CURRAN EYES UP THE BIG PRIZE AT FAKENHAM WITH DOUKAROV
Sean Curran is one of the ‘smaller’ trainers in the National Hunt racing game with nine winners from 50 career runners in chases.
But Curran, based near Swindon in Wiltshire, who finished sixth as a jockey in the Grand National on Killeshin and also trained a shock winner of the 2008 Scottish Grand National, Iris De Balme, has a major chance of landing the top prize at Fakenham’s Monday meeting.
Curran has booked Lorcan Murtagh to partner Doukarov, a three-times chase winner, in the £12,500 feature at 3.20pm., The Hellesdon Leather and Cloth Furniture Company two-mile chase.
Doukarov, a seven-year-old gelding, was last seen at Newbury on December 29 when finishing third, having won at that Berkshire track a fortnight earlier.
Main rival in the six-runner field is the Lucy Wadham trained Somekindofstar under Jack Quinlan. The nine-year-old was fifth at Warwick on December 31 after having been a Fontwell runner-up earlier that month and has won two of seven chase starts.
Fairway Freddy, under James Davies for Nick Gifford, also has leading hopes, the gelding third at Kempton in November and a career winner of three of 13 chases.
Biggest field of the day on the six-race card is the closing 3.55pm Mares’ Open NH Flat Race in which favourite is the Gavin Sheehan ridden Bounce Back for trainer Archie Watson, the filly runner-up at Wetherby on debut.
Gifford has Missfit under Davies, the grey mare third at Lingfield on debut while Sarah Humphrey runs Valencia Borget under Nick Schofield, the mare a point winner in Ireland in October.
The opening handicap hurdle at 1.10pm could go to the Tom Gretton trained One Last Glance, fourth on Boxing Day at Fontwell while chief rivals looks like Clear The Runway, Tom Bellamy on Laura Morgan’s gelding, fifth at Plumpton last time and now dropping back in trip.
Bryony Frost partners Wadham’s Glutnforpunishment in the 1.40pm novice handicap hurdle, the gelding a Fakenham runner-up pre-Christmas after a year off the track. William Cody for Peterborough-based Pam Sly, looks the main threat.
Six go in the 2.15pm novice chase with Cillin Leonard claiming a useful five pounds off the Dr Richard Newland trained Rostello, the gelding a Boxing Day winner at Huntingdon, his first chase win in 11 starts.
Captain Cuckoo for Mark Gillard, a Chepstow runner-up, and Dubai Guest, David England riding for Olly Murphy on the Huntingdon runner-up, also have claims.
The 2.50pm seven-runner handicap hurdle sees Quinlan riding for Wadham on Tiny Tantrum, runner-up at Fakenham on December 19.