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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.