30th Jan 2019

Fakenham Racecourse . 31st January race meeting

Fingers crossed Fakenham can beat expected overnight frost

After losing last week’s meeting to the weather, Fakenham will be hoping the same does not happen when Thursday’s six-race card faces a 7am inspection before going ahead.

Chief executive David Hunter announced the 7am inspection in view of the forecast for a cold Wednesday night.

He said: “We had a cold night on Tuesday. We don’t have an encouraging forecast and if the forecast runs through then it will be difficult for us to race.”

Should the meeting go ahead the feature is the 3.50pm Pudding Norton Hurdle in which five go including Neil King’s hat-trick seeking Brandon Castle.

Jeremiah McGrath rides the seven-year-old gelding, a winner at Plumpton over two-miles in December and January. Main rival looks to be Lucy Wadham’s nine-year-old mare Potters Midnight under Jack Quinlan, a last time Lingfield winner and a horse that won at Fakenham last March.

Eskendash under Kielan Woods for Peterborough trainer Pam Sly was third at Huntingdon while the quintet is completed by Neil Mulholland’s My Brother and Atlantic Storm representing Rob Summers.

There is a good field for the 2.50pm Shereford Handicap Chase over three miles with nine taking their chance, including veteran 15-year-old That’s The Deal, under Lee Edwards for John Cornwall. It’s the gelding’s 101 career start, having won nine of 98 chases, his last win at Huntingdon in October 2017.

Tabitha Worsley takes the ride on Holy Street, trained by Laura Morgan and second at Catterick having joined Morgan from Tom Ellis.

The second chase, the finale at 4.20pm, could go to Nick Littmoden’s By Rail under Sean Houlihan. A course and distance winner in December, the gelding has since finished third at Leicester. Edgar, for David Bridgwater, looks the main threat.

Biggest field sees 12 in the 2.15pm Kettlestone Hurdle in which Christian Williams is double-handed with Cottonvale and Uno Mas. The former, under Rex Dingle, was a Ffos Las runner-up a fortnight ago while Uno Mas won at Catterick on January 10.

The opener, the 1.45pm Mares’ Novice Hurdle should go to Stuart Edmunds’ A Little Chaos, a winner over course and distance in December while Olly Murphy will be looking to Chez Hans to score under Norfolk-based Fergus Gregory in the 3.20pm Hempton Novice Hurdle.

Selections: 1.45pm Regarding Ruth, 2.15pm Cottonvale, 2.50pm Holy Street, 3.20pm Chez Hans, 3.50pm Brandon Castle, 4.20pm By Rail.

Words by Terry Redhead 

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David Hunter