31st Jan 2023

Declared Runners for Thursday 2nd February Race Meeting.


Stratford-based Olly Murphy has recorded almost 450 winners since starting out as a trainer in 2017 and Fakenham has become one of his most profitable courses.

Murphy will be aiming to improve on his 24.5% strike rate at the north Norfolk racecourse on Thursday when he holds excellent chances in at least four of the six scheduled races.

Murphy has notched 39 winners at Fakenham from 159 runners during his career which began after he had spent four years as assistant to Gordon Elliott in Ireland.

Thursday’s opening 1.40pm Little Snoring Conditional Jockeys’ Novice Handicap Hurdle sees Murphy leg up Daire Davis, looking for just his fifth career victory, on likely favourite Secret Trix. The six-year-old gelding won at Fakenham in November before ending 2022 with third place at Uttoxeter.

Main rivals look like Shesupincourt, Caoilin Quinn on Ryan Potter’s three-time runner-up, the last twice at Ffos Las, and the Laura Morgan trained Release The Kracken who unseated his rider on his last visit to the course in November.

Murphy has Sean Bowen on his grey gelding Mexican Boy in the 2.10pm Paddy Power Chase over two miles. Mexican Boy was runner-up at Southwell in November and faces seven rivals including Ben Buie under Sam Twiston-Davies for trainer Martin Keighley and Warren Greatrex’s Catterick second, Line of Descent.

Hopeful of starting the day well, Murphy may well concentrate later on finishing well with good chances in the final two contests. In the 3.50pm novice handicap chase, he legs up Bowen on Auditoria, the mare recently fourth at Hereford. Main rivals are Greatrex’s Bolsover Bill, and Getabuck, trained by Dr Richard Newland.

While David Pipe has the market leader in the closing 4.25pm handicap hurdle in Hereford runner-up Pachacuti, Murphy will be hoping Boreen Boy under Bowen can deliver after a long break since finishing second at Market Rasen and winning at Uttoxeter.

The 2.40pm Coxford Mares’ Handicap Hurdle features eight runners headed by Brianna Rose for Keighley under Bowen. The mare fell at Southwell 220 days ago but had earlier been placed twice at the Nottinghamshire course.

Brandisova for Bryony Frost and trainer Lucy Wadham is sure to be popular while Wymondham trainer Caroline Fryer runs 10-year-old Ratoute Yutty under Lewis Stones, the mare a Huntingdon winner last May.

The 3.15pm Racing TV Maiden Hurdle could go to trainer Nicky Henderson with Treyarnon Bay, the mare fourth of 16 at Huntingdon having earlier scored in a Southwell bumper.

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David Hunter