Trainer Olly Murphy and Norfolk-based jockey Fergus Gregory look set for a big day this afternoon at Fakenham (Tuesday, December 4) as the Stratford-based handler targets more glory at the north Norfolk course.
Gregory, from Thompson near Watton, regularly rides for Murphy and the pair team up with The Geegeez Geegee, a nine-year-old gelding off the course for 13 months, in the day’s feature, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund Handicap Chase over 21 furlongs at 1.10pm.
Gregory claims five pounds which could help the gelding defeat his seven rivals, the pick of whom are Zen Master, under Harry Bannister for Charlie Mann and Native Robin for Nick Schofield and Jeremy Scott.
Zen Master was twice runner-up in May and was fourth at Fontwell on chasing debut last time while Native Robin is a four-time chase winner fourth on a recent seasonal debut at Wincanton.
Gregory and Murphy have Skandiburg in the following 1.40pm novice hurdle, the four-year-old winning a National Hunt bumper at Fakenham earlier this season before finishing third on hurdles debut. Main rival is Peter Bowen’s Bang Bang Rosie, under son Sean, the mare having her first run for the Welsh trainer since leaving the yard of Ireland’s Willie Mullins.
The finale at 3.10pm sees Gregory and Murphy hold a chance with General Bux. The hurdle race features six runners with General Bux returning to the smaller obstacles after falling over fences at Lingfield last time. Chief threat is Peter Middleton’s Dowhatudodobest, the three-mile trip sure to suit after a recent Plumpton fourth.
Murphy legs up seven-pound claimer Callum McKinnes in the opening handicap hurdle at 12.40pm on Todd. The competitive 10-runner field sees Todd look to have Yeats Baby and Demon Fou to beat, the former a winner at Fakenham a fortnight ago and now up seven pounds and the latter a shock 40/1 Taunton winner.
Aidan Coleman has a leading chance in the 2.10pm Fakenham Juvenile Hurdle on Tom Symonds’ Song for Someone. A winner in France, the colt was runner-up at Ludlow on British debut.
The other chase, the 2.40pm Racing Welfare Chase, sees Fergal O’Brien’s Show’s Over, under Paddy Brennan, try to defy a seven-pound penalty for last week’s Sedgefield win when he tackles six rivals headed by recent runner-up Wisecracker.
Words by Terry Redhead.
Selections: 12.40pm Bisoubisou, 1.10pm The Geegeez Geegee, 1.40pm Bang Bang Rosie, 2.10pm Song for Someone, 2.40pm Wisecracker, 3.10pm Dowhatudodobest.