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.

Nico can’t wait as Pistol whips the opposition

Jockey Nico de Boinville jumped off champion trainer Nicky Henderson’s impressive winner Pistol Whipped and immediately announced he couldn’t wait until his horse went over the larger obstacles.

Pistol Whipped, returned the 13/8 favourite, took the novice hurdle at sun-blessed Fakenham in some style and left his rider confident about his future.

“He’s a classy jumper and I can’t wait to go chasing with him next year. This was probably not his track and not his ground but he has won and that’s fantastic for his owners. There is so much more to come,” said de Boinville.

Bryony Frost added the Fakenham faithful to her growing band of supporters with a peach of a ride on Brelan D’As to win the Lycetts Novice Chase.

Wearing the famous J P McManus colours, Frost settled the 8/11 favourite into a nice rhythm before taking it up with more than a mile to travel.

The Paul Nicholls trained eight-year-old maintained a small lead from then on and ran out a comfortable winner from Delire D’Estruval.

“This is a tough track for novices and when I asked him a question he was good. The drying ground is a bit tacky but he’s done it well. It’s a long way to come to Fakenham and we don’t have a great record here so it’s lovely to have won,” said Bryony.

Feature race, the Tim Barclay Memorial Chase went to Kayf Blanco for trainer Graeme McPherson and jockey Kielan Woods. The 10-year-old was always handy and made the most of a gap near the rails two furlongs out to win at 3/1.

“I didn’t want to get to the front too soon but had to go when the gap appeared. He’s jumped well and travelled well so I can’t complain,” said Woods.

The Lycetts Handicap Hurdle produced a thrilling finish with Uno Mas, under James Bowen for trainer Christian Williams, getting the better of fast-finishing Shaman Du Berlais.

The eventually runner-up found no way through on the final bend and that enabled Uno Mas to pull far enough ahead to be able to hold on, returned at 5/2.

Generous Jack got the day off to a thrilling start when taking the Ashwicken Selling Hurdle by a neck under Daryl Jacob. The 10-year-old, trained by Suzi Best, was always up with the pace despite finding Fakenham’s sharp bends difficult to handle early on.

The last time out Plumpton winner took it up two out and held off a strong challenge from the well-backed Queen Adelaide to score by a neck, returned at 15/8. The winner was bought in the ring by Thursford-based Keith Loads for £4,000.

Only three went in the William Bulwer-Long Hunter Chase in which 1/2 favourite Risk A Fine, under James King for trainer Gareth Moore, easily beat his two rivals.

The closing bumper went to the Venetia Williams trained Penny Mallow, under Gavin Sheehan, who at 7/1 held off favourite Trailboss by a neck.

Words Terry Redhead 

Lycetts Raceday

Double hopes for Williams and Bowen on Lycetts Race Day

Teenage jockey James Bowen and Glamorgan-based trainer Christian Williams are bidding for a double when racing returns to Fakenham this afternoon (Friday, February 15).

The last two scheduled meetings at the racecourse have fallen victim to overnight frosts but there were no anticipated problems for today’s seven-race Lycetts Race Day card, starting at 1.40pm.

Williams will be hoping to make his trip from Wales worthwhile with Sideways, favourite for the 3.20pm feature, the Tim Barclay Memorial Chase, in which the eight-year-old faces six rivals.

Bowen rides the improving horse, a winner at Sedgefield mid January after an earlier win over course and distance at Fakenham. Main rivals are the Venetia Williams trained Un Prophete, under Charlie Deutsch, the grey gelding third at Ascot last time, and Paul Webber’s Volt Face under Gavin Sheehan, a runner-up at both Market Rasen and Fakenham.

At 2.10pm the Lycetts novice chase has only four runners but they include Paul Nicholls Brelan D’As, ridden by Bryony Frost. The gelding was fifth at Cheltenham recently.

The Lycetts handicap hurdle, at 3.50pm features seven with Williams and Bowen holding all the aces with favourite Uno Mas. The five-year-old won at Catterick last time having been second at Doncaster and a Hereford winner previously.

Most competitive race is the 2.45pm novice hurdle featuring Nicky Henderson’s Mill Green. Off course for more than 200 days, the gelding won at Newton Abbott and Fontwell last summer.

Khage, under Sheehan for Harry Whittington, is a recent Taunton winner while another last time out winner is Rapper, for Henry Daly. On The Slopes is respected for Daryl Jacob and Chris Gordon, the gelding second at Fontwell after winning at the same track on Boxing Day.

Generous Jack for Jacob and Suzi Best looks a good thing in the opening 1.40pm selling hurdle, the gelding a Plumpton winner last month while only three go in the William Bulwer-Long Memorial Hunter Chase at 4.25pm which should go to Risk A Fine, a point winner at Chaddesley Corbett recently.

The finale at 4.55pm sees eight, including five debutants, line up for the open National Hunt flat race, headed by Nickelsonthedime under Jacob for Kayley Woolacott, the gelding second on both previous starts at Catterick and Ayr.

Words By Terry Redhead 

Easter Monday Raceday - Fakenham Racecourse

Fakenham hoping ban is lifted before Friday’s scheduled seven-race meeting

Fakenham Racecourse will be hoping that the British Horseracing Authority lifts its current ban on racing in time for its scheduled meeting to take place on Friday. (February 15).

No new cases of equine flu have been confirmed following tests of hundreds of horses, the BHA said on Saturday evening, but added there were more tests to be carried out.

All race meetings have been cancelled in Britain until Wednesday at the earliest, after six cases of the virus emerged towards the end of last week.

The Animal Health Trust, based in Newmarket, which is conducting tests for the BHA, has received 2,100 swabs from stables across the country and has analysed about 720 of them.

It told the BHA there had been no further positive samples returned from those tests.

Fakenham has lost its last two scheduled meetings, both in January, to the weather, overnight frosts causing early morning abandonments.

The seven-race card planned for Friday, the Lycetts Raceday, features, at 3.20pm, the Tim Barclay Memorial Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs and sees the return to the track of the Christian Williams trained gelding Sideways, a winner at Sedgefield after scoring at Fakenham on New Year’s Day.

Peter Bowen’s Doncaster winner Cougar’s Gold is another entry along with Paul Webber’s Volt Face, the 10-year-old gelding runner-up at Market Rasen after finishing second at Fakenham on January 1.

The meeting starts at 1.40pm and half an hour later the Lycetts Farm and Estate Insurance Brokers Novice Chase over two miles should be competitive as will the Lycetts Bloodstock Insurance Brokers Novice Handicap Hurdle at 3.50pm.

Run over three miles, three last time out winners are among the entries, including Colin Tizzard’s Copperhead, a winner over a shorter trip at Exeter in January.

Corinto, for Olly Murphy, a recent Market Rasen winner, and Uno Mas, Christian Williams’ Catterick scorer, are also entered.

The 2.45pm novice hurdle has attracted 25 entries including Cloudy Glen for Venetia Williams, the gelding having won at both Chepstow and Haydock since Christmas.

Entries also include last time winners Colooney for Murphy, Khage for Harry Whittington and Rapper for Henry Daly. Champion trainer Nicky Henderson has Mill Green, the gelding a winner at Newton Abbott and Fontwell last summer.

Words by Terry Redhead

Severe frost scuppers Fakenham raceday

A severe frost with overnight temperatures down in excess of minus six degrees saw the abandonment of Fakenham’s six-race meeting scheduled for this afternoon (Thursday, January 31st).

An early morning inspection coupled with the forecast of temperatures reaching no higher than plus three today resulted in Chief Executive David Hunter making the same abandonment decision as a week earlier when that meeting was also lost to the weather.

It is a desperately unlucky situation for the north Norfolk course, today’s planned meeting, for which 46 runners had been declared, having been an additional fixture to the original scheduled list.

The next meeting at Fakenham, the Lycetts Raceday, is due to take place on Friday, February 15th.

Words by Terry Redhead 

Fakenham Racecourse . 31st January race meeting

Fingers crossed Fakenham can beat expected overnight frost

After losing last week’s meeting to the weather, Fakenham will be hoping the same does not happen when Thursday’s six-race card faces a 7am inspection before going ahead.

Chief executive David Hunter announced the 7am inspection in view of the forecast for a cold Wednesday night.

He said: “We had a cold night on Tuesday. We don’t have an encouraging forecast and if the forecast runs through then it will be difficult for us to race.”

Should the meeting go ahead the feature is the 3.50pm Pudding Norton Hurdle in which five go including Neil King’s hat-trick seeking Brandon Castle.

Jeremiah McGrath rides the seven-year-old gelding, a winner at Plumpton over two-miles in December and January. Main rival looks to be Lucy Wadham’s nine-year-old mare Potters Midnight under Jack Quinlan, a last time Lingfield winner and a horse that won at Fakenham last March.

Eskendash under Kielan Woods for Peterborough trainer Pam Sly was third at Huntingdon while the quintet is completed by Neil Mulholland’s My Brother and Atlantic Storm representing Rob Summers.

There is a good field for the 2.50pm Shereford Handicap Chase over three miles with nine taking their chance, including veteran 15-year-old That’s The Deal, under Lee Edwards for John Cornwall. It’s the gelding’s 101 career start, having won nine of 98 chases, his last win at Huntingdon in October 2017.

Tabitha Worsley takes the ride on Holy Street, trained by Laura Morgan and second at Catterick having joined Morgan from Tom Ellis.

The second chase, the finale at 4.20pm, could go to Nick Littmoden’s By Rail under Sean Houlihan. A course and distance winner in December, the gelding has since finished third at Leicester. Edgar, for David Bridgwater, looks the main threat.

Biggest field sees 12 in the 2.15pm Kettlestone Hurdle in which Christian Williams is double-handed with Cottonvale and Uno Mas. The former, under Rex Dingle, was a Ffos Las runner-up a fortnight ago while Uno Mas won at Catterick on January 10.

The opener, the 1.45pm Mares’ Novice Hurdle should go to Stuart Edmunds’ A Little Chaos, a winner over course and distance in December while Olly Murphy will be looking to Chez Hans to score under Norfolk-based Fergus Gregory in the 3.20pm Hempton Novice Hurdle.

Selections: 1.45pm Regarding Ruth, 2.15pm Cottonvale, 2.50pm Holy Street, 3.20pm Chez Hans, 3.50pm Brandon Castle, 4.20pm By Rail.

Words by Terry Redhead 

Fakenham Races, day out in Norfolk

Fingers crossed as Fakenham plan for racing on Thursday

Fakenham racecourse is hoping for better luck with the weather this Thursday (January 31) to quickly erase the memory of last Thursday’s abandonment due to heavy overnight frost in north Norfolk.

Thursday’s six-race card starts at 1.45pm with the feature being the 3.50pm Pudding Norton Handicap Hurdle worth almost £14,000. At the entry stage, the race has been re-opened.

The opener sees Stuart Edmunds, a trainer with a good Fakenham record, with A Little Chaos, a five-year-old mare who won at the course over the same two-mile distance back in December.

Duhallow Gesture, runner-up at Lingfield last time for Anthony Honeyball and Olly Murphy’s Foxtrot Juliet, a faller at Fakenham back in November, are also interesting entries.

Christian Williams is a trainer in good form and he has three entries in the 2.15pm Kettlestone Handicap Hurdle, including Cottonvale, runner-up last time at Ffos Las behind Briac, a progressive sort who has gone on to win again.

Williams also has two other last time winners in Strictlyadancer, a Fakenham scorer on New Year’s Day and Uno Mas, a winner at Catterick three weeks ago.

Grand old 15-year-old veteran That’s The Deal has been entered by trainer John Cornwall in the 2.50pm Shereford Chase for what will be the gelding’s 101st career start. He will be going for a 10th chase win from 98 attempts but faces some good-looking rivals.

Caroline Bailey has Global Domination, a winner at Fakenham in April and runner-up at Huntingdon a fortnight ago and two rivals who were first and second at Catterick earlier this month, Mistress Massini and Holy Street, trained respectively by Honeyball and Laura Morgan.

It’s not common for Venetia Williams to send runners to Fakenham but she has entered Cloudy Glen, a six-year-old gelding, in the 3.20pm Hempton Novices Hurdle in which he will bid for a hat-trick after scoring at Chepstow and Haydock.

Rivals include Murphy’s Leicester winner Chez Hans and Tim Vaughan’s Doncaster victor De Forgotten Man as well as Coole Well, representing Jamie Snowden, that gelding second at Fontwell on Boxing Day after a Plumpton success.

A two-mile chase closes the card at 4.20pm in which Nick Littmoden has entered By Rail, who won over course and distance in December before finish third of three at Leicester over the Christmas period.

Words: Terry Redhead 

INSPECTION AT 7 am Thursday 31st January due to a forecast of very cold Wed night and cold day on Thursday

Inspection Tomorrow at Fakenham Racecourse

Classy field of six all go for glory in Fakenham feature

A classy field of six contest the £15,000 feature chase on a competitive six-race card at Fakenham this afternoon (Thursday, January 24).

The 3.10pm contest sees 13-year-old Mendip Express favourite for trainer Philip Hobbs after winning at Sandown in December. David Maxwell takes the mount in a handicap in which all six hold chances.

Sideways, a course winner on New Year’s Day, followed up at Sedgefield and goes for the hat-trick for Christian Williams while Gettysburg Address starts his third chase for Richard Newland, having been runner-up at Bangor last time.

Former Fakenham winners Enjoy Responsibly for Oliver Sherwood and Holbrook Park for Nick King go as does Lucy Wadham’s Le Reve, the £31,000 Betfred Masters Chase winner at Sandown three years ago.

The action starts at 12.55pm when eight go in the maiden hurdle headed by Red Royalist under Ciaran Gethings for Stuart Edmunds. Gethings had a double at the last Fakenham meeting and rides a gelding second on the flat at Kempton recently.

Grand Inquisitor for Ian Williams and Some Boy McCoy, fourth over course and distance on New Year’s Day for Olly Murphy, rate dangers.

The 1.25pm chase sees 15-year-old That’s The Deal, trained by John Cornwall, make a 101st career start and his 98th chase start, having won nine, the last in 2017.

Two horses that finished behind Sideways at the last meeting take their chance, grey gelding Vaxalco for King who was third, now better off at the weights, and runner-up Stonebrigg Legend, Sarah Humphrey’s mare under Sean Bowen.

Murphy has Bubbles of Gold in the 2pm novice hurdle, a runner-up on hurdles debut at Newcastle although favourite is Mister Tickle, a point winner in Ireland before joining Martin Smith’s yard.

Murphy has three in the day’s biggest field of nine in the 2.35pm handicap hurdle, his best chance Vocal Heir, the mare having her first run since joining the stable from Stephen Hanlon in Ireland.

Fakenham regular Gin and Tonic, trained by Michael Wigham, is out for the first time since June, having won three times in 14 course starts.

The closing 3.45pm hurdle sees Murphy hold a favourite’s chance with Wood Pigeon, who at the corresponding meeting last year, won over the chase fences, but now reverts to hurdles.

Words by Terry Redhead 

Selections: 12.55pm Red Royalilst, 1.25pm Vaxalco, 2pm Mister Tickle, 2.35pm Dream Baie, 3.10pm Mendip Express, 3.45pm Wood Pigeon.

PLEASE NOTE: 24 January 2019 – Racing subject to 7 am Inspection due to forecast low overnight temperatures and frost.

It’s a first for Ceara Be as impressive Gethings lands a New Year’s Day double

Six-year-old mare Ceara Be took the New Year’s Day honours at Fakenham when claiming her first hurdles success by landing the feature handicap hurdle worth almost £7,000 to the winner.

Trained by Alex Hales, Ceara Be was ridden by Ciaran Gethings and stormed home at 5/1 to improve on her previous second place at Leicester in early December.

“Today was the first time I had sat on her. She is a nice mare. I had an easy lead into the race and thought I may have hit the front too soon. But she flew the second last flight and jumped well at the last and we were home and dry,” said the winning rider.

Fast-finishing Wind Place and Sho was second with top weight Amanto third in a contest reduced to five runners when All My Love crashed out in front of the packed stands with a circuit still to go.

There was a major upset in the opening selling hurdle when the Paul Nicholls trained Blu Cavalier, sent off at a prohibitive 2/11, was beaten by the Olly Murphy trained Cliffside Park.

Under a fine ride by claimer Lewis Stones, Cliffside Park, a winner at Fakenham in October 2017, got up before the final two flights to win at 11/1 in an exciting three-horse contest.

Murphy, prolific at the course, went on to complete a double when Craigmor won the four-runner chase under David England. He pushed Craigmor to the front with a circuit to go and held off the challenge of Volt Face to steal the spoils, the winner returned at 11/10.

The amateur riders’ handicap chase went the way of 11/4 joint favourite Sideways who, under Tommie O’Brien, recorded his first victory under rules.

Vaxalco set a decent pace early on but Sideways, trained at Bridgend in South Wales by Christian Williams, took over two out and was always in control, winning by five lengths with bottom weight Stonebridge Legend running on for second spot.

The trainer made the long journey even more worthwhile when his Strictlyadancer landed the handicap hurdle under England to complete a quickfire double for both himself and the jockey. The gelding had been disappointing in maiden hurdles and on handicap debut but he enjoyed the three-mile trip and won comfortably at 9/2.

“He’s been really good at home. He fell in a point-to-point and that knocked him back a bit. But we like him and today he has rewarded our patience,” said Gareth Moores, representing the trainer.

The finale saw jockey Gethings complete a 41/1 double when he got Havana Hermano home by a nose for Stuart Edmunds, the 6/1 winner just foiling Swaffham Bulbeck, the result confirmed by in a photo finish.

It was anther excellent ride from the impressive Gethings who thwarted treble-seeking jockey England and trainer Murphy, who looked to have had the race set up for them by stable companion Some Boy McCoy.

Words by Terry Redhead


DATE OF NEXT RACE MEETING: Thursday, 24th January


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Webber hoping to plunder Fakenham’s New Year’s Day spoils

Webber hoping to plunder Fakenham’s New Year’s Day spoils

Trainer Paul Webber from Banbury in Oxfordshire will be hoping his New Year’s Day journey to north Norfolk pays off this afternoon (Tuesday) when he holds three excellent chances in the final three contests on Fakenham’s hugely popular six-race card.

Jockey Richie McLernon partners all three of Webber’s hopefuls starting with the J P McManus owned Youknowell in the 2.30pm handicap hurdle.

The six-year-old mare was third a fortnight ago at Leicester when down in trip but reverts to three miles, the distance over which she scored in November at Plumpton.

Main rivals in the nine-runner field are Olly Murphy’s Todd under Callum McKinnes, the gelding a Fakenham winner under champion jockey Richard Johnson at the last meeting. The gelding had earlier finished third and second at the course. Also in the mix is the Paul Henderson trained Minella Gathering, under Jack Sherwood, the gelding fourth at Lingfield three weeks ago, having a first run for more than 230 days.

McLernon and Webber have Volt Face in the five-runner novice chase at 3.05pm., the gelding fifth in a class two contest at Sandown three weeks ago, having a first run since wind surgery.

Molly Carew, for Richard Dunne and Neil Mulholland is the likely favourite after finishing second at Sandown while Murphy legs up David England on Craigmor, a July scorer at Stratford.

Biggest field of the day is the 10-runner maiden hurdle which ends the action at 3.40pm. McLernon and Webber have Starjac, a Huntingdon third in November after previously finishing runner-up at Fakenham.

Kings Inn goes for Paul Nicholls, after a recent Doncaster second while also runner-up last time was Some Boy McCoy, Sherwood riding for Murphy.

Feature race is the six-runner handicap hurdle worth almost £9,000 to the winner at 1.55pm when favourite is Murphy’s The Very Thing who returns to the course after finishing runner-up at the last meeting over a shorter trip.

Key rival could be Kilbrew Boy under Kielan Woods for Ben Case, the gelding a winner over course and distance a fortnight ago while Alex Hales has Ceara Be, a Leicester runner-up at the start of December.

The amateur riders get their chance in the 1.20pm chase with Hannah Welch hoping to repeat her recent Wincanton victory on Alex Dunn’s Polo The Mumm who on that occasion was winning the first chase in 14 attempts.

Racing starts at 12.45pm with a selling hurdle which should go the way of likely odds-on favourite Blu Cavalier from Nicholls’ yard, the nine-year-old gelding third at Bangor recently after a lengthy break.


Selections: 12.45pm Blu Cavalier, 1.20pm Sideways, 1.55pm Kilbrew Boy, 2.30pm Youoknowell, 3.05pm Molly Carew, 3.40pm Kings Inn.

Words by Terry Redhead.




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Great Prospects for New Year’s Day Meeting Fakenham Racecourse

Great Prospects for New Year’s Day Meeting

Fakenham racecourse stages its hugely popular New Year’s Day six-race meeting on Tuesday with 19 initial entries for the near £15,000 feature handicap hurdle.

The 1.55pm class three contest could see two recent winners at the north Norfolk course trying to double their tally.

Ben Case has entered Kilbrew Boy, the six-year-old gelding having won at Fakenham’s meeting on December 18 while Olly Murphy has entered Skandiburg, the four-year-old a winner over course and distance at the start of December.

Potters Midnight, from Lucy Wadham’s Newmarket stable is also entered, the mare a Fakenham winner last January.

Other interesting entries include Ceare Be, trainer Alex Hales’s recent Leicester runner-up and Mick Quinn’s nine-year-old gelding Great Hall. Great Hall won eight times from 42 starts on the flat and has scored once in seven hurdle contests, most recently second at Huntingdon in December.

The meeting gets under way at 12.45pm with a selling hurdle in which Neil Mulholland has two entries, Vancouver, third at Leicester on December 2 and Lee Side Lady, third at Fontwell on December 11.

Amateur riders get their chance in the 1.20pm handicap chase. Among the entries are Alex Dunn’s recent Wincanton winner Polo The Mumm, Christian Williams’ Sideways, third last time at Ffos Las, and Apachee Prince from Murphy’s stable, third at Southwell a fortnight ago.

The second chase is at 3.05pm and Oliver Greenall may run four-year-old grey gelding Lord County, a winner over fences last time at Doncaster. Rivals may include Sam England’s Manwell, a runner-up in his last five starts, Molly Carew, Mulholland’s mare a runner-up recently at Sandown in a higher grade, and Utility, a runner-up for David Bridgwater at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Two horses second and fourth when they met at Lingfield earlier this month, could meet again in the 2.30pm handicap hurdle. David Pipe’s Max Do Brazil was second and Paul Henderson’s Minella Gathering was fourth and they could clash in a race in which another interesting possibility is Polly Gundry’s Danseur Du Large.

The 3.40pm finale, a maiden hurdle, has 18 entries including Murphy’s Collooney, a recent Plumpton runner-up, John Ryan’s Queen Adelaide, third at Fakenham in October, and Starjac, Paul Webber’s grey who was second at the north Norfolk track in October.

Words by Terry Redhead 



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