17th Jan 2022

Report from Monday 17th January Race Meeting


Legendary Welsh trainer Dai Burchell saddled what will probably be the final winner of a 40-year training career when Good Impression landed the opener at Fakenham on Monday.

Burchell, from Ebbw Vale, was on the road for almost four and a half hours to reach a sunny Fakenham and saw Good Impression score cosily under Ben Jones, returned at 4/1 in the novices’ handicap hurdle.

Burchell, who will be 85 in February when he officially retires, was delighted by the success.

“Possibly my last winner I suppose. But he’s got a good attitude and may run again at Uttoxeter … who knows!” he said.

Burchell has trained around 450 winners during his illustrious career, having been honoured with a lifetime achievement award in the sport in 2018.

The £12,500 Hellesdon Leather and Cloth Furniture Company Chase went to jockey Jack Quinlan, fresh from his victory on Saturday in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton.

Quinlan won on 85/40 chance Somekindofstar for Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham. The gelding continued Wadham’s fantastic strike rate at Fakenham, beating Doukarov after a great display of jumping.

“He’s a cracking little horse who jumps like he’s on springs,” said Quinlan.

There was a tremendous finish to the second novices’ hurdle when the Dr Richard Newland trained Thirtyfourstitches got back up in the final strides to win at 9/4.

Having set the pace, Thirtyfourstitches slipped behind Sure Touch and William Cody. But Tom Bellamy got a terrific late burst from the gelding who squeezed home on the inside to take victory by half a length.

Trainer Fergal O’Brien moved nearer a century of winners for the season when 13/8 favourite Ajay’s Way took the novices’ chase under Kielan Wood. It was a 97th success for O’Brien with the bottom weight getting through late on to beat Dubai Guest.

Stuart Edmunds has his Newport Pagnall yard in form and 3/1 chance Midnight Mary landed the three-mile handicap hurdle.

“She’s done well really. She’s a bit of a madam. I got to the front a little early but thankfully she saw it out,” said winning rider Ciaran Gethings, whose mount scored from 50/1 outsider Ratoute Yutty, trained at Wymondham by Caroline Fryer.

The closing mares’ bumper saw Wadham complete yet another Fakenham double when newcomer Mistral Nell scored under Bryony Frost at 11/4, beating favourite Bounce Back by five lengths.

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David Hunter