BULGINS DELIGHTED AS CHAMP SCORES ON THEIR FAVOURITE MARE
Brian Hughes, who on Saturday will be crowned champion jockey, notched his 197th winner of the season on a locally trained mare at Fakenham’s Aldiss Family Raceday in front of a large Easter Monday crowd.
Rapaport, trained near Thetford by Toby Bulgin and owned by his wife Nicola, took the Aldiss Furnishing Stores Handicap Hurdle at 11/2, beating favourite Red Royalist after Equus Millar crashed out at the final flight.
“I bought her as an unbroken three-year-old and I actually rode her to win a point-to-point bumper when I was 56,” said Toby.
“She has a bad back and bad knee and always needs physio; she had some this morning,” he added, after the 10-year-old mare had won for the first time under rules, at her seventh attempt.
The £30,000 feature, the David Keith Memorial Veterans Chase, went to trainer and jockey Katy Price and Ben Poste with 16/1 shot Minellacelebration.
“It’s a 500-mile round trip from our yard west of Hereford,” said Price. “He’s been too high in the weights and we’ve had to run him all winter to get his mark down. I’m so pleased for the owners.”
Minellacelebration put in a faultless display of jumping prompting Poste to say: “He’s been my horse of a lifetime. He was my last winner when I was a conditional jockey so he means a lot to me,” he said.
There was a thrilling finish to the opening Mama J 60th Birthday Celebration Chase when the outsider of the quartet, Royal Plaza, trained by Katie Stephens, held on. Jockey Bryan Carver was in the drive position after the last and got the 9/1 chance home by a short head.
Odds-on favourite Forever William made Hughes work hard in the Bruce Towers & Fisher Mechanical Services Hurdle but even he could not get the gelding home.
The race went to all-the-way leader Moulins Clermont under a terrific ride from Tom Scudamore for trainer Gary Moore, the four-year-old returned at 5/2.
Scudamore went on to complete a double when the Sarah Humphrey trained Glimpse of Gold stormed home at 10/1 in the Cecil and Sheila Buttefant Memorial Hurdle.
It was the 11-year-old gelding’s fourth win at Fakenham and he did it from the front, beating Zamond for an eighth career win from 50 starts.
The Queen’s Cup Hunters’ Chase went to the Dan Skelton trained Not That Fuisse, under Tristran Durrell, returned at 5/4.
The finale, the Mares’ bumper, produced another close finish with the Milton Harris trained Coin Basket under Kevin Jones, beating Pure Theatre by a short head, at 100/30.