OLD RIVALS BACK IN ACTION FOR FAKENHAM’S NATIONAL RICHES
The winner and runner-up of Fakenham’s Testerton Chase in November renew their rivalry on Tuesday when they compete in the 14-runner £21,400 Snellings Norfolk National over 29 furlongs.
Back in November on soft ground, Friends Don’t Ask, for trainer Martin Smith, won over the same distance, five lengths ahead of Strictlyadancer, trained in Wales by Christian Williams.
Strictlyadancer, under Jack Tudor, is half a stone better off for the ‘National’, at 4.25pm and worth almost £11,000 to the winner, than his chief rival, to be ridden by Nick Schofield.
While that pair have claims, four other last time out winners are also in the line-up. James Bowen rides Game Line, also trained in Wales, by his father, Peter, a recent Newton Abbott scorer, while bottom weight High Counsel goes for Alexander Thorne and trainer Gary Hanmer, after a victory at Warwick.
Robin of Sherwood is another recent Warwick winner and goes under Sean Bowen for David Rees while Magic River, trained by Milton Harris with Mitch Bastyan booked, scored at Wincanton a fortnight ago.
The six-race card sees Norfolk-based Snelllings sponsor two other contents. Eleven are declared for the 3.55pm Snellings Novice Handicap Hurdle in which likely favourite will be Mr Yeats, the recent Taunton third, going for that same Harris and Bastyan combination associated with Magic River.
Top Beak, a Catterick winner in March, from Max Young’s stable, and Say Nothing, not seen since the turn of the year from Alex Hales’ yard, look the dangers.
The 3.20pm Snellings Maiden Hurdle has attracted six with Adam Wedge riding likely market leader, Tossapenny, for Evan Williams, the gelding third at Hereford in February. Main rival could be Neil King’s Dancing Doris under Jack Quinlan, the mare having been a Fakenham runner-up in March.
The card starts at 2.10pm with the four-runner Selling Hurdle which should go to Gary Moore’s Ar Mest, under the trainer’s son Jamie, the gelding a Fontwell second in March.
The following 2.45pm Handicap Chase has a competitive field of 10 featuring Page Fuller on Paul Webber’s Eurkash, Christian Williams’ Barden Bella, a Fakenham faller in January, and Etat Major Aulmes, a recent Fontwell runner-up.
The closing Turner Trophy Hunter Chase should go to recent High Easter point winner Tullys Touch under Jack Andrews, the main rival being Laser Beam, fifth in that race, under Alice Stevens for trainer Ruth Pennock.