27th Dec 2021

Preview of Runners for New Year’s Day Race Meeting


The annual New Year’s Day National Hunt meeting at Fakenham features a six-race card spotlighted by the £20,000 Fakenham Racecourse Handicap Hurdle over two-and-a-half miles at 2.30pm.

A total of 16 entries have been received for the class three contest including three last time out winners.

Richard Newland’s Feivel won at Hexham at the start of the month, Oliver Signy’s No Word of a Lie scored at Sedgefield on December 3 and in-form Gary Moore’s Ray’s The One was a Fontwell victor on December 7.

Add to the mix two previous course and distance winners in the shape of Jamie Snowden’s Bucko’s Boy and Neil King’s The Knot is Tied, and the event looks ultra competitive.

Amateur jockeys get their chance to shine in the opener at 12.45pm., the Fakenham Membership is Great Value Chase, over more than three-and-a-half miles.

Welsh trainer Christian Williams has entered both recent Wincanton winner Primal Focus and Powerful Position, a Ffos Las winner before unseating his rider, again at Ffos Las, just a fortnight ago. Williams may not have it all his own way however, as Nigel Twiston-Davies has entered Summit Like Herbie, a Doncaster winner last month.

The 1.20pm maiden hurdle has a 20-strong initial entry which includes Lucy Wadham’s mare Code Name Lise. The six-year-old was odds-on favourite for the opening race at the pre-Christmas Fakenham meeting but was withdrawn at the start on veterinary advice. Also in the mix are Plumpton winner Wells Glory for Suzi Best, Archie Watson’s grey gelding Menin Gate, third at Uttoxeter on hurdling debut, and Tom Symonds’ Hidos De Bersy.

Jony Max, third behind stablemate Uno Mas at the pre-Christmas meeting returns for Williams in the 1.55pm Wells Novice Chase, this time tackling a much shorter trip, although he could have real competition from Snowden’s Representing Bob who has won both of his chases to date, at Bangor and Stratford, before finishing runner-up in a Chepstow hurdle in November.

The Mares’ Chase at 3.05pm sees Williams represented again by Barden Bella, who won over course and distance in May and was second more recently at Ffos Las. Another former Fakenham winner, Leave My Alone, is entered by Richenda Ford, that mare a runner-up at Newton Abbott in October.

The closing 3.40pm Handicap Hurdle sees Wadham’s Terresita a likely runner. The mare was recently fourth at Fontwell after scoring at Fakenham in November on her hurdling debut.

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David Hunter