Fakenham racecourse, basking in the glory of retaining the Racehorse Owners’ Association Gold Standard Award this week, stages its third meeting of the National Hunt season on Tuesday (November 19) with a six-race card featuring three chases.
David Hunter, the Clerk and Chief Executive of Fakenham Racecourse, said: “We are delighted and proud to have retained the award once again. Credit goes to the entire racecourse team who have worked very hard to make our owners and trainers experience an enjoyable one. This is a very important customer group, therefore it is essential to ensure we continue to strive for excellence and make further improvements.”
The feature race is the 2.40pm Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase over three miles. Top trainer Nicky Henderson has a superb strike rate at the north Norfolk course and has entered Pym, a runner-up when making a chasing debut at Huntingdon earlier this month.
Dan Skelton has two entries in New Quay and Supremely Lucky. The latter was the runner-up of chase debut at Worcester recently while New Quay will be making a chasing debut in a first run since finishing third over hurdles at Market Rasen in April.
Half an hour later the Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase has 10 entries, including Richard Phillips’ Master Vintage, seeking a hat-trick after successes at Huntingdon and Market Rasen. Thomas Todd, from Laura Morgan’s stable, a course and distance winner just three weeks ago is also entered.
Earlier, at 1.40pm the Weatherbys Racing Bank Mares Chase has six entries, including Chequered View from Martin Keighley’s stable, the horse stepping up in trip after a runners-up spot at Hereford and a Worcester success.
The first race of the day is the selling hurdle at 1.10pm for which 11 are entered, including Phil Middleton’s Skeaping, a winner at Fakenham on the course’s opening day of the season. After that October 18 win, Skeaping won again the following day, at Stratford.
Amateur riders get the chance to shine at 2.10pm in the Four Tenners Novice Handicap Hurdle and the 11 entries include Donald McCain’s Two Blondes, runner-up at Fakenham’s last meeting on October 30.
The finale, at 3.40pm, is the Sculthorpe Mares Handicap Hurdle over three miles for which nine have been entered, including Neil Mulholland’s Viking Ruby, a Taunton winner at the end of October.
Words by Terry Redhead