22nd Nov 2023

Report from Greene King Race Day, Tuesday, 21st November


Lilly Pinchin, who managed a double at Fakenham’s previous meeting, rode arguably the most important winner of her career on Tuesday.

Riding the James Owen trained 7/4 favourite My Gift To You, Pinchin won the Weatherbys Hamilton Novice Chase to register her 75th career winner, meaning she is now a full-fledged professional who can no longer claim a weight allowance.

“I’ve been waiting so long for this moment; dreaming about it. I’ve been so lucky and had so much support from trainers, friends and family. After not winning on two earlier fancied rides I wondered if it was going to be my day,” said an emotional 24-year-old Pinchin, who began her career at Fergal O’Brien’s stable.

The Gloucestershire-based rider, who has a pet turkey called Trev, had her first winner under rules in May 2017. Tuesday’s victory was her 14th this season.

Northern-based jockey Craig Nicol had his first Fakenham winner when the Jedd O’Keefe trained Ip Up won the Greene King Flint Eye Mares’ Hurdle. Always up with the leaders, Ip Up, third at Ayr a fortnight ago, went ahead before the final flight and galloped clear to score at 8/1.

Bryony Frost was all smiles after taking the Greene King Level Head Hurdle on the consistent mare For Gina, trained by Lucy Wadham.

The 6/4 favourite tracked leader Redbridge Rosie and when Boleyn Boy fell it was left for For Gina to take it up before the final flight to surge clear for a second victory in three runs.

“She is very tough and game,” said a delighted Frost, as she acknowledged the cheers around the winners’ enclosure.

After his first success for a year at Fakenham’s previous meeting, Ellis Collier followed up with a fine victory in the Save Our Sport Conditional Jockeys’ Chase on Call of the Loon. The 12-year-old veteran, trained in Wales by Christian Williams, rolled back the years to get home at 5/2.

“I rode him the way Christian told me to. If you listen to Christian you don’t go far wrong,” said Collier, who travelled down with the horse the previous day.

Sarah Humphrey trained 10-year-old Templier to take the Weatherbys Handicap Chase under James Best at 17/2. The heavy-ground loving winner took it up before the final fence to notch up a seventh victory in 58 career starts.

Despite showing little on debut at Ludlow, Virginia Lodge improved to land the Greene King Ice Breaker Fillies’ Hurdle under Fergus Gillard. Trained by Dan Skelton, the three-year-old filly won at 9/1.

Three contested the closing newcomers’ ‘bumper’ which went to Tramuntana, a first bumper winner of the season for trainer Olly Murphy, ridden by Fergus Gregory and returned the 5/6 favourite.

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David Hunter