3rd Jan 2021

Preview of Monday 4th January Race Meeting


A total of 69 runners have been declared for Monday’s seven-race card at Fakenham, headed by Paricolor for trainer David Pipe in the feature, the £14,000 plus Fakenham Racecourse Handicap Hurdle at 1.25pm.

Pipe, who trains on the Devon/Somerset border, is a successful raider at Fakenham and pins his hopes on the five-year-old gelding who has been in tremendous form, winning his last three starts, two at Leicester in November and more recently at Taunton. Fergus Gillard claims a useful five pounds in the saddle.

Among Paricolor’s seven rivals are the Sam Thomas trained Not A Role Model, under Jordan Nailor, a last time winner at Wincanton, and Alan King’s Group Stage, under Adrian Heskin, recently third at Doncaster.

Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham can never be underestimated at the north Norfolk track and she runs Shantung under King George winning jockey Bryony Frost.

A field of 14 go in the 12.25pm opening Thorpland Maiden Hurdle including Olly Murphy’s Ripper Roo under Aidan Coleman. Ripper Roo won a point-to-point before joining Murphy’s yard, his only start since ending with second place in a Southwell bumper.

Rivals include Sopat from Phil Middleton’s yard, the subject of huge support at the last meeting before finishing a disappointing eighth.

Murphy has two in the 12.55pm Wells Handicap Chase, Fresh New Dawn under amateur Luke Scott and three-pound claimer Fergus Gregory on Zee Man. Likely favourite is the Evan Williams trained Sabbathical under Adam Wedge.

The Gary Moore trained Episode aims to go one better in the 1.55pm Mares’ Chase. At the Christmas meeting, Episode was pipped by Princess Roxy over course and distance and now faces 10 rivals, headed by Tipituptonancy under Alan Johns for Tim Vaughan, a recent Huntingdon fourth.

Cristal Spirit looks a likely favourite for the 12-runner three-mile Happy New Year Hurdle at 2.25pm. Sean Houlihan rides for Jim Boyle on a gelding who was a Fontwell winner last month. Main rival could be Gang Welfare under Ben Jones for Alexandra Dunn.

Conditional and amateur riders get their chance in a marathon handicap chase at 2.55pm in which 13-year-old Love Thy Leader goes under Mitch Bastyan for Johnny Farrelly while the day closes with the 3.25pm finale, a bumper.

Favourite will be Richard Johnson’s mount The Wrekin, having a first start for Henry Daly, having won a Maisemore Park point-to-point in October for Melanie Rowley.

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David Hunter