish Bookmakers Association. The objective is to trigger a national conversation about safer gambling, highlighting the tools, advice and help available to customers, and the initiatives being taken by operators to promote social responsibility throughout the year.

A new website www.responsiblegamblingUK.org, will act as an information hub, providing a comprehensive one-stop service for consumers all year round, educating them about all aspects of responsible gambling.

 

Paul Swain, the RCA’s Brand & Experience Manager, commented “the RCA is once again proud to be a supporter of Responsible Gambling Week.

“Almost six million racegoers attended a British Racecourse in the last year which demonstrates the scale of the sport’s outreach. Placing a bet is an integral part of the raceday experience for many patrons—the Responsible Gambling Week campaign allows us to signpost important messaging about doing this responsibly and spark national conversation around the topic.”

 

John Hagan, chairman of the IGRG, said: “we are delighted that the Racecourse Association will be supporting Responsible Gambling Week.

“We want to take the message about safer gambling even further this year and are confident this will be our biggest campaign yet. The continued engagemen

t and support of racecourses in the UK and Ireland is enormously helpful in highlighting the week and triggering a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly throughout the year.”

Responsible gambling week #RGWeek19
Responsible gambling week #RGWeek19
Greene King Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse 2019

Brewing up nicely for Fakenham’s second meeting of the season

Fakenham’s second meeting of the National Hunt racing season on Wednesday (October 30) is brewing up for a top-class seven-race card after almost 100 initial entries were received. The card is backed by brewers Greene King and among the trio of races it has sponsored is the day’s feature, the £14,000 Greene King Ipa Novice Chase.

There are nine entries for the 2.40pm contest, including Alan King’s six-year-old gelding Timokeo, a winner of both of his previous chases, at Stratford and Kempton.

Also entered is Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra, a winner on chase debut at Warwick earlier this month while Gary Moore’s Ar Mest, a three-time hurdles winner, could make his chase debut for a stable successful in the race last year with Knocknanuss.

Another interesting entry comes from Nick Littmoden’s yard. He has Fleur Irlandaise, a four-year-old filly which was a winner at Dieppe for trainer Yannick Fouin before switching to Littmoden.

An hour earlier it is the Greene King Ipa Handicap Hurdle for which there are 18 entered including Prince Khurram for Donald McCain, the nine-year-old a winner at the start of the month in the Bangor mud.

The 3.10pm Greene King Ipa Hurdle has attracted 13 possibles, including Olly Murphy’s pair Smart Getaway and Todd, who both finished down the field at the first Fakenham meeting of the season over a week ago.

Racing gets under way at 1.10pm with the Pudding Norton Maiden Hurdle in which Nicky Henderson has entered Falco Blitz, beaten into second when odds-on favourite at Newton Abbott when last seen.

There are 11 as yet unraced juvenile fillies in the 2.10pm Sky Sports Racing Hurdle. But one experienced runner who catches the eye is Maria Magdalena from Hales’ yard. She has won three of her eight hurdle contests, including recently at Wetherby.

The 3.40pm David Hall Has Finally Retired Chase has 13 entries including Double Court for Nigel Twiston-Davies, the gelding runner-up at Perth after victory at Southwell had completed a winning hat-trick.

The 4.10pm finale is a NH flat race in which seven newcomers are entered. Most interesting though is Pink Sheets. The mare won at Huntingdon in May when trained by Mick Channon but has since switched to fellow ex-professional footballer Mick Quinn’s stable.


Words by Terry Redhead