BONANZA TIME FOR THE BOWENS AS GAME LINE LANDS THE NATIONAL
Game Line, trained in Wales by Peter Bowen, and ridden by his younger son James, scooped the £21,000 Snellings Norfolk National over more than three-and-a-half miles at a wet, windy and cold Fakenham.
The unseasonal weather couldn’t dampen the Bowens’ delight as their seven-year-old, returned at 4/1, dominated the 13-runner field in one of Fakenham’s most valuable contests of the season.
Always in the leading quartet, Game Line got home by almost eight lengths from Flying Verse and Friends Don’t Ask.
“He’s won very easily. He travelled well and jumped well. I went for home a little early but he is a true stayer and the early pace wasn’t that strong so I wanted to get the others under pressure,” said Bowen.
“I told dad that the tight track at Fakenham might not suit him. He said the prize money suited him … so we had to go for it!” he added.
Since getting the horse from fellow Wales-based trainer Christian Williams, he has not been outside the first three.
Like the Bowens, Christian Williams is a regular Fakenham visitor and he dominated the earlier chase with his two runners taking first and second places.
Barden Bella, a faller at the course in January, won at 5/1, holding off stable-mate Joey Steele by a length.
The successful mare had been runner-up last time at Hereford and she was well ridden by Jack Tudor, winning well despite clouting the first fence on the final circuit.
Trainer Maxwell Young had the third winner of his career when Top Beak took the Snellings Novices’ Handicap Hurdle under seven-pound claimer Jason Dixon.
Dixon ushered the eight-year-old to the front before the last and the 9/2 chance held on from Crem Fresh, who like the winner had travelled well throughout.
Bucko’s Boy, who failed to complete the course in his previous two starts, produced a fluent performance under Page Fuller to land the Snellings Maiden Hurdle for trainer Jamie Snowden.
Bucko’s Boy led from the start and cruised home in style, returned at 11/2.
Favourite Ar Mest scored a facile victory in the opening selling handicap hurdle under Jamie Moore for his trainer father, Gary.
Returned at 11/8, Ar Mest took it up two flights out and scored by 10 lengths and was subsequently sold for £9,800.
The closing Turner Trophy Hunters’ Chase went to Jack Andrews on board 8/11 favourite Tully’s Touch, trained by John Ibbott.