31st Dec 2023

Declared Runners for the Gamble Plant Norfolk Ltd Raceday, Tuesday 2nd January

LENGTHY TRIP IN PROSPECT AS SCOTTISH WINNER SEEKS TOP PRIZE AT FAKENHAM

El Jefe, a seven-year-old gelding, will make the 680-mile round trip from Carluke in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in a bid to land the £30,000 feature at Fakenham Racecourse’s New Year meeting on Tuesday.

Trained by Andrew Hamilton, El Jefe, with Conor Rabbitt booked to ride, will be hoping to make it four wins in succession in the 3pm Gamble Plant Norfolk Grand Prix Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles.

El Jefe won at Haydock on December 23 to complete a hat-trick of victories after scoring at Sedgefield twice in November.

The horse has won four of 30 starts with Rabbitt on 15 winners for the season and Hamilton with three wins this campaign from 24 runners, all courtesy of El Jefe.

He faces five rivals in the feature on the seven-race card, including Out Of Focus and Haafapiece. The former, with Adam Wedge riding for Evan Williams, is a grey gelding recently third at Wincanton. Haafapiece, trained by Pam Sly with Paul O’Brien in the saddle, is having his sixth Fakenham test, having won in north Norfolk back on New Year’s Day in 2020.

The action begins at 12.30pm with the Happy New Year from Gamble Plant Amateur Jockeys’ Chase over three miles and five furlongs with Williams having the favourite in Jessie Lightfoot, a mare ridden by Imogen Mathias. Doyens De Ante and Fakenham regular Le Tuer look the main rivals.

The usual combination of trainer Stuart Edmunds and jockey Ciaran Gethings have the market leader in the 1pm Book Your Skip Online @Fakenhamskips.co.uk maiden hurdle with Wise Guy, unfortunate to slip up at the track in November and since undergoing wind surgery.

Trainer David Pipe is no stranger to success at Fakenham and his Ya Know Yaseff under Jack Tudor could take the 1.30pm Fakenham Double Up Bonus Is Back Mares’ Chase although Olly Murphy’s Auditoria and Ben Case’s My Girl Lollipop look top rivals.

Six go in the 2pm Fakenham Racecourse Mares’ Novice Hurdle with Dave Roberts’ Stamina Chope and Neil King’s Little Talks, an 80/1 third at Fakenham’s pre-Christmas meeting, the key threats to market leader Lady Salvador, a recent Fontwell second for Jim and Suzi Best.

Lilly Pinchin will be hoping her successful run at the course continues in the 2.30pm Cool Roxy – The Fakenham Favourite Novice Chase when she partners November course and distance winner My Gift To You for James Owen while the closing 3.30pm Racing Again on January 21 Hurdle looks good for Bryony Frost and trainer Lucy Wadham with For Gina, the mare looking to follow up her November course and distance success.

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David Hunter