15th Oct 2021

Report from Fridays Sky Sports Raceday


Birthday boy Sam Twiston-Davies celebrated with one of his most dramatic winners when landing the feature at Fakenham’s opening meeting of the 2021/22 season.

Twiston-Davies was on Minella Encore in the three-mile chase. The 7/4 chance jumped the open ditch, two fences from home, alongside rival Larry.

As they rounded the last bend, they were met head-on by Canyon City who had fallen earlier.

The loose horse brought down Larry while Twiston-Davies had to steer around it and straighten up his mount, trained by Dr Richard Newland, to jump the final fence and race home.

“I winged the ditch. I saw the loose horse and had to make a split-second decision about which route to take. Luckily for me it worked out,” said the 29-year-old winning rider.

“I’m pleased the horse won, he’s genuine and incredibly honest,” added Twiston-Davies.

The promise shown by Italian Spirit when he was fourth at Newbury, was realised when the 8/13 favourite romped home in the opening maiden hurdle.

The Olly Murphy trained gelding raced upsides the leaders rounding the final bend before surging clear and stretching out to score by 11 lengths under Aidan Coleman, with Loved Out runner-up.

“He’s a grand horse and hopefully he will keep on progressing,” said Murphy, who has a 22% success rate with his runners at the track.

Murphy almost made it a quick double in the novice hurdle. Jockey Coleman, riding  filly Auditoria, took it up rounding the final bend and went clear of the 2/7 favourite Howdyalikemenow.

But at the last flight, while Auditoria fumbled her way over, a good leap by Howdyalikemenow sealed a narrow success for Adam Wedge and trainer Evan Williams.

However, half an hour later Murphy and Coleman did have their double when Eaglehill, at 7/4, gained from a fall by chasing debutant Go Millie Go at the open ditch, two from the finish. Eaglehill was always in contention in the novice chase and collected with Lord Schnapps second in the three-runner field.

Jamie Moore produced recent Fontwell winner Jumping Cats at the right moment to take the novice hurdle for his father, trainer Gary.

The 7/2 chance kept a close watch on favourite Midnight Jewel, winner of three of his last four races, and pounced to score by almost seven lengths.

The finale, a handicap hurdle went to Daryl Jacob on board the Neil King trained The Knot is Tied, who broke away from his five rivals half a mile out and won easily, at 6/1.

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David Hunter