13th Mar 2024

Declared Runners for the Woodfordes Raceday on Friday 15th March


A hugely competitive Fakenham Silver Cup is the highlight of Woodfordes Race Day at the north Norfolk course on Friday, nine horses going to post less than an hour after the finish of National Hunt racing’s blue riband contest, The Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The £20,000 Silver Cup Handicap Hurdle is a tough race to call with all nine runners having some sort of chance.

Champion jockey Brian Hughes partners Micky Hammond’s Coup De Couer, Alex Edwards rides Pam Sly’s Fransham and Craig Nichol partners Jedd O’Keefe’s Ip Up, three of the leading players.

Coup De Couer won at Sedgefield last month, Fransham was a Kempton runner-up in January and Ip Up has already scored at Fakenham, in November, as well as tasting success at Newcastle.

At the bottom of the weights both Tapley and Whispering Royal hold chances, Elizabeth Gale claims seven pounds off Suzi Best’s Tapley, a Kempton runner-up, while Tom Cannon rides Alan King’s Whispering Royal, a Doncaster scorer in December.

Giant TV screens make sure spectators miss none of the Cheltenham action and swiftly following the 3.30pm Gold Cup, eight go for the 3.45pm Try Woodfordes New Volt IPA Mares’ Hurdle, including Hughes on Donald McCain’s Weigh Anchor. After finishing second at Wetherby in the autumn, the filly underwent a wind operation and she could figure.

Charlie Hammond rides the Stuart Edmunds trained Birdhouse, a winner of a Fakenham bumper last April while former Fakenham winner Crem Fresh goes for trainer Barry Brennan.

Most popular winner would by the Fakenham Racing Club owned Conceroe in the 2.25pm Revel Music at Fakenham Chase. The Ben Case trained gelding won at Fakenham in November 2022 and had a long layoff before returning to finish fourth at the last meeting at the course.

Rostello also takes his chance in the marathon three and a half mile plus contest as does Lucy Wadham’s Éclair De Guye, third in three of his last four races.

Edmunds has the favourite for the 1.10pm opener, the Robert Case Maiden Hurdle with Bluegrass, a recent Huntingdon runner-up although hurdling debutant Juan Bermudez needs noting in the market for Dan Skelton. The horse twice won on the flat when trained by Andrew Balding.

Five contest the 1.45pm Woodfordes Wherry Novice Chase with Hughes on Hammond’s Ballylinch and Brendan Powell riding Neil Mulholland’s Hamartia.

Awesome Foursome for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Sangiovese for Gary Moore look the leading contenders in the 3.05pm Racing TV Hurdle while the 5.05pm finale sees six compete in the Queens Cup Hunters Chase including Skelton’s Firak, a Leicester runner-up last week.

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David Hunter