Imperial Aura produced an immaculate display of jumping on chase debut to finish alone in Fakenham’s feature race of its six-race card on Tuesday.
The £16,000 Weatherby Beginners’ Chase over three miles saw trainer Kim Bailey’s six-year-old cruise home after his two rivals unseated the rider and pulled up respectively.
Imperial Aura, third in the Chepstow Silver Trophy Hurdle last time, took well to the bigger obstacles and pleasing connections, returned at the remarkable odds of 1/25.
“He is a lovely horse. He jumped brilliantly and is natural. The form of the Silver Trophy is good and we have always thought a lot of him. He is a natural chaser and that’s why we have wasted no time in switching him to fences. I know it was a small field but he did it so well,” said winning jockey David Bass.
There was a royal winner in the Mares’ Chase when Chequered View, under Patrick Cowley, scored for owner The Princess Royal, and trainer Martin Keighley.
The 13/8 chance was clear with half a mile to go in the three-mile chase and easily made it two wins from two at the track, stepping up after finishing runner-up at Hereford a month ago.
Carnspindle got up for second in the four-runner contest in which Bridget Andrews was thankfully unhurt after a crashing fall on Ratoute Yutty on the second circuit.
The third chase of the day saw top weight Paddy’s Poem triumph in a high-tempo two-miler, winning at 6/1 under James Davies for the in-form Nick Gifford stable.
Favourite Master Vintage was looking to complete a hat-trick but when he faded it was left for the winner to hold off the determined challenge of Defi Sacre to take the spoils.
The Olly Murphy trained gelding Todd reserves his best efforts for Fakenham and he won for the third time at the course when landing the opening selling hurdle under Callum McKinnes.
A runner-up at the previous Fakenham meeting, 2/1 chance Todd took it up two flights out and comfortably held off the favourite, another former course winner, Skeaping, by three lengths to earn McKinnes his first victory at the track.
Fergus Gillard made his Fakenham debut a winning one when landing the Four Tenners Amateur Rider’s Handicap Hurdle on the David Pipe trained evens favourite Paricolor.
Making his handicap debut, the three-year-old fell when running well at Wincanton recently and despite some sloppy early jumping, won by nine lengths from top weight Eva’s Diva.
There was last-flight drama in the finale when favourite Viking Ruby unseated Harry Reed as he challenged eventual winner Perfect Moment. Perfect Moment had led for most of the three-mile trip under Tom O’Brien for trainer Michael Roberts, returned at 9/2.