THOMAS SURVIVES LAST FENCE BLUNDER TO CLOSE FAKENHAM’S SEASON IN STYLE
Veteran Thomas Todd confirmed his love for Fakenham Racecourse when taking the £16,000 Jarrold Chase on the final day of the track’s 2020/21 season.
The 11-year-old gelding, trained by Laura Morgan, had never finished outside the first three in five runs at the course and under Adam Wedge, the 11/4 chance survived a blunder at the final fence to land the spoils.
“He just loves it here. He seems to be improving with age. I knew we were wrong at the last but he was clever,” said Wedge, whose mount damaged the final obstacle but survived, to hold on from Diligent, by a length.
Nick Schofield gave the Christian Williams trained Joey Steel a fantastic ride to enable the gelding to notch his first victory at the 16th attempt.
Runner-up to stable-mate Barden Bella at the previous Fakenham meeting, Schofield brought the eight-year-old through the field, picking off his nine rivals one-by-one.
He passed leader Etat Major Aulmes after the final fence and drove out the winner to take the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards Chase, at 7/1. The victory was reward for the near six-hour trip from south Wales where Williams trains.
Tommie Beau completed a hat-trick of wins inside a fortnight following successes at Plumpton and Hexham, when landing the opening Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Micheal <correct> Nolan pushed Tommie Beau ahead before the final bend to win again for trainer Seamus Mullins, the gelding returned the 11/8 favourite.
Simon Prout, owner of the winner, was delighted. “I’ve had horses for 25 years and had never had a National Hunt winner until Tommie Beau started his winning streak a fortnight ago,” he said.
Top Beak, at 4/1, under Bryony Frost for trainer Max Young, followed up his success at the previous Fakenham meeting, by landing the Aylsham Show Handicap Hurdle in style, scoring from well-back Mawlood.
Favourite Storm Rising won the Claiming Hurdle at skinny odds of 1/8 but it was hardly plain sailing for Charlie Hammond on board the Dr Richard Newland trained gelding, who had to work hard before seeing off The Three Wizards by six lengths.
Paddy Brennan won on his only ride of the day, the Fergal O’Brien trained grey, Castel Gandolfo, taking a handicap hurdle at 13/8 before the seasonal finale, another handicap hurdle, went to the Ed Giles trainer Roar, under David Bass, returned at 7/1.