Declared Runners for the Sky Bet Raceday on Friday 20th October


Racehorse trainer Stuart Edmunds has a superb success rate at Fakenham and looks to add to his winners’ list at the north Norfolk venue’s opening meeting of its 2023/24 National Hunt season on Friday.

Edmunds has had 17 winners from 57 runners at Fakenham and runs last time out winner Arizona Cardinal in the Sky Bet Raceday’s feature contest at 4.53pm.

The Sky Bet Handicap Chase over three miles and worth £30,000 has attracted seven runners and Edmunds’ seven-year-old, with regular jockey Ciaran Gethings booked to ride, is certain to be among the favourites.

Edmunds recently completed a move to a new training set-up, Croft Farm at Stewkley, near Leighton Buzzard, a purpose-built facility for up to 45 horses. Having already sent out one winner from his new yard, the trainer will be hoping Arizona Cardinal, who took a similar race at Uttoxeter in May, can score again.

Among the rivals are last time out winner, Yccs Portocervo, representing Dr Richard Newland who won the race last year with Shetland Bus and in 2021 with Minella Encore. Yccs Portocervo scored at Uttoxeter in June and was third at Fakenham, albeit on the hurdles course, a year ago.

Swapped goes for Charlie and Adam Pogson, the gelding a Southwell runner-up earlier this month after a previous win at the same course while Brief Times has the services of Harry Cobden for trainer Neil Mulholland, the seven-year-old third at Warwick after scoring at Bangor and Southwell.

The Edmunds and Gethings combination have a good chance earlier at 3.08pm in the Opening of Adrian Flux Bar Today Novice Hurdle with Wise Guy. Only five go and Wise Guy, third at Bangor, has a chance along with main rival Western Soldier. The Milton Harris trained rival was third earlier on hurdling debut at Sedgefield nine days ago.

Gavin Sheehan has been in top form earlier this week and he has a great chance of getting the day off to a flyer on Jamie Snowden’s Doc McCoy in the opening 2.33pm Sky Bet Maiden Hurdle. The gelding was second at Wetherby on hurdling debut and faces three rivals, headed by Olly Murphy’s Kilbarry Hill.

Champion jockey Brian Hughes is on Heros De Moutiers in the 3.43pm novice chase but the contest looks to be between Alan King’s Theonlywayiswessex and Gone In Sixty for Alex Hales.

Biggest field sees 11 go in the 4.18pm novice hurdle with Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Awesome Foursome the likely favourite while the 5.25pm finale sees two last time winners in Bashers Reflection, a course and distance scorer and James Owen’s Enthused.