A dozen runners will take their chance when Fakenham’s longest race of the year, worth almost £20,000 to the winner, is the highlight of Tuesday’s Snellings Norfolk National six-race meeting.
The Snellings Norfolk National is over three miles and five furlongs and has attracted a classy field, including last year’s winner, Emerald Rose for trainer Julian Smith. Since winning a year ago however, Emerald Rose has been disappointing.
Likely favourite for the 3.45pm contest is the Christian Williams trained Fifty Shades, a six-year-old grey gelding who won at the course in March over three miles. But he proved his stamina when recently winning over today’s distance at Warwick in April.
Bryony Frost rides the Neil King trained Little Windmill, a Southwell runner-up, while Gamain bids for a hat-trick under Chester Williams, the gelding trained by Mrs Jane Williams. Gamain won at Wincanton in March and April.
Ciaran Gethings is Fakenham’s leading jockey this season, and he hopes to add to his tally on the Stuart Edmunds trained Hepijeu, third at Ludlow, while Tom Scudamore partners Neil Mulholland’s Doing Fine, tenth last time in the Scottish Grand National but now having to carry eight pounds less in the saddle.
Snellings sponsor two other races, while the course also celebrates the achievements of the Canaries by naming the 4.15pm race the Congratulations to Norwich City to the Premier League Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
In the 2.40pm Snellings Handicap Chase. Caroline Bailey’s Global Domination is a course and distance winner and last time won at Market Rasen. Seven rivals include Charlie Deutsch on Sarah Humphrey’s mare, Stonebrigg Legend, twice a winner at Fakenham in March.
The Snellings Maiden Hurdle at 3.10pm features seven including the Nicky Henderson trained Chapparal Prince under Nico de Boinville. Fourth at Ayr last time, the gelding faces six rivals including Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Topofthecotswolds and Dancing Doug. Trained by Phil Kirby, Harrison Beswick takes the ride on the Sedgefield runner-up.
A selling hurdle opens the action at 2.10pm with Norfolk-based Fergus Gregory on the Olly Murphy trained favourite American Tom, a faller last time at Wetherby and looking for compensation. Movie Set from Richard Spencer’s stable and Vancouver, for Neil Mulholland, are also fancied, Vancouver a Taunton winner in February.
Inessa for Richard Newland is fancied for the 4.15pm Congratulations to Norwich City to the Premier League Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, the six-year-old third in a class one race at Cheltenham in April.
The finale is the Turner Trophy Hunter Chase featuring Mr Mix, a grey who unseated Stuart Robinson in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
Words by Terry Redhead.
Selections: 2.10pm Vancouver, 2.40pm Global Domination, 3.10pm Dancing Doug, 3.45pm Hepijeu, 4.15pm Inessa, 4.45pm Mr Mix.