16th Dec 2020

Sunday, 20th December – Christmas Meeting Race Preview


A limited number of annual members will be allowed to attend Fakenham racecourse’s six-race fixture on Sunday (December 20).

Since the start of the 2020/21 National Hunt season, no members of the public have been allowed at the north Norfolk venue due to Covid restrictions.

“We welcome a limited number of the public to Sunday’s meeting which will be entirely made up of annual members.

“These very loyal racegoers have paid their membership for the year and have not been able to come racing since March 16, so it is only right that they have first priority.

“Whilst current ‘zoning’ restrictions are in place, it would be impossible for Fakenham to welcome the public onto other parts of the course as the facilities and buildings are in use for the professionals,” said Fakenham’s chief executive, David Hunter.

All four of the current season’s meetings, two in October and two in November, have been held ‘behind closed doors’.

An impressive total of 112 initial entries have been made for the six-race card which starts at 12.45pm.

Feature race is the  1.45pm Sky Sports Racing Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs for which 15 have been entered.

They include three horses who are last time out winners. Vocaliser, formerly with Robin Dickin, now an eight-year-old gelding from Ollie Murphy’s stable, is bidding for a four-timer after successes at Ffos Las, and Bangor twice, while Maypole Class, a six-year-old, won last time at Bangor in November. Trainer Jeremy Scott has entered Native Robin, a winner at Wincanton last month for what should be a competitive class three contest.

The other chase on the card is the 2.50pm Christmas Greetings Mares’ Handicap Chase also over two miles and five furlongs for which in-form trainer Kim Bailey has entered Miss Gemstone. The six-year-old unseated her rider when last seen at Ludlow earlier this month, that race coming after she had finished runner-up at Stratford.

The other four contests, at 12.45pm, 1.15pm, 2.20pm and the finale at 3.20pm, are over the hurdles course. The finale, the Christmas Holiday Maiden Hurdle may feature trainer Nick Gifford’s Itsnotwhatyouthink, third recently at Lingfield behind rising star Annual Invictus, who followed up to score again earlier this week, at Plumpton.

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David Hunter