Seven-pound claimer Jordan Nailor grabbed the biggest win of his career when 11/10 favourite Hammersly Lake won the £30,000 David Keith Memorial Veterans’ Handicap Chase on a sun-drenched Aldiss Easter Monday Raceday at Fakenham.
Only three runners took their chance and when Exitas hit the fence in front of the stands, despite Tabitha Worsley’s brilliant recovery, his chance had gone. That left the way clear for Hammersly Lake, trained by Charlie Longsdon, to romp home.
“He’s an amazing horse, a privilege to ride him. He jumped fantastically and that is certainly my best winner and one for me to remember,” said the winning rider.
Brodie Hampson was all smiles after landing the Aldiss Furnishing Stores Hurdle on all the way winner Bazarov, returned at 4/1, trained by Archie Watson.
The ultra-consistent Bazarov was challenged late on by Acertain Circus but that rival was outjumped at the final flight, allowing Bazarov to score.
“I decided to go a good gallop. I knew he would stay and thankfully no one got to him. He heard the second getting close and picked up again and did it so well,” said the winning rider.
“He’s very good and such a lot of fun for us,” said Watson, for whom the horse was a first winner over jumps, to supplement his terrific start to the flat season.
There was a terrific finish to the Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Handicap Hurdle when Sid Hoodie held on to win from Working Class and Ravenous.
Those three pulled clear of their seven rivals and it was left to the Charlie Mann trained and Harry Bannister has ridden five-year-old mare to take the prize, half a length clear of Working Class and favourite Ravenous, separated by a short head.
The 5/1 chance had been up with the leaders throughout and the daughter of Rip Van Winkle duly collected to improve of her previous fourth at Warwick, in front on her local owner, Dominic Christian from Great Witchingham, who was present to see her run for the first time.
The opener gave jockey Ciaran Gethings the lead in the race to be the course’s top rider of the season when he took the En Suiter Novices’ Hurdle on the Stuart Edmunds trained Red Royalist.
The eventual winner and Zoffany Bay led throughout and when Zoffany Bay lost touch, it was left for 6/4 favourite Red Royalist to hold off the late challenge of Sudden Destination to land the spoils, giving Gethings his sixth course winner of the campaign.
Favourite backers would have raised a glass to 18-year-old Charlie Todd after the Ryan Potter trained Llancillo Lord landed the Hunter Chase for the Robert Hoare Memorial Trophy.
Todd was hampered at the open ditch on the first of three circuits but somehow kept the partnership together and recovered well to score at 1/2 in a three-runner field, to follow up the amateur jockey’s success at Plumpton the previous day.
Sopat, under Kielan Woods and trained by Phil Middleton, took the bumper in fine style, racing clear of newcomer Dancing Doris to triumph at 4/1.
The finale was a match for The Queen’s Cup, the Hunter Chase going to outsider Silvergrove, at 100/30, ridden by Alex Chadwick and trained by James Owen, who defeated 1/4 favourite Sir Jack Yeats.
It was an incredible day of racing and you can find some images from the day below. Please feel free to share them with your friends and family.
Photos by Leaderboard Photography.
NEXT MEETING – SNELLINGS NORFOLK NATIONAL on TUESDAY 7TH MAY