27th Dec 2022

New Year’s Day Race Meeting 5 Day entries

Fakenham racecourse’s annual Gamble Plant Norfolk New Year’s Day National Hunt fixture marks a new record come 2023 with the six-race card worth a total of £100,000 in prize money.
The north Norfolk course’s richest day of racing is sure to attract a bumper bank holiday crowd eager to make up for the loss of the pre-Christmas meeting to the weather.
“It was a great shame to lose the December meeting due to frost, but this New Year’s Day meeting looks set to be a cracker with over 120 horses entered. It is the first race meeting to have Fakenham’s new Double Up Bonus Scheme which means if a trainer has two or more winners at the meeting the winning owners of each horse will get a £1,000 bonus as will the winning trainer. It will also be the first day that the New Long Bar will be open and pouring pints!” said David Hunter, Fakenham’s chief executive and clerk of the course.
The £35,000 feature race, the Gamble Plant Norfolk Ltd Grand Prix Handicap Hurdle, worth £18,000 to the winner, has attracted 45 initial entries.
Set to go off at 2.55pm there are many previous winners in the entry list including champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ Hugos New Horse, bidding for a hat-trick after victories at Sandown and Wincanton.
Henry Daly’s Blenkinsop has won his last three starts while Ilanz, representing Milton Harris, has won his last two, at Taunton and Market Rasen.
Other last time out winners in the entry list include Nicky Henderson’s Rathmacknee, Nicholls’ Irish Hill, Michael Scudamore’s I Am Gonna Be, Mark Walford’s Johnson’s Blue, Olly Murphy’s Made For You, Gary Moore’s Warranty, Richard Newland’s Thirtyfourstitches and Neil King’s The Knot Is Tied.
Half an hour earlier the £20,000 Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle attracted 25 entries including the Fakenham Racing Club owned Allo Allo, trained by Stuart Edmunds and a previous course winner. Edmunds also has Doireannn in the entries, the mare second over course and distance in November behind Murphy’s Secret Trix, who also holds an entry.
Edmunds has Huntingdon winner Lord Sparky entered in the opening 12.35pm Racing TV Marathon Amateur Jockeys’ Chase in which Sara Humphrey has Le Tuer, runner-up at the track in November.
Milton Harris has two in the 1.10pm maiden hurdle with Copshill Lad, off the course for 229 days after winning at Stratford in May, and Balgowan, runner-up recently at both Southwell and Ludlow.
Olly Murphy’s Colemanstown Lad looks interesting in the 1.45pm R Q Capital Novice Chase, the gelding a recent Southwell runner-up while also amongst the 13 entries is Sam England’s Elleon, runner-up at Sedgefield at the start of December.
The closing 3.30pm Mares’ Chase sees the reappearance of Henry Oliver’s nine-year-old Jessie Lightfoot, successful at Southwell three weeks ago.

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David Hunter