7th May 2024

COBDEN AT THE DOUBLE BUT WHELAN GRABS THE NORFOLK NATIONAL

Youngster Dylan Whelan grabbed the biggest win of his career when taking the Gamble Plant Norfolk National on the Lucy Wadham trained Trincomalee at Fakenham.

Whelan tracked long-time leader Jigginstown King for most of the race and once hitting the front held off a challenge from Harry Cobden on Planned Paradise to win the £25,000 feature by more than five lengths, returned at 3/1.

“It was great, my best winner. I was lucky to get the opportunity from the owners and trainer. He has been running on heavier ground and loved it out there today. He was brilliant,” added Whelan, who admitted dropping his whip on the final bend.

“I got a bit excited with Harry behind me; but we got there,” said Whelan, who was recording the 11th winner of his career.

Recently crowned champion jockey Cobden won’t have an easier winner all season than when taking the Book Your Skips Online Mares’ Maiden Hurdle on the Paul Nicholls trained 10/11 favourite Seeyouinmydreams.

Cobden zipped into an early six-length lead and was never troubled, winning by an impressive 25 lengths. The 50/1 outsider Little Talks produced a sprint finish to steal second spot.

Cobden and Nicholls went on to complete a double when the 5/6 favourite Soir De Gala took the Jarrolds Ladies Day 2 June Hurdle. Always at the front, Cobden held off a challenge from Jolyjump to take the honours. It meant Nicholls won the Fakenham Double Up Bonus to collect an extra £1,000 and a further extra £1,000 for each winning owner.

Jockey Bryan Carver and trainer Alex Hales gained compensation for an earlier fall when winning on Kankin in the Greene King Chase.

There was little between the six runners throughout but after taking the final fence side by side with Noah’s Light, it was left for 100/30 chance Kankin to score by a neck.

Stop The Train fell during that race but after a delay of more than 40 minutes thankfully recovered, leaving the day’s programme behind schedule.

King Otis had made amends for his owners, The One Step Too Far Racing Club, by landing the opening Racing TV Selling Hurdle for trainer James Owen at 3/1.

The gelding fell at the last flight at Fontwell on his last run but found won from Nevendon who blundered at the last. The victory was special for jockey Ciaran O’Shea, who was tasting a first success under rules.

The concluding Jumping for Fun Hunters’ Chase for the Turner Trophy went to 11/10 favourite Trevada under Zak Baker for trainer Francesca Post who beat the only other finisher, Precious Bounty, by 50 lengths.

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David Hunter