DEVON-BASED DILIGENT LOOKS TO CREAM OFF FAKENHAM’S TOP PRIZE AT SEASONAL FINALE
The curtain falls on Fakenham Racecourse’s 2020/21 season with a seven-race card on Sunday featuring the 4.10pm £16,000 Jarrold Chase which has attracted eight runners.
There will be a different feel at the course on Sunday as, following the easing of restrictions earlier this week, some annual members will be present, provided they have pre-registered their intent to attend.
There will also be hospitality diners at the course, dining places already fully booked earlier this week.
All eyes will be on eight-year-old gelding Diligent, favourite for the Jarrold Chase, over two miles and five furlongs. Trainer Nigel Hawke, based at Tiverton in Devon, makes the trek to Norfolk with David Noonan booked to ride a horse that has won at Plumpton twice, Newcastle and Fontwell on his last four appearances.
Main rivals are Monty’s Award and Thomas Todd. Page Fuller rides Monty’s Award, a Market Rasen winner for Andy Irvine while Thomas Todd, an 11-year-old gelding trained by Laura Morgan, won at Perth a month ago and goes under Adam Wedge.
The other chase on the six-race card is the 3.05pm 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (for the Prince of Wales Cup) Handicap Chase.
Christian Williams had Barden Bella win with stable-mate Joey Steel runner-up at the last Fakenham meeting and both are among the 13 runners, the former with Jack Tudor booked to ride and Joey Steel under Nick Schofield.
The Alex Hales trained Jimmi Chew, a Huntingdon winner, and Etat Major Aulmes, a Fontwell runner-up for Oliver Signy, also hold chances.
Hales has Say Nothing in the 1.55pm opening novice hurdle, the horse third at Fakenham’s last meeting although Tommie Beau will be bidding for a hat-trick after scoring at Hexham on Tuesday for trainer Seamus Mullins.
Top Beak, a Fakenham winner last time, trained by Max Young, runs in the 2.30pm Aylsham Show 30 August Hurdle under Bryony Frost with main rival Shortcross Storm.
Five go in the 3.40pm Fakenham Claiming Hurdle in which The Three Wizards, under Fergus Gregory for Jake Thomas Coulson, looks to better his recent Stratford third.
The 4.45pm maiden hurdle sees Neil King’s Dancing Doris, runner-up at the last Fakenham meeting try again although Castel Gandolfo will be favourite under Paddy Brennan.
The 5.20pm finale, sees Caroline Bailey’s Begin The Luck, under Robbie Dunne, go for a hat-trick after wins at Southwell in April and May.