16th Oct 2019

Norfolk National winner returns as Fakenham aims for a flying start to the season

Fakenham Racecourse will get its new National Hunt racing season off to a flying start on Friday (October 18) with the Sky Sports Racing Day which is supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Earlier this year, the EAAA Anglia One crew from Norwich was called out to Fakenham Racecourse when a racegoer collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest.

A paramedic performed CPR within seconds and the man received immediate care from the racecourse medics before being flown to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by the EAAA. Happily, the racegoer went on to make a full recovery.

For Friday’s meeting, £5 will be donated to the EAAA, from every advance ticket bought online before midday on Thursday.

David Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Fakenham Racecourse, said: “Fakenham is proud to be supporting the EAAA, along with Sky Sports Racing. The work of the air ambulance is vital to the region. Norfolk has many people working and pursuing leisure activities in isolated places and if something goes wrong it is the intervention of the air ambulance that makes all the difference. Fakenham Racecourse has sponsored a mission for the air ambulance for £3,500 and I implore all Norfolk businesses to do the same.”

The six-race card on Friday opens at 1.55pm and two quality chases at 3pm and 4.05pm are the day’s highlights.

In the 4.05pm Breeders Cup on Sky Sports Racing Chase, trainer Stuart Edmunds returns with Fakenham favourite Hepijeu. The eight-year-old gelding won the Jarrold Ladies Day Chase at the track in June having secured victory in the Snellings Norfolk National at the course a month earlier.

Hepijeu has already had a seasonal pipe-opener, finishing runner-up at Sedgefield a month ago, in readiness for a crack at Friday’s £16,500 contest.

At 3pm, the Sky Sports Racing Novice Chase had attracted seven entries topped by trainer Olly Murphy’s Angel of Harlem for whom jockey Aidan Coleman is booked. The six-year-old mare won at Uttoxeter a month ago.

The racecourse has a new partnership with locals Rajan and Rita Verma who will run a new restaurant on race days that offers cuisine from the Punjab region of India. The new Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant, overlooking the parade ring, replaces Weston’s Seafood Restaurant, its owner Willie Weston having decided to semi-retire.

Words by Terry Redhead

Book your advance tickets online before 12pm on Thursday, 17th October! 


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David Hunter