All posts by David Hunter

Preview of Tuesday’s 19th January Racecard

To view Tuesday’s Racecard click on the link below:-

https://www.britishhorseracing.com/racing/fixtures/upcoming/racecard/race/#!/2021/11584/50631/0/

O’NEILLS LOOKING TO MAKE IT A FAKENHAM ‘JONJO’ DAY

The O’Neill’s, trainer Jonjo and his son, jockey Jonjo junior, look to be in for a successful day when Fakenham racecourse stages a seven-race card, again behind closed doors, this afternoon (Tuesday, January 19).

The famous father and son combination have major chances in the first two contests before holding high hopes in the day’s feature event, the four-runner Brisley Novice Chase over three miles at 2.25pm.

In the opening Pudding Norton Novice Hurdle at 12.55pm, the O’Neills have six-year-old gelding Frisco Bay, second at Huntingdon just before Christmas, and he should contest the outcome, probably with Midnight Glance.

Jockey Tom Cannon and trainer Alan King, responsible for Saturday’s big race success in Warwick’s Classic Chase with Notachance, will be confident with Midnight Glance, third at Fontwell in December following an earlier Plumpton success.

In the 1.25pm Shereford Novice Chase, the O’Neills have an interesting contender in Generation Gap, the seven-year-old having his first try over the larger obstacles, after finishing fourth over hurdles at Huntingdon in December.

Dundrum Wood looks the key rival for Fergus Gregory and trainer Ollie Murphy, their seven-year-old a winner at Newcastle in December in his second chase.

The 2.25pm four-runner feature sees the O’Neills run 10-year-old gelding Lithic, third at Market Rasen at the turn of the year, although still a chase maiden after 22 attempts.

So preference would probably be for the Dr Richard Newland trained Minella Encore under Sam Twiston-Davies, the gelding runner-up at Kelso in his third chase before having wind surgery.

Crossgalesfamegame for Paddy Brennan and Fergal O’Brien is likely market leader for the three-mile Little Snoring Hurdle at 1.55pm., after finishing third in a higher class affair at Cheltenham in December, although punters need a market check on Fakenham course specialists Lucy Wadham, who runs Potters Hedger, and Neil King, who has Bryony Frost booked to partner Canyon City.

Nicky Henderson sends Ahorsewithnoname to the track for the 2.55pm Toftrees Mares’ Hurdle, the six-year-old second in a class one event behind Pink Sheets at Newbury in November, while five contest the 3.25pm two-mile Colkirk Chase where likely favourite will be the Milton Harris trained Away For Slates under three-pound claimer Kevin Jones. The 11-year-old gelding has won three of 16 chases and was fourth last time at Warwick.

Two last time winners Madera Mist and Uisce Ur are likely warm orders for the 3.55pm finale, the Coxford Mares’ Hurdle, the former from Tim Vaughan’s stable and the latter, a recent Doncaster scorer, under Luca Morgan for Ben Pauling.

Preview of entries for Tuesday’s Race Meeting

TOP TRAINERS TARGET TUESDAY’S FAKENHAM FEATURE

Leading National Hunt trainers have made 13 initial entries for the £13,400 feature on Tuesday’s Fakenham race card, the Brisley Novice Handicap Chase over three miles.

Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Evan Williams, Richard Newland, Peter Bowen and Jonjo O’Neill are among those who have horses entered in the 2.25pm highlight of the seven-race meeting.

Champion trainer Nicholls has grey gelding Zyon potentially making his chasing debut after a recent Wincanton success over hurdles while Henderson has entered both Haul Away, for what would be his third chase, and Corrany, who unseated his rider on chase debut at Doncaster in November.

Welsh Grand National winning trainer Williams also has two entries, in Present Value and Supreme Escape, the latter a last time out winner at Chepstow in only his second chase.

Dr Newland may saddle Minella Encore, the nine-year-old second at Kelso in his second chase in December, and who has since undergone wind surgery, while Gary Moore has Full Back, a recent Plumpton scorer, in the initial line-up.

Course and distance winner in December, Sawpit Sienna, is entered in the opening 12.55pm Pudding Norton Novice Hurdle with Robert Dunne booked to ride for trainer Sam Drinkwater while in the same race, Exeter winner Sandymount Rose is among the entries, for Neil Mulholland.

There are 16 entries for the 1.25pm Shereford Novice Chase with eyes drawn to the Nick Littmoden trained Captain Speaking. The six-year-old won over course and distance in November, completing a hat-trick of victories following earlier efforts at Plumpton and Uttoxeter.

Nigel Twiston-Davies is no stranger to Fakenham success and his eight-year-old gelding Supakalanistic is among the 18 entered for the 1.55pm Little Snoring Hurdle. The gelding won over hurdles at Kempton in November and then finished second recently on the all-weather flat course at the same venue.

Henderson has two entries among the 14 for the 2.55pm Toftrees Mares’ Maiden Hurdle. Ahorsewithnoname was runner-up on hurdling debut at Newbury in November, while Lilly Pedlar was also runner-up, at Taunton, on her debut in December.

Last time winners Eurkash and Go As You Please are both entered in the 3.25pm Colkirk Chase by trainer Paul Webber while there are 16 initial entries for the finale, the 3.55pm Coxford Mares’ Hurdle. They include Tim Vaughan’s recent Cheltenham winner Madera Mist.

Report from Monday 4th January Race Meeting

JORDAN NAILS IT WITH A NEW YEAR WINNER FOR SAM

Jockey Jordan Nailor took Monday’s feature race at Fakenham and quickly paid tribute to winning trainer Sam Thomas.

Nailor landed the Fakenham Racecourse Handicap on Thomas’s Not A Role Model, securing his 37th success of the season.

“It’s great being with a big yard as I am with Nigel Twiston-Davies, but I’ve had a lot of support from Sam. He has been good to me and it’s great to start a new year with a winner for him,” said Nailor.

“I won on this horse over fences at Wincanton and today was his first hurdling success. He’s straightforward and likes to be in front,” said Nailor, who led from start to finish on the 4/1 nine-year-old gelding trained by Thomas, the former Denman winning jockey.

Zee Man, last seen down the field at Warwick nine months ago, produced a telling effort to land the Wells Handicap Chase under Fergus Gregory for trainer Olly Murphy.

Norfolk-born Gregory produced the seven-year-old with a mighty leap at the open ditch and scored by seven lengths from pacesetter Lessankan. The winner, making his chasing debut, was returned at 100/30.

Favourite Miss Zip made a blunder in the Mares’ Handicap Chase and despite Adam Wedge’s tremendous recovery, the horse was pulled up.

That left it clear for 5/1 chance Krujers Girl to take it up before the final fence to score by five lengths under Kevin Brogan, for trainer Johnny Farrelly.

Farrelly went on to complete a 29/1 double when veteran 13-year-old Love The Leader took the stamina-testing three-and-a-half miles plus chase under Mitch Bastyan at 4/1, finishing 14 lengths clear of Orchard Thieves. It was great compensation for connections, beaten into second last time at Wincanton.

There was no easier winner than the Robbie Dunne ridden Pride of Pemberley who won the Happy New Year Hurdle for Nigel Dunger, his first winner for 600 days. The 12/1 chance was helped when well-fancied Perfect Moment fell at the fourth flight.

At the previous meeting there was a major gamble on Sopat, only for trainer Phil Middleton’s mare to finish down the field. But she repaid him in the Thorpland Maiden Hurdle, leading from start to finish to score at 5/1 under Kielan Woods.

The finale, the two-mile bumper, was impressively won by Bill Baxter under 10-pound claimer Caoilin Quinn for trainer Warren Greatrex, returned at 8/1.

Preview of Monday 4th January Race Meeting

PIPE AND PARICOLOR LOOKING FOR A FEATURE FOUR-TIMER

A total of 69 runners have been declared for Monday’s seven-race card at Fakenham, headed by Paricolor for trainer David Pipe in the feature, the £14,000 plus Fakenham Racecourse Handicap Hurdle at 1.25pm.

Pipe, who trains on the Devon/Somerset border, is a successful raider at Fakenham and pins his hopes on the five-year-old gelding who has been in tremendous form, winning his last three starts, two at Leicester in November and more recently at Taunton. Fergus Gillard claims a useful five pounds in the saddle.

Among Paricolor’s seven rivals are the Sam Thomas trained Not A Role Model, under Jordan Nailor, a last time winner at Wincanton, and Alan King’s Group Stage, under Adrian Heskin, recently third at Doncaster.

Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham can never be underestimated at the north Norfolk track and she runs Shantung under King George winning jockey Bryony Frost.

A field of 14 go in the 12.25pm opening Thorpland Maiden Hurdle including Olly Murphy’s Ripper Roo under Aidan Coleman. Ripper Roo won a point-to-point before joining Murphy’s yard, his only start since ending with second place in a Southwell bumper.

Rivals include Sopat from Phil Middleton’s yard, the subject of huge support at the last meeting before finishing a disappointing eighth.

Murphy has two in the 12.55pm Wells Handicap Chase, Fresh New Dawn under amateur Luke Scott and three-pound claimer Fergus Gregory on Zee Man. Likely favourite is the Evan Williams trained Sabbathical under Adam Wedge.

The Gary Moore trained Episode aims to go one better in the 1.55pm Mares’ Chase. At the Christmas meeting, Episode was pipped by Princess Roxy over course and distance and now faces 10 rivals, headed by Tipituptonancy under Alan Johns for Tim Vaughan, a recent Huntingdon fourth.

Cristal Spirit looks a likely favourite for the 12-runner three-mile Happy New Year Hurdle at 2.25pm. Sean Houlihan rides for Jim Boyle on a gelding who was a Fontwell winner last month. Main rival could be Gang Welfare under Ben Jones for Alexandra Dunn.

Conditional and amateur riders get their chance in a marathon handicap chase at 2.55pm in which 13-year-old Love Thy Leader goes under Mitch Bastyan for Johnny Farrelly while the day closes with the 3.25pm finale, a bumper.

Favourite will be Richard Johnson’s mount The Wrekin, having a first start for Henry Daly, having won a Maisemore Park point-to-point in October for Melanie Rowley.

Preview of Monday 4th January Runners

HAPPY VISITOR PIPE EYES UP FAKENHAM’S NEW YEAR FEATURE

Trainer David Pipe, based on the Somerset/Devon border, is a regular raider at Fakenham and often goes home smiling after pocketing the big prizes.

Initial entries for the north Norfolk course’s New Year meeting on Monday (January 4) show that Pipe has provisionally lined-up in-form five-year-old gelding Paricolor for the day’s feature, the £14,000 plus Fakenham Racecourse Handicap Hurdle.

Paricolor has been in tremendous form, winning his last three starts, two at Leicester in November and more recently at Taunton.

There are 21 entries for the contest and include Here Comes Johny from Ollie Murphy’s stable, the gelding a winner over course and distance in October before following up at Sedgefield.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Supakalanistic is another last time winner having scored at Kempton while Sam Thomas may run Not A Role Model, a Wincanton scorer in November.

Murphy could have another successful Fakenham afternoon. He has Ripper Roo with Aidan Coleman booked to ride, in the opening race of seven on the day, the maiden hurdle at 12.25. Ripper Roo won a point-to-point contest before joining Murphy’s yard, his only start since ending with second place in a Southwell bumper.

In the finale, a bumper, Murphy has Washington, a very impressive winner over course and distance in November among the 14 entered. Also in the mix are last time winners My Bad Lucy from Nick Gifford’s stable and The Wrekin, representing Henry Daly.

Conditional and amateur riders get their chance in the marathon handicap chase in which Ross Turner partners Oliver Greenall’s Furius De Ciergus, second in his last starts at Doncaster and Newcastle.

Johnny Farrelly also appears to have targeted the contest, with recent runners-up, Love The Leader and Sandford Castle, among the 15 entries.

Princess Roxy and Episode were first and second at the last meeting and both are entered in the mares’ handicap chase for Ben Case and Gary Moore respectively while half an hour later Sir Jack Yeats, Richard Spencer’s 10-year-old gelding goes in the handicap hurdle.

The horse last ran over timber in September 2017 and has been chasing since, his last outing seeing him second over the Grand National fences in Aintree’s  Grand Sefton Chase in December.

The other race, the novice chase, could feature Lingfield winner High Up In The Air for Moore and recent Uttoxeter second Landofsmiles for Peter Bowen.

Racing Report from Christmas Race Meeting – 20th December 2020

BRYONY CHEERED HOME AS FAKENHAM WELCOMES BACK AN AUDIENCE

Bryony Frost celebrated the cheers of the crowd when she scooted home on locally owned Martello Sky at Fakenham’s pre-Christmas race meeting on Sunday.

After her only ride of the day, Frost was emotional as the annual members, back on the course for the first time since March, gave her a rousing victory cheer.

“It’s great to have people here. You feel a connection and to hear them cheering is special,” she said, after steering the 11/8 favourite home by three lengths in the Vote Hollie Doyle for Sports Personality of the Year Maiden Hurdle.

Trained by Lucy Wadham and owned by the Sky Partnership, the grey mare made it three wins from three runs at the course. She looked in trouble at one point but proved good enough.

“She’s so sharp and nimble. At the last she measured it, pinged it and did it very well,” added Frost, looking forward to the Boxing Day ride on Frodon in the King George VI Chase.

After the ‘girls’ took the opener, Brodie Hampson kept it going in the British Racing School Handicap Hurdle when the Archie Watson trained grey Juge Et Parti, won by five lengths, at 14/1.

Hampson drove her mount clear around the final bend and raced away to win from Piggy Winkle, on a return to form after disappointing efforts at Fontwell and Cartmel.

The feature, the Sky Sports Handicap Chase, saw Jonjo O’Neill junior take the spoils with recent Bangor winner Maypole Class.

The 4/1 chance was always going best of the seven and he drew clear two furlongs from home for a second chase success.

“He brushed through the last but travelled really well. He can build on this and be a better chaser than he was hurdler,” said the winning jockey.

Jockey Joshua Moore gave up his rides for the day and seven-pound claimer Niall Hoolihan benefited when he steered all the way winner Gorham’s Cave home at 9/2  in the Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and RBL Handicap Hurdle.

The gelding, trained by Gary Moore, led from the off and despite sketchy jumping, won by nine lengths.

Well supported 5/4 favourite Princess Roxy held on to take the Vote Hollie Mares’ Handicap Chase under Harry Bannister for Ben Case after a terrific battle with Miss Gemstone and fast-finishing Episode.

Having won the first two races, the ‘girls’ wrapped up the meeting when Page Fuller scooted home on the Andrew Balding trained Diocletian, last seen on the flat in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, in the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle. The gelding was returned at 100/30 in beating First Soldier and No Anxiety.

Christmas Meeting – Sunday’s 20th December Declarations

To view the digital racecard click on this link:

Fakenham Racecard – Sunday 20th December

 

MAYPOLE BIDS TO BE TOP OF THE CLASS IN FRONT OF A FAKENHAM CROWD

A limited number of Fakenham annual members have been rewarded with a competitive card, when they attend Sunday’s six-race meeting.

Since the start of the 2020/21 season, all four meetings at the north Norfolk course have been behind closed doors due to Covid restrictions.

“These loyal racegoers have paid their membership for the year and have not been racing since March 16, so it is right they have first priority,” said Fakenham’s chief executive, David Hunter.

Feature is the 1.45pm Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase for which there are seven runners headed by Jonjo O’Neill’s Maypole Class, a recent Bangor winner in only his second chase.

At the foot of the handicap, Duhallow Lad goes for Tom O’Brien and trainer Alan Jones, the gelding a Bangor runner-up, while Robbie Dunne takes the ride on Venetia Williams’ Eceparti. Another with a chance is Alrightjack under Gavin Sheehan for Jamie Snowden, the six-year-old third in his last two outings.

The other chase is the 2.50pm Vote Hollie Doyle for Sports Personality of the Year Mares’ Handicap Chase for which in-form trainer Kim Bailey has Miss Gemstone under David Bass. The six-year-old unseated at Ludlow earlier this month, after she had finished runner-up at Stratford.

Princess Roxy, Harry Bannister for Ben Case, has looked useful in her two chases while Episode represents Josh Moore and father Gary, the mare fifth at Leicester last time.

Martello Sky will be warm favourite for the opening Vote for Hollie Mares’ Maiden Hurdle at 12.45pm, the Bryony Frost ridden and Lucy Wadham trained four-year-old fifth at Cheltenham after a Fakenham win in October.

In that same Cheltenham race, Allavina, for Aidan Coleman and trainer Olly Murphy, was fourth following a win at Market Rasen.

Jonjoela has finished second in her last two races for trainer Alex Hales and goes in the 1.15pm British Racing School Handicap Hurdle but Murphy has two in Fakenham regular Todd, running at the course for the 10th time, and Made For You, trying to better his third at Chepstow.

Josh and Gary Moore have a great opening in the 2.20pm Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and the RBL Handicap Hurdle with Gorham’s Cave, runner-up at Fakenham  in November, while also taking their chance is the Pam Sly trained Silkstone, fourth in that same Fakenham contest.

A dozen go in the 3.20pm finale, the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle, including a rare hurdler for Andrew Balding in Diocletian.

 

MAYPOLE BIDS TO BE TOP OF THE CLASS IN FRONT OF A FAKENHAM CROWD

A limited number of Fakenham annual members have been rewarded with a competitive card, when they attend Sunday’s six-race meeting.

Since the start of the 2020/21 season, all four meetings at the north Norfolk course have been behind closed doors due to Covid restrictions.

“These loyal racegoers have paid their membership for the year and have not been racing since March 16, so it is right they have first priority,” said Fakenham’s chief executive, David Hunter.

Feature is the 1.45pm Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase for which there are seven runners headed by Jonjo O’Neill’s Maypole Class, a recent Bangor winner in only his second chase.

At the foot of the handicap, Duhallow Lad goes for Tom O’Brien and trainer Alan Jones, the gelding a Bangor runner-up, while Robbie Dunne takes the ride on Venetia Williams’ Eceparti. Another with a chance is Alrightjack under Gavin Sheehan for Jamie Snowden, the six-year-old third in his last two outings.

The other chase is the 2.50pm Vote Hollie Doyle for Sports Personality of the Year Mares’ Handicap Chase for which in-form trainer Kim Bailey has Miss Gemstone under David Bass. The six-year-old unseated at Ludlow earlier this month, after she had finished runner-up at Stratford.

Princess Roxy, Harry Bannister for Ben Case, has looked useful in her two chases while Episode represents Josh Moore and father Gary, the mare fifth at Leicester last time.

Martello Sky will be warm favourite for the opening Vote for Hollie Mares’ Maiden Hurdle at 12.45pm, the Bryony Frost ridden and Lucy Wadham trained four-year-old fifth at Cheltenham after a Fakenham win in October.

In that same Cheltenham race, Allavina, for Aidan Coleman and trainer Olly Murphy, was fourth following a win at Market Rasen.

Jonjoela has finished second in her last two races for trainer Alex Hales and goes in the 1.15pm British Racing School Handicap Hurdle but Murphy has two in Fakenham regular Todd, running at the course for the 10th time, and Made For You, trying to better his third at Chepstow.

Josh and Gary Moore have a great opening in the 2.20pm Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and the RBL Handicap Hurdle with Gorham’s Cave, runner-up at Fakenham  in November, while also taking their chance is the Pam Sly trained Silkstone, fourth in that same Fakenham contest.

A dozen go in the 3.20pm finale, the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle, including a rare hurdler for Andrew Balding in Diocletian.

Sunday, 20th December – Christmas Meeting Race Preview

SOME ANNUAL MEMBERS GETTING BACK ON TRACK AT FAKENHAM

A limited number of annual members will be allowed to attend Fakenham racecourse’s six-race fixture on Sunday (December 20).

Since the start of the 2020/21 National Hunt season, no members of the public have been allowed at the north Norfolk venue due to Covid restrictions.

“We welcome a limited number of the public to Sunday’s meeting which will be entirely made up of annual members.

“These very loyal racegoers have paid their membership for the year and have not been able to come racing since March 16, so it is only right that they have first priority.

“Whilst current ‘zoning’ restrictions are in place, it would be impossible for Fakenham to welcome the public onto other parts of the course as the facilities and buildings are in use for the professionals,” said Fakenham’s chief executive, David Hunter.

All four of the current season’s meetings, two in October and two in November, have been held ‘behind closed doors’.

An impressive total of 112 initial entries have been made for the six-race card which starts at 12.45pm.

Feature race is the  1.45pm Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs for which 15 have been entered.

They include three horses who are last time out winners. Vocaliser, formerly with Robin Dickin, now an eight-year-old gelding from Ollie Murphy’s stable, is bidding for a four-timer after successes at Ffos Las, and Bangor twice, while Maypole Class, a six-year-old, won last time at Bangor in November. Trainer Jeremy Scott has entered Native Robin, a winner at Wincanton last month for what should be a competitive class three contest.

The other chase on the card is the 2.50pm Christmas Greetings Mares’ Handicap Chase also over two miles and five furlongs for which in-form trainer Kim Bailey has entered Miss Gemstone. The six-year-old unseated her rider when last seen at Ludlow earlier this month, that race coming after she had finished runner-up at Stratford.

The other four contests, at 12.45pm, 1.15pm, 2.20pm and the finale at 3.20pm, are over the hurdles course. The finale, the Christmas Holiday Maiden Hurdle may feature trainer Nick Gifford’s Itsnotwhatyouthink, third recently at Lingfield behind rising star Annual Invictus, who followed up to score again earlier this week, at Plumpton.

Racing Report from Mondays St. Andrew’s Day Race Meeting.

HAPPY JACK CELEBRATES A ST ANDREW’S DAY FAKENHAM DOUBLE

Newmarket-based jockey Jack Quinlan notched an impressive St Andrew’s Day double at Fakenham, taking the honours in two competitive steeplechases.

Quinlan landed the £11,000 feature Testerton Chase over a marathon three miles and five furlongs on the Martin Smith trained Friends Don’t Ask, returned at 9/1.

Bryony Frost pulled up The Happy Chappy early on and as the marathon contest unravelled it was left for Friends Don’t Ask to clear the last of the 22 fences and romp home by five lengths from favourite Strictlyadancer and Telson Barley.

“Martin was keen to come here with this gelding for this marathon trip and once the rain arrived he was even more confident. He jumped really well and deserved that,” said Quinlan.

Earlier, Captain Speaking, running in the colours of the ‘We Live in Norfolk Partnership,’ completed a hat-trick with a superb success in the five-runner Racing is Everyone’s Sport Chase to notch the first half of Quinlan’s double.

Trained by Nick Littmoden, Captain Speaking hit the front early and his strong gallop took his rivals out of their comfort zones. He jumped superbly to win by 13 lengths, returned at 9/4.

Captain Speaking had won at Uttoxeter and Plumpton in September and left Quinlan delighted. “He’s a big horse and is getting better. Once warmed up he jumped brilliantly. He’s got some scope and is a pleasure to ride,” he said.

There was a winning hurdling debut for Pasvolsky in the St Andrew’s Day Maiden Hurdle, the gelding following up a recent Wincanton bumper success for trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon.

The 6/5 favourite led from the off and gamely held on to win by two lengths from her two rivals.

Gordon went on to complete a training double when the aptly-named Can’t Stop Now won the Racing is Everyone’s Sport Juvenile Hurdle under Joshua Moore.

The very keen gelding ploughed throught the first hurdling and demolished at least two others on his way to a  pillar to post victory, returned at 8/1.

Complete outsider Sawpit Sienna pulled off a major shock in the opening Pudding Norton Hurdle, returned at 40/1 for jockey Robert Dunne and trainer Sam Drinkwater. It was the mare’s first run for Drinkwater and she moved clear at the last to score from Say Nothing and Be The Difference.

The Colkirk Chase closed the card and went to the Sam Twiston-Davies ridden and Donald McCain trained Court Jurado, winning his first chase under rules, returned at 10/3.

 

Preview of St. Andrew’s Day Runners – Monday 30th November

click on the link at the bottom of this page to view todays races and runners:

COLTHERDS AIM TO FLY THE FLAG FOR SCOTLAND ON ST ANDREW’S DAY

Trainer Stuart Coltherd aims to strike for Scotland when Fakenham stages its fourth National Hunt fixture of the season, again behind closed doors,  on Monday, St Andrew’s Day.

Based in Selkirk in the Scottish borders, Coltherd, with son Sam in the saddle, has two runners on the six-race card and bids to make the trip to north Norfolk as profitable as possible.

Three-pound claimer Sam partners 11-year-old Achill Road Boy in the feature race, the £11,000 Testerton Handicap Chase over more than three-and-a-half miles at 2.20pm.

A runner-up at Hexham earlier this month, Achill Road Boy is one of eight declared for a competition contest in which four of the runners won last time.

Cheque En Blanc sees Niall Houlihan claim seven pounds for trainer Gary Moore on his recent Fontwell winner while Speedy Cargo, Harry Bannister riding for Warren Greatrex, is bidding for a hat-trick after scoring at Plumpton in October and Cartmel in August.

Jack Tudor rides Welsh trainer Christian Williams’ Strictlyadancer, an Exeter winner and a previous Fakenham scorer while Bryony Frost will be trying to push home Sarah Humphrey’s The Happy Chappy, a Plumpton winner a fortnight ago.

The Coltherds are in action earlier in the 1.15pm Racing is Everyone’s Sport Chase when they saddle Graystown, one of two of the field seeking a hat-trick.

Graystown, an eight-year-old gelding, clearly loves Hexham, winning there twice in October. Main rival looks to be Captain Speaking, under Jack Quinlan for Nick Littmoden, the five-year-old winning at Plumpton and Uttoxeter in September.

Thomas Todd, under Patrick Cowley for trainer Laura Morgan, is another with a shout, the 10-year-old recently fourth at Wetherby, but successful at Fakenham last year.

The meeting starts with the 12-runner Pudding Norton Hurdle at 12.45pm in which Dash of Blue, a recent Southwell winner, goes for trainer Ben Pauling. Andapa, for Michael Roberts, a Plumpton runner-up last time, and Ermyn’s Emerald for Pat Phelan, are the key threats, the latter a Huntingdon runner-up a fortnight ago.

A quartet contest the St Andrews Day Maiden Hurdle at 1.50pm featuring the Chris Gordon trained Pasvolsky, making a hurdling debut after winning a Wincanton bumper, while nine go in the 2.50pm Toftrees Juvenile Hurdle headed by Pam Sly’s Grouseman and Paul Nicholls’ Hacker Des Places under Harry Cobden.

The 3.20 finale, the Colkirk Chase, sees Glimpse of Gold under Frost for Humphrey, looking to win again in north Norfolk as he did in October.

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