13th Feb 2022

Preview of Runners for Valentines Race Day, Friday 18th February


More than 80 horses have been entered for Valentines Race Day, Friday’s (February 18) seven-race meeting at Fakenham which features the £20,000 Tim Barclay Memorial Handicap Chase over 21 furlongs.

Lucy Wadham, Dan Skelton and Peter Bowen, all with cracking records at the north Norfolk venue, have runners entered in the contest, off at 3.25pm., on anticipated good to soft going.

There are 15 entries for the feature with Bryony Frost booked for Wadham’s Admiral Barratry, a nine-year-old gelding fifth last time at Lingfield following a Fakenham success at the pre-Christmas meeting.

Skelton has entered Go Steady, a Leicester runner-up in January while Bowen makes the trip from his base in Wales to possibly try his luck with Downtown Getaway, a December winner at Ffos Las.

Other entries include Fontwell runner-up Foxboro, with Angus Cheleda booked to ride for trainer Robert Walford, and five-year-old Raffles Gitane, a recent Huntingdon winner from Harry Whittington’s stable.

The earlier chase is the Sculthorpe Novice Chase at 2pm which sees Rostello entered by Dr Richard Newland. The seven-year-old will have to carry a five-pound penalty after winning at the course last week. Among possible rivals are Passing Secrets, Tom Gretton’s gelding second in his last three outings, including when beaten by Rostello at Huntingdon on Boxing Day.

Action starts at 1.15pm with the Holt Selling Hurdle, entries for which include Charlie Pogson’s The Raven’s Return, a recent Market Rasen second, and Olly Murphy’s Hey Bob, a Plumpton winner in December.

The 1.50pm Helhoughton Novice Handicap Hurdle may feature some Fakenham favourites with entries from Newland for Thirtyfourstitches, a Fakenham winner last week and at the January meeting, and Here Comes Henry, a Fakenham winner on New Year’s Day from Stuart Edmunds’ yard.

There are nine entries for the 2.55pm British EBF Novice Hurdle and they include Peejaybee with James Bowen booked to ride for trainer Richard Spencer on a gelding successful at Sandown earlier this month.

The William Bulwer Long Memorial Hunter Chase at 4pm sees 14 entered for the three-miler including the Paul Nicholls trained Shantou Flyer, along with experienced chasers Desire De Joie and grey gelding Midnight Cowboy.

The day ends with the 4.35pm Fakenham Open NH Flat race over two miles for which Murphy has entered his five-year-old gelding Bobby Socks, runner-up on debut at Lingfield in December, with Aidan Coleman booked to ride.

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David Hunter