21st Dec 2020

Racing Report from Christmas Race Meeting – 20th December 2020

BRYONY CHEERED HOME AS FAKENHAM WELCOMES BACK AN AUDIENCE

Bryony Frost celebrated the cheers of the crowd when she scooted home on locally owned Martello Sky at Fakenham’s pre-Christmas race meeting on Sunday.

After her only ride of the day, Frost was emotional as the annual members, back on the course for the first time since March, gave her a rousing victory cheer.

“It’s great to have people here. You feel a connection and to hear them cheering is special,” she said, after steering the 11/8 favourite home by three lengths in the Vote Hollie Doyle for Sports Personality of the Year Maiden Hurdle.

Trained by Lucy Wadham and owned by the Sky Partnership, the grey mare made it three wins from three runs at the course. She looked in trouble at one point but proved good enough.

“She’s so sharp and nimble. At the last she measured it, pinged it and did it very well,” added Frost, looking forward to the Boxing Day ride on Frodon in the King George VI Chase.

After the ‘girls’ took the opener, Brodie Hampson kept it going in the British Racing School Handicap Hurdle when the Archie Watson trained grey Juge Et Parti, won by five lengths, at 14/1.

Hampson drove her mount clear around the final bend and raced away to win from Piggy Winkle, on a return to form after disappointing efforts at Fontwell and Cartmel.

The feature, the Sky Sports Handicap Chase, saw Jonjo O’Neill junior take the spoils with recent Bangor winner Maypole Class.

The 4/1 chance was always going best of the seven and he drew clear two furlongs from home for a second chase success.

“He brushed through the last but travelled really well. He can build on this and be a better chaser than he was hurdler,” said the winning jockey.

Jockey Joshua Moore gave up his rides for the day and seven-pound claimer Niall Hoolihan benefited when he steered all the way winner Gorham’s Cave home at 9/2  in the Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and RBL Handicap Hurdle.

The gelding, trained by Gary Moore, led from the off and despite sketchy jumping, won by nine lengths.

Well supported 5/4 favourite Princess Roxy held on to take the Vote Hollie Mares’ Handicap Chase under Harry Bannister for Ben Case after a terrific battle with Miss Gemstone and fast-finishing Episode.

Having won the first two races, the ‘girls’ wrapped up the meeting when Page Fuller scooted home on the Andrew Balding trained Diocletian, last seen on the flat in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, in the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle. The gelding was returned at 100/30 in beating First Soldier and No Anxiety.

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David Hunter