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.

Bumper Easter Helps Racing Attendances Flourish in H1 Fakenham Racecourse

Bumper Easter Helps Racing Attendances Flourish in H1

* Total and average attendances for January to June 2019 rise 2%

*Bumper Easter weekend sees over 100,000 enjoy a day at the races

*Drive for advance sales continues to reap the reward with 6% increase

*Attendance figures withstand the impact of the equine influenza outbreak


British Horseracing has welcomed the latest Levy Board (HBLB) attendance figures which indicate a 2% rise in both total and average attendances for the first half of 2019. These were boosted by the brilliant weather and excellent racing over Easter, with over 100,000 people heading to the races from Good Friday to Easter Monday. A total of 704 fixtures took place during the first six months of both 2018 and 2019.

The impact of the equine flu outbreak, which saw a national postponement of racing from Thursday 7th February to Tuesday 12th February inclusive, was significant for the sport, however, overall attendance figures indicate the durability of the public’s appetite and affection for horseracing.

In a like-for-like comparison with 2018, the first six months of 2019 have seen a 2% rise in total attendance to 2,801,512 whilst the average attendance per fixture has also risen 2% to 3,979. Some of the sport’s most iconic events helped boost these figures, including The Festival™ at Cheltenham and the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs where each day of both events saw an increase in attendance from 2018.

Advance ticket sales have continued to show sustained growth with a 6% year-on-year increase[1]. This remains of utmost importance to racecourses to protect attendances and revenue in a crowded leisure market and provides racegoers with the better value given the price incentives on offer by purchasing tickets in advance.

The Easter weekend, occurring later in the year than in 2018, saw four fantastic days of racing action taking place across 20 fixtures on 19 different British racecourses. More than 102,000 racegoers were in attendance with an increase[2] of 123% in advance sales over the weekend, which saw some 45,000 tickets purchased ahead of the raceday.

As we enter the second half of 2019, there is plenty to look forward to with summer jumps racing and major flat festivals at York, Doncaster and Newmarket followed by the climax of the Flat season with QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. The GBR-led national Under 18s Race Free campaign will also be in full swing alongside the summer school holidays, led by Strictly Come Dancing superstar and mother of two Tess Daly as campaign ambassador.


David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, said: “I am delighted to see the hard work of racecourses pay off and result in an increase to both the total and average attendance figures, with excellent performances by racecourses of all sizes.

“The equine flu outbreak was a difficult period for the sport, but it is hugely reassuring to see that attendances increased despite the national postponement of racing.

“Working collaboratively with Great British Racing, our focus on data has allowed us to give bespoke, targeted support to racecourses via our Marketing Services programme. We will continue this programme and look forward to helping racecourses attract more customers to the sport and enhance the experience of those customers whilst they are on site.”


Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing, added “competition for the leisure pound is getting fiercer and racing is rising to the challenge. Racegoing provides a big opportunity to get people closer to the sport and grow their interest, so these latest figures are encouraging.”


HOG Rally returns to Fakenham for 17th Year

Fenlanders Chapter Harley Owners Group 27th East of England Rally at Fakenham Racecourse

From the 25th to 28th July, returning to the excellent facilities at Fakenham Racecourse’s 4 Star touring caravan park, the Fenlanders Chapter of the Harley Davidson Owners Group are once again holding their annual Rally attracting hundreds of Harley motorcycle enthusiasts from across the UK, Europe and even further afield.

The Harley Owners Group (HOG) is the largest single marque enthusiast’s club in the world with well over one million members. The Fenlanders Chapter, started in 1991, has in-excess of 300 members and is sponsored by Newmarket Harley-Davidson dealership, which is part of the Lind Group of companies.


A ticket only event, the Rally has been held at Fakenham Racecourse since 2002. As well as Rally goers enjoying Fakenham Racecourse, the North Norfolk coast and villages, Ride-Outs are planned to Norwich, Hunstanton and the now famous Ride-in Street Party at Sheringham on Saturday 27th July. The latter is again guaranteed to bring the crowds back to watch as more than 400 gleaming Harley Davidson’s enter this fantastic seaside town where they will be welcomed by the Mayor.


In Fakenham town centre on Saturday 27th July, there will be a display of these iconic motorbikes from 9am to 10:30am and a Newmarket Harley Davidson dealership stall. The bikes will then ride through the town from just after 11am and follow the route below to Sheringham:


Walsingham 11.15


Holkham Hall 11.30

Wells sea front 11.45


Blakney sea front 12.05

Sheringham 12.15


Neil Billig, the director and organiser of the event said:

“We are very excited for our 27th annual ride out event. With less than a week to go, all hands are on deck to make sure everything goes smoothly. Thank you to Fakenham Racecourse for hosting us again and we hope that many town residents will enjoy the event.”


David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse said:

We are delighted to be welcoming the Fenlanders Chapter to Fakenham Racecourse for 17th consecutive year. Whilst it is a private event, the public can watch the ride out at Fakenham town and admire the bikes on set locations throughout Norfolk. It is a fantastic attraction and offers a tremendous boost to the local economy.”


The three-day event raises thousands of pounds for charity each year so be sure to wave, as the riders pass by and the bikers really appreciate the general public’s patience as they wind their way around the Norfolk coast and countryside.


More than 80% of UK parents say cost prevents children from participating in outdoor activities

Parents want children to spend more time outdoors during the summer holidays and call for more cost-effective options. A new study has revealed that 83% of parents in the UK believe there aren’t enough low-cost activities available for children during the summer holidays, leading to more children spending fewer hours outside.


In research commissioned by Great British Racing for its ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign, it was found that parents are becoming increasingly concerned with the sedentary lifestyle of their children, with 86% of parents wanting their children to spend more time outdoors during the school holidays.

The majority of outdoor activities on offer, however, are considered to be too expensive, with live sporting events highlighted as being particularly pricey: 77% of parents have been put off taking their children to live sport because of the cost of the ticket, while 60% of parents surveyed do not take their children to live sport at all.

This certainly seems to be a recent phenomenon; more than half (51%) of parents said that they watched more live sport when they were younger compared to their children now, with cost once again being a major contributing factor.

Great British Racing ambassador and parent of two, Tess Daly commented, “As a parent, the school holidays provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your children, yet finding activities that are stimulating, healthy and affordable can be a challenge. As a child my parents went out of their way to take me to live sport and I do the same for my kids now – there’s nothing better than a day at the races. As well as the thrill of the racing, the kids are able to run around in the fresh air and there are plenty of activities for them too, from having their faces painted to meeting the racehorses.”

Daly is promoting Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign through which accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of race meetings during the year. There are more than 200 race meetings up and down the country over the school holidays, including more than 50 specific family days with additional activities put on for families and young people. You can watch a video of Daly recently visiting a racehorse trainer’s yard here or by clicking the image. An embed is available below.


Under 18s Race Free, Tess Daily. Great British Racing
Under 18s Race Free, Tess Daily. Great British Racing


As well as unmissable action on the track, racecourses provide a range of free experiences for under 18s including pony rides, the chance to meet a racehorse and fairground attractions, making it a great and affordable day out for all the family. Kids will also be able to set their imaginations racing with the opportunity to go behind the scenes at several racecourses, stepping into the shoes of those that make every race meeting possible.


Toby Shaw, Director of Communications & Marketing at Great British Racing, added, “Racing remains one of Britain’s most popular spectator sports, with millions enjoying the excitement of a day at the races each year. At Great British Racing, we want to introduce more youngsters to the thrill of the sport and, with 50 dedicated family days across the summer, our ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign provides an unforgettable day out in the fresh air for the whole family, without having to break the bank.”


Find your local family race day at

Jarrold Ladies Day best dressed competitions 2019

Ciaran’s Fakenham love affair blooms as National star Hepijeu sparkles for the ladies

Hepijeu, winner of the Norfolk National in May, returned to a Fakenham bathed in the sunshine to add the Jarrold Ladies Day Chase to his roll of honour.

While some thought Hepijeu a little lucky to take the National, when his nearest rival fell at the final fence, there was nothing fortunate about this victory under the course’s leading rider of the season, Ciaran Gethings.

The 5/2 chance timed his effort perfectly and ran clear to beat Fifty Shades in a thrilling five-runner contest in which all jumped superbly.

“I love coming here. It’s always in great condition with a lovely covering of grass. I’ve won here 11 times and 10 of those have been for Hepijeu’s trainer Stuart Edmunds. The horse travelled so well today,” he added. Trainer Edmunds missed the success, away in Ireland.

Gethings collected the David Turner Trophy as the season’s leading rider in north Norfolk, having managed eight victories, three more than nearest rival James Bowen.

Bryony Frost was beaming with joy after taking the Longwater Construction Supplies Novice Chase after a superb round of jumping on trainer Neil King’s Regulation.

The 10-year-old gelding switched from hurdles to chasing a fortnight ago and won a three-runner contest at Stratford. And he made it two from two after leading from start to finish, returned at 7/2.

He was magic. He’s a real pocket rocket. It’s great when you can trust in your horse and he never put a foot wrong. I really fancied him on this ground and he never let me down,” said Bryony, who scored by six lengths from Templepark with favourite Felix Mendelssohn third.

Just four went in the opening Stibbard Handicap Hurdle and there was a minor shock when hat-trick seeking Sirobbie was turned over by 3/1 chance West to Crossgales.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson stalked the 4/9 favourite from the start before pressing the accelerator around the final bend in the three-mile contest to land the spoils for trainer Charlie Pogson by more than a length. It was the eight-year-old gelding’s first win under rules in a race in which he had finished second last year.

Sam Twiston-Davies was full of praise for trainer Dr Richard Newland after YCCS Portocervo pulled off a shock 9/1 success in the Wordingham Plant Hire Ltd Maiden Hurdle.

The French-bred grey gelding had run out at Warwick on his British debut but with a hood to calm him down and a left-handed track, everything was in his favour and he led from start to finish.

That was a good run round. I like him a lot. The trainer’s horses are really happy horses and are running well at the moment,” said the winning jockey.

There was drama in the lady amateur riders’ contest when Angel of the North slipped up approaching the final bend giving leading point-to-point rider Gina Andrews a nasty-looking fall.

That left two horses clear but they were picked off by 11/8 favourite Cottonvale, who raced home from a long way adrift to win under Isabel Williams for trainer Christian Williams.

The finale further boosted trainer David Pipe’s terrific strike rate at Fakenham when Max Do Brazil under Tom Scudamore won the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards Novice Chase for the Prince of Wales Cup, returned at 15/8.

Words by Terry Redhead



Jarrold Ladies Day at Fakenham Racecourse. 2018

Bryony aims for a double as Fakenham ends the season with a Ladies Day special

Leading female jockey Bryony Frost could end up in the winner’s enclosure twice as the 2018/19 ends at Fakenham on Sunday on Jarrold Ladies Day.

Frost has a real chance of a double on the six-race card, feature contest of which is the 4.10pm Jarrold Ladies Day Handicap Chase over three miles, worth more than £10,000 to the winner.

However, Frost’s chances come earlier. In the 3pm Longwater Construction Supplies Novice Chase she partners Regulation for trainer Neil King. The 10-year-old gelding is the likely favourite following victory at Stratford two weeks ago.

Regulation faces four rivals over the two miles including northern raider Felix Mendelsshon under Sam Coltherd. The eight-year-old gelding is bidding to complete a hat-trick after scoring twice at Kelso in May. Templepark is another with a shout, Max Kendrick on the Ben Case trained six-year-old, a Kempton winner mid May.

In the 3.35pm Wordingham Plant Hire Ltd Maiden Hurdle, Frost again teams up with King with Gateway to Europe, the gelding a Warwick runner-up on his first outing for King after leaving Brian Nolan’s stable in Ireland.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson looks the biggest danger, riding Olly Murphy’s Emerald Rocket, second at Fakenham in March.

Six are declared for the feature with Snellings Norfolk National winner Hepijeu for trainer Stuart Edmunds and the Norfolk course’s leading rider of the season Ciaran Gethings, the market leader. However, the gelding is now five pounds higher in the weights.

Christian Williams has two in the field including the James Bowen partnered Cap Du Nord. After winning at Fakenham and Sedgefield, Cap Du Nord was tried in a high-class contest at Haydock and finished sixth.

Williams’ other contender is the grey gelding Fifty Shades while Johnson is an interesting booking for the Emma Lavelle trained Vendredi Trois.

The opening 2.25pm handicap hurdle should see Sirobbie complete a hat-tricks of wins for trainer Harry Whittington, although Johnson, on West To Crossgales, is the main rival.

Lady amateur riders get their chance to shine in the 4.45pm hurdle with Isabel Williams booked for Williams’ Cottonvale, the likely favourite after second place finishes at Worcester and Ludlow.

The finale, at 5.20pm for the Prince of Wales Cup, sees five go in the novice chase with Hartside and Mrs Vonn renewing rivalry after finishing first and second respectively, at Hexham a fortnight ago.

Words by Terry Redhead


Selections: 2.25pm Sirobbie, 3pm Felix Mendelssohn, 3.35pm Gateway to Europe, 4.10pm Cap Du Nord, 4.45pm Cottonvale, 5.20pm Mrs Vonn.


Jarrold Ladies Day at Fakenham Racecourse 2019

National winner looks to return in a bid to double up on Jarrold Ladies Day

Snellings Norfolk National winner Hepijeu may go for a big race double at Fakenham on Sunday when he bids to land the feature contest, the Jarrold Ladies Day Handicap Chase at 4.10pm.


There are 11 entries for the £10,600 to the winner race, named after Jarrold, the sponsors of the course’s final race day of the 2018/19 season.


Hepijeu was most impressive winning the Snellings Norfolk National over almost four miles at the last meeting and on Sunday faces a three-mile trip under Ciaran Gethings, the track’s leading jockey of the season, and trainer Stuart Edmunds.


Olly Murphy eyes the big prize with Beau Sancy, a Kelso winner on Sunday while another leading trainer at Fakenham, Christian Williams, has entered both six-year-old grey gelding Fifty Shades and Cap Du Nord. The former was third in the Norfolk National, having won over three miles at Fakenham in March. Cap Du Nord also clocked up a Fakenham success, before finishing sixth in a class two event at Haydock.


The other leading contest on the six-race card is the 4.45pm Longwater Construction Supplies Novice Chase over two miles and among the original 10 entries are four last time out winners.


They are Stuart Coltherd’s Felix Mendelssohn, a winner at Kelso twice this month, Neil Mulholland’s Dandolo Du Gite, a Southwell scorer, Neil King’s Reputation, a Stratford winner, and Ben Case’s Templepark, successful at Kempton.


The racing starts at 2.25pm with a three-mile handicap hurdle in which Harry Whittington has entered Sirobbie. The five-year-old will have to defy a penalty after winning at Uttoxeter twice in May.


The 3pm Queen’s Dragoon Guards novice chase for the Prince of Wales Cup has 10 entries with Murphy’s Bank Holiday Monday Huntingdon winner Fresh New Dawn possibly turning out quickly again while the Coltherds, jockey Sam and trainer Stuart, have Mrs Vonn, a mare who was runner-up at Hexham last time.


There is an original entry of 18 for the 3.35pm Wordingham Plant Hire maiden hurdle with Neil King looking for success with Gateway to Europe, a recent Warwick runner-up on his first run for King since leaving Brian Nolan’s stable in Ireland.


The season’s finale at 5.20pm is the Lady Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle and among the entries is Dan Skelton’s four-year-old filly Angel of the North, a winner at Stratford earlier this month.


Words by Terry Redhead 



Snellings Norfolk National Raceday 2019

Hot-shot Ciaran makes the trek worthwhile with a Norfolk National victory

Ciaran Gethings, the leading rider at Fakenham this season, scooped the course’s top race of the year, the Snellings Norfolk National when the Stuart Edmunds’ trained Hepijeu romped home by 17 lengths over the three and a half mile plus stamina test.


The valuable race, worth almost £20,000 to the winner, had drama throughout and especially at the last of the 22 fences when champion jockey Richard Johnson’s mount  Achill Road Boy came crashing down.


“We got a bit lucky but perhaps we deserved it,” said the winning trainer.


“He ran away early and I had to keep hold of him. I probably got in front too soon but he knows how to look after himself,” said Gethings, notching up his seventh winner in Norfolk this campaign.


It was a great reward for Edmunds and Gethings, the jockey having driven for more than two hours on Monday to stay overnight at the trainer’s Newport Pagnell home before a three-hour trip on Tuesday morning.


“It was a bit of a trek but obviously it’s a nice prize so well worth it,” he added, after dismounting from the 8/1 winner who scored from Doing Fine and favourite, Fifty Shades.


Top weight Butlergrove King put in a superb round of jumping to land the Snellings Handicap Chase under a great ride from Adam Wedge.


Trainer Christian Williams, who had a 530-mile round trip from his Bridgend stables, has been highly successful at the course and saw his 10-year-old returned at 4/1 in beating Kingston Mimosa, who had been third in a race at Kempton 24 hours earlier.


He just kept trying for me and his jumping was superb. I always had enough in hand,” said Wedge.


Wedge later just failed to hold on for a shock win on Tsundoku in the Congratulations Norwich City to the Premier League Hurdle. Favourite Inessa, under Sam Twiston-Davies, had to battle really hard to get up in the last strides to take the prize for trainer Dr Richard Newland, returned at 4/7.


Former champion trainer Nicky Henderson loves sending young horses to Fakenham and Chapparal Prince, under Nico de Boinville collected the Snellings Maiden Hurdle, returned 5/4 favourite.


The race developed into a three-horse battle with long-time leader Chapparal Prince breaking his duck, by holding off Topofthecotswolds and Dancing Doug.


The opening selling hurdle went to a gelding having his final race, Movie Set, under Connor Brace for Newmarket trainer Richard Spencer.


Movie Set, returned at 7/2, was keen to lead from the tape and by the time he got to the final flight he was clear of Vancouver with favourite American Tom third.


The finale, the three-horse Hunter Chase for the Turner Trophy, went to the outsider of the trio, 2/1 chance Asockastar, under Shane Quinlan for trainer Daniel John Bourne.

Words by Terry Redhead.




Snellings Norfolk National

National attracts a dozen runners for Fakenham’s longest race of the season

A dozen runners will take their chance when Fakenham’s longest race of the year, worth almost £20,000 to the winner, is the highlight of Tuesday’s Snellings Norfolk National six-race meeting.

The Snellings Norfolk National is over three miles and five furlongs and has attracted a classy field, including last year’s winner, Emerald Rose for trainer Julian Smith. Since winning a year ago however, Emerald Rose has been disappointing.

Likely favourite for the 3.45pm contest is the Christian Williams trained Fifty Shades, a six-year-old grey gelding who won at the course in March over three miles. But he proved his stamina when recently winning over today’s distance at Warwick in April.

Bryony Frost rides the Neil King trained Little Windmill, a Southwell runner-up, while Gamain bids for a hat-trick under Chester Williams, the gelding trained by Mrs Jane Williams. Gamain won at Wincanton in March and April.

Ciaran Gethings is Fakenham’s leading jockey this season, and he hopes to add to his tally on the Stuart Edmunds trained Hepijeu, third at Ludlow, while Tom Scudamore partners Neil Mulholland’s Doing Fine, tenth last time in the Scottish Grand National but now having to carry eight pounds less in the saddle.

Snellings sponsor two other races, while the course also celebrates the achievements of the Canaries by naming the 4.15pm race the Congratulations to Norwich City to the Premier League Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

In the 2.40pm Snellings Handicap Chase. Caroline Bailey’s Global Domination is a course and distance winner and last time won at Market Rasen. Seven rivals include Charlie Deutsch on Sarah Humphrey’s mare, Stonebrigg Legend, twice a winner at Fakenham in March.

The Snellings Maiden Hurdle at 3.10pm features seven including the Nicky Henderson trained Chapparal Prince under Nico de Boinville. Fourth at Ayr last time, the gelding faces six rivals including Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Topofthecotswolds and Dancing Doug. Trained by Phil Kirby, Harrison Beswick takes the ride on the Sedgefield runner-up.

A selling hurdle opens the action at 2.10pm with Norfolk-based Fergus Gregory on the Olly Murphy trained favourite American Tom, a faller last time at Wetherby and looking for compensation. Movie Set from Richard Spencer’s stable and Vancouver, for Neil Mulholland, are also fancied, Vancouver a Taunton winner in February.

Inessa for Richard Newland is fancied for the 4.15pm Congratulations to Norwich City to the Premier League Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, the six-year-old third in a class one race at Cheltenham in April.

The finale is the Turner Trophy Hunter Chase featuring Mr Mix, a grey who unseated Stuart Robinson in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

Words by Terry Redhead.


Selections: 2.10pm Vancouver, 2.40pm Global Domination, 3.10pm Dancing Doug, 3.45pm Hepijeu, 4.15pm Inessa, 4.45pm Mr Mix.


Snellings Norfolk National

Emerald Rose looks set to defend his ‘National’ crown at Fakenham

Last year’s winner is among 22 entries for Fakenham racecourse’s longest race of the season on Tuesday, (May 7), the Snellings Norfolk National over three miles and five furlongs.

Emerald Rose, trained by Julian Smith, will look to retain his national crown and repeat last year’s feat in the near £20,000 to the winner steeplechase.

Since his victory a year ago, the 12-year-old gelding has been lightly handled with two runs in December and a seventh place last time out, in soft ground at Bangor five weeks ago.

It will be anything but soft at Fakenham where the course is currently being watered for one of the most popular race days of the season, sponsored by Norfolk-based Snellings.

Among those looking to land the 3.45pm ‘National’ are a couple bidding for hat-tricks. Trained by Jane Williams, Gamain, a 10-year-old, has won his last two races, both at Wincanton and both over more than three miles.

Dan Skelton’s six-year-old Goodthyneaway is also a hat-trick seeker although his last victory, at Southwell, was over a much shorter trip of two and a half miles.

Christian Williams has entered six-year-old grey gelding Fifty Shades, a winner at Warwick over Tuesday’s National distance, while fellow Welsh trainer Peter Bowen has Viens Chercher, a winner over a little less than three miles last time at Stratford.

Snellings sponsor the other chase on the card, the 2.40pm over two miles and five furlongs for which Global Domination, a last time winner at Market Rasen for trainer Caroline Bailey, is entered. Also among the possibles is the Sarah Humphrey trained Stonebridge Legend, the mare fifth at Huntingdon recently on the back of two wins at Fakenham in March.

The Snellings Maiden hurdle at 3.10pm has an entry from Nicky Henderson, whose horses always have to be respected when running in Norfolk, in the shape of Chapparal Prince. Also entered is the Olly Murphy trained The Butcher Said. Adrian Heskin is booked for the ride on a six-year-old second at Market Rasen a fortnight ago.

Racing starts at 2.10pm with the conditional jockey’s selling hurdle. At 4.15pm there is the TBA Mares’ Handicap Hurdle while the six-race card ends with the 4.45pm Turner Trophy Hunter Chase over three miles.

Words by Terry Redhead


Aldiss Easter Monday Raceday 2019

Jordan nails a top win to remember as Hammersly Lake triumphs

Seven-pound claimer Jordan Nailor grabbed the biggest win of his career when 11/10 favourite Hammersly Lake won the £30,000 David Keith Memorial Veterans’ Handicap Chase on a sun-drenched Aldiss Easter Monday Raceday at Fakenham.

Only three runners took their chance and when Exitas hit the fence in front of the stands, despite Tabitha Worsley’s brilliant recovery, his chance had gone. That left the way clear for Hammersly Lake, trained by Charlie Longsdon, to romp home.


“He’s an amazing horse, a privilege to ride him. He jumped fantastically and that is certainly my best winner and one for me to remember,” said the winning rider.


Brodie Hampson was all smiles after landing the Aldiss Furnishing Stores Hurdle on all the way winner Bazarov, returned at 4/1, trained by Archie Watson.

The ultra-consistent Bazarov was challenged late on by Acertain Circus but that rival was outjumped at the final flight, allowing Bazarov to score.


“I decided to go a good gallop. I knew he would stay and thankfully no one got to him. He heard the second getting close and picked up again and did it so well,” said the winning rider.

“He’s very good and such a lot of fun for us,” said Watson, for whom the horse was a first winner over jumps, to supplement his terrific start to the flat season.


There was a terrific finish to the Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Handicap Hurdle when Sid Hoodie held on to win from Working Class and Ravenous.

Those three pulled clear of their seven rivals and it was left to the Charlie Mann trained and Harry Bannister has ridden five-year-old mare to take the prize, half a length clear of Working Class and favourite Ravenous, separated by a short head.

The 5/1 chance had been up with the leaders throughout and the daughter of Rip Van Winkle duly collected to improve of her previous fourth at Warwick, in front on her local owner, Dominic Christian from Great Witchingham, who was present to see her run for the first time.

The opener gave jockey Ciaran Gethings the lead in the race to be the course’s top rider of the season when he took the En Suiter Novices’ Hurdle on the Stuart Edmunds trained Red Royalist.

The eventual winner and Zoffany Bay led throughout and when Zoffany Bay lost touch, it was left for 6/4 favourite Red Royalist to hold off the late challenge of Sudden Destination to land the spoils, giving Gethings his sixth course winner of the campaign.

Favourite backers would have raised a glass to 18-year-old Charlie Todd after the Ryan Potter trained Llancillo Lord landed the Hunter Chase for the Robert Hoare Memorial Trophy.

Todd was hampered at the open ditch on the first of three circuits but somehow kept the partnership together and recovered well to score at 1/2 in a three-runner field, to follow up the amateur jockey’s success at Plumpton the previous day.

Sopat, under Kielan Woods and trained by Phil Middleton, took the bumper in fine style, racing clear of newcomer Dancing Doris to triumph at 4/1.

The finale was a match for The Queen’s Cup, the Hunter Chase going to outsider Silvergrove, at 100/30, ridden by Alex Chadwick and trained by James Owen, who defeated 1/4 favourite Sir Jack Yeats.


It was an incredible day of racing and you can find some images from the day below. Please feel free to share them with your friends and family.

Photos by Leaderboard Photography.