3rd May 2022

Report from Snellings Norfolk National Raceday


A brilliant renewal of the Snellings Norfolk National saw 9/2 chance Tommie Beau clear the last of the 22 fences and storm home to take the £25,000 Fakenham feature.

Jockey Micheal (CORRECT) Nolan was patient on the Seamus Mullins trained gelding, twice before a winner at Fakenham.

He steadily improved his position and at the final fence, after more than three and a half miles, jumped between rivals to win from Red Happy and Havana Hermano.

“I tried to save ground on the inside but found trouble in running. He’s a big horse but seems to love it here,” said Nolan.

There were joyous scenes in the winners’ enclosure as owners Simon and Christine Prout collected their trophy to a chorus from ‘Tommy Beau’ from friends.

It was no surprise to see 11/8 favourite Watashock take the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle under former champion jockey Harry Skelton for trainer, brother Dan.

On handicap debut, the five-year-old was ridden patiently before storming clear of pacesetter Cloudy Wednesday trained at Wymondham by Caroline Fryer.

Rathmacknee, slightly disappointing previously, produced a superb performance under Nico de Boinville to take the Snellings Maiden Hurdle.

The Nicky Henderson trained six-year-old recently underwent a wind op and led all the way to win by 33 lengths at 6/5, beating favourite High Tech.

“He gave me a lovely spin. He loved the track. The wind op helped but he really ran well. He loved the good going and the course was excellent as it always is at Fakenham where they do such a great job,” said the winning jockey.

Back in January Ajay’s Way won at Fakenham, beating Dubai Guest. In the Racing TV Profits Handicap Chase, that scenario was repeated with Kielan Woods scoring on trainer Fergal O’Brien’s gelding.

But that only told half the story in a dramatic race which saw two runners pull up, Elkstone fall and Micheal Nolan unseated on Lakeside Lad.

That left Ajay’s Way to race home by 12 lengths to reward punters at 6/1, beating Dubai Guest and Brooksway Fair.

Hey Bob got the day’s action under way when he led from start to finish to land the Racing TV Proud to Welcome Fakenham Selling Handicap Hurdle under Lewis Stones for trainer Olly Murphy.

The recent Sedgefield winner was pressed by Balleticon and Bagan but responded and romped clear after the final flight to score by nine lengths, returned at 100/30.

The finale, the Turner Trophy Hunter Chase, went to 11/8 favourite Normofthenorth under Izzie Marshall for trainer Alan Hill, helped by a mistake at the last by runner-up Socialiser.

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David Hunter