30th Mar 2024

Declared Runners for the Aldiss Raceday on Easter Monday, 1st April

TOP JOCKEYS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD AT FAKENHAM’S TRADITIONAL EASTER MEETING

Reigning champion jump jockey Brian Hughes and rival Gavin Sheehan both have full books of six rides on the Fakenham Easter Monday Aldiss Raceday card.

Hughes, third in this season’s championship race with 109 winners before the weekend, looks set to lose his crown to current leader Harry Cobden, on 152, or second-placed Sean Bowen, on 137. Sheehan is seeking to clock up 100 winners before the season ends on April 27, currently having recorded 86 victories.

The rivalry between Hughes and Sheehan looks set to dominate the Fakenham card which opens at 1.27pm and features three hurdle races, two chases and a closing ‘bumper’ a National Hunt flat race, at 4.16pm.

While Hughes has the more fancied rides, it could be Sheehan who gets the noisiest welcome home should he win on the Fakenham Racing Club owned Conceroe in the 3.42pm Bruce Towers and Sons Mechanical Engineers Chase over three miles.

Trained by Ben Case, Conceroe, having scored at Fakenham earlier in his career, has been fourth and runner-up in north Norfolk this season. Hughes rides 12-year-old veteran Vetoncall for Alan Jones, the gelding fourth at Chepstow a fortnight ago while Wymondham trainer Caroline Fryer has Cloudy Wednesday under Lewis Stones, the gelding second at Huntingdon last week.

The earlier 2.32pm Aldiss Selling Chase has five runners but includes Sheehan on Gary Moore’s Jerrash, third at Plumpton last time, while Hughes partners the Richard Hobson trained gelding Ingennio, fifth at Huntingdon and now having a second run after a wind operation.

A field of nine starts the day at 1.27pm in the Fisher Electrical Contractors Juvenile Maiden Hurdle. While Sheehan has only an outside chance on Moore’s Alain, Hughes partners Donald McCain’s Camarrate, a recent Kelso runner-up, although Newmarket trainer Michael Wigham runs Three Yorkshiremen, a Musselburgh second in November who has since run three times on the all-weather.

Former Fakenham winner Sawpit Sienna is Hughes’ mount in the 1.57 Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Mares’ Hurdle for trainer Sam Drinkwater while Sheehan rides Hobson’s Bleu Verte. Both may have to miss out though with James Martin riding Glance At Me, looking to go one better than her second at Plumpton in January.

Martin rides Charlie’s Glance in the 3.07pm Aldiss Seniors Hurdle but Hughes and Sheehan could dominate again, the former on Oliver Signy’s Plumpton runner-up Sambezi and Sheehan on Jamie Snowden’s Up for Parol, third at Chepstow in February.

Both could add to the day’s winning tallies in the 4.16pm finale, the Racing TV Mares’ bumper, with Hughes on Harry Fry’s debutant Star Walking and Sheehan on Noel Williams’ newcomer Briery Bee. Dan Skelton also has an interesting debutant in Jazzmina Queen.

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David Hunter