16th Oct 2020

Racing Report from 16th October

It was an historic Friday at Fakenham when the first meeting of the 2020/2021 season was held with no members of the public present, due to Covid restrictions.
But that didn’t detract from a successful opening fixture which proved a great day for jockey Aidan Coleman.
Sidelined with a serious injury for three months, Coleman returned to ride for new boss, trainer Olly Murphy, and took the honours in the maiden hurdle on 6/5 favourite Here Comes Johny.
A runner-up at Market Rasen, Here Comes Johny tracked the leaders before storming clear and scoring by 11 lengths from Paul Nicholls’ Switch Hitter.
“What a great ride for a first one back from injury. He is a super jumper and did everything I wanted him to do,” said Coleman.
Impressive winner of the three-mile novice chase was the Stuart Edmunds’ trained Wolf of Windlesham under Ciaran Gethings, the outsider of the four at 11/1.
The gelding was trained as a two-year-old by Barry Hills and has suffered a string of injuries. But he jumped superbly to take the prize.
“It’s a brilliant training performance just to get him on the track. He has lots of class and was superb. I think he will improve for that,” said Gethings.
The feature three-mile chase proved dramatic. Fixed Rate, under Harry Bannister for Charlie Mann, looked like repeating his 2017 Fakenham success only to suffer a dreadful fall at the final fence.
That left long-time leader, 4/1 joint favourite Sir Jack Yeats ahead and, under James Bowen for Richard Spencer, he held on to win by a neck from 2019 Norfolk National winner Hepijeu.
The honour of being the new season’s first winner went to Neil Mulholland’s The Twisler, ridden from the front by Harry Reed. The 11/4 joint favourite beat fellow market leader Skeaping, winner of the race last season, to land the selling hurdle.
Only three went in the mares’ novice chase. Odds-on favourite Bit on the Side led and the order never changed until two out when the James Bowen ridden Jubilympics, trained by Emma Lavelle, took it up to score at 9/4 to complete a double for the rider..
Easiest winner was 4/1 favourite Cary’s Commodity in the handicap hurdle, a first Fakenham success for Jonjo O’Neill. Hat-trick seeking Tayzar fell at the second and Cary’s Commodity then cruised home by 14 lengths.
The finale went to evens favourite Cormier under Danny Cook for Brian Ellison, the gelding following up a recent Uttoxeter success in fine style.
Terry Redhead Racing Pundit

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David Hunter