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Top Trainers Loving Their Chances at Fakenham’s Valentines Day Meeting

Leading trainers Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, Colin Tizzard and Alan King are among those with runners in an initial entry of 105 horses for Fakenham’s Valentines Day meeting on Friday (February 14).


Feature is the 3.20pm Tim Barclay Memorial Chase in which King and Nicholls fancy their chances with Senior Citizen and Saintemillion respectively.


Senior Citizen was runner-up on chase debut at Doncaster while Nicholls’ gelding was fourth at Wincanton in January.


Entries for the £16,000 contest also include Richard Spencer’s Its’afreebee, fourth at the course in December, and Stuart Coltherd’s Pookie Pekan who may raid from Scotland after a Carlisle victory in November.


The 2.10pm Valentines Day Chase has only seven entries but includes two from Nicholls’ stable in Greaneteen, bidding for a hat-trick after wins at Musselburgh and Ascot, and Grand Sancy, fourth in the Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown less than a fortnight ago.


The Flying Sofa, from Gary Moore’s yard, and Pam Sly’s Eskendash, were first and second at the last Fakenham meeting while Henderson has entered Champagne Mystery, a Haydock runner-up after an Aintree success in November.


Three entries bid to complete a hat-trick of wins if they go in the 2.45pm novice hurdle. Tizzard has Beaufort West, a Fontwell and Chepstow winner, Nicholls has Cat Tiger, twice a Plumpton scorer, and Henderson has Fix Sun, a Market Rasen and Sedgefeld winner.


Henderson has three in the 4.50pm flat race finale, with Scarpia, a debut winner at Warwick, Surf Walk, a runner-up on debut at Lingfield, and Sheila Nash, second last time at Ludlow.


Olly Murphy’s stable is in cracking form and has Dundrum Wood in the 3.50pm novice hurdle, the gelding a Market Rasen winner in November. Among the challengers could be Archie Watson’s Premier D’troice, having the first run since joining the stable from Ireland where he was a Punchestown winner, and Evan Williams’ Supreme Escape, a recent Doncaster winner.


There are familiar names entered for the William Bulwer Long Memorial Hunter Chase at 4.20pm., including Little Windmill, Mercers Court, Midnight Cowboy, Shantou Flyer, Sir Jack Yeats and Southfield Theatre.


The day opens with the 1.40pm selling hurdle in which Moore has Britania Bello, recently third at Fontwell.




Welsh Trainers Looking to Bag More Fakenham Prize Money

Welsh trainers love bringing horses to Fakenham and often make the long return trip with pockets bulging with prizemoney.

The feature race on the north Norfolk course’s seven-race card on Thursday (January 23) is the 2.35 pm Horsemen’s Group Chase and Welsh trainers Evan Williams, Christian Williams and Peter Bowen have runners among the initial 16 entries for the £15,000 contest.


Evan Wiliams has entered Agent Westy, the winner over course and distance at Fakenham’s pre-Christmas meeting on December 17 in the line-up, while Cap Du Nord represents Christian Williams and Cougar’s Gold turns out for Bowen.


Another interesting entry is Laura Morgan’s Thomas Todd. The 10-year-old was second at the course in December having previously won there at the end of October.


Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham is another to follow at Fakenham and she has top chances in two events. In the 3.10 pm Mares’ Hurdle, she has Miss Heritage, a Fakenham winner at the pre-Christmas meeting on what was her first run since wind surgery.


Earlier, at 1.25 pm, Wadham has Little Light entered in the Novice Chase, her runner a Leicester winner in December. At that same Leicester meeting, the Nick Gifford trainer Belargus was third, and also holds an entry over a shorter trip.


Olly Murphy’s stable has hit form in the New Year and he has Gavin Sheehan booked to ride Robin De Broome in the 12.25 pm opening chase, the gelding third at Southwell in December in his first race after a long break.


Murphy has two good-looking entries in the 3.45 pm finale. He has The Wolf, runner-up in a Newbury contest on December 28 and now dropping in class, and Oscar Academy, a Leicester winner on his first run for Murphy just after Christmas.


The other two events on the card, for which there are 110 initial entries, are the 12.55 pm conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle and the 2 pm maiden novice hurdle.


Jamie Snowden has Irska, third at Hereford in January in the 12.55 three-miler while in the 2 pm, David Pipe has three entered while most interesting entry is Nicky Henderson’s Grand Roi.


He was a Wincanton winner in December and fourth at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, his only runs for Henderson since being bought in France from Laurent Viel.


Words by Terry Redhead

Please make a note of a new start time of the first race at 12.25 pm on 23rd January.

For more details visit this article


November Race Meeting | ENTRY REPORT

Stuart Edmunds is keen to give useful hurdler Theclockisticking his first start over fences in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase at Fakenham on Tuesday 20th November.


The three-mile prize, which is the feature contest on the six-race card, has attracted nine entries after it was re-opened including the six-year-old who already has one victory at the Norfolk track to his name after running an emphatic 32 length winner of a two-mile novice hurdle last October.


The plan is to go to Fakenham with Theclockisticking,” said Edmunds.


He has proved himself around there and Fakenham can be quite a specialist track. We thought let’s go there again and the prize money is also very good. The handicapper has probably got him over hurdles so we felt the time is right to have a go over fences.  He has done lots of schooling over fences and has been very good while he has also run in a couple of point-to-points. He is not the biggest but I can’t see why he wouldn’t be as good over fences. He will run until the ground goes very soft and that is one reason why we are going to Fakenham as it looks like it is going to be good there.”


Two Irish raiders feature among 13 entries received for the Christian Williams’ Racing Club Mares’ Handicap Hurdle in the form of the Emmet Mullins-trained Yeats Baby and Slainte And Thanks from the yard of Garrett Ahern, who also has Sweet Destination among the 11 entries in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Handicap Chase.


Donald McCain is a rare raider to the course but he could have two potential runners at the meeting with last time Kelso scorer Middlebrow among the 10 entries in the Weatherbys VAT Services’ Handicap Chase and Promise Of Peace who features among 13 names received for the MF Sporting Ltd-Fitzroy’s 60th Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle


There is often no shortage of runners at the track from trainer Olly Murphy and the Wilmcote handler is well represented once again with nine entries throughout the card including Mizen Master, The Geegeez Geegee and Todd in the Racing Partnership Selling Hurdle which gets the action underway at 1pm.


David Hunter, the clerk of the course, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming all runners and riders on Tuesday and it is fantastic to have Weatherbys as the race day sponsor. Hopefully, it will be a busy and exciting day of racing to follow on from two highly successful meetings that we have already stage this season.



Book Tickets at Fakenham Racecourse

The Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham Racecourse

The Snellings Norfolk National | ENTRY REPORT

There are 21 entries for one of the highlights of Fakenham’s National Hunt season, the Snellings Norfolk National Chase over three miles and five furlongs on Tuesday.

In total there are 116 entries for the six-race card but all eyes will be on the 3.45pm feature race, worth around £32,000 with almost £20,000 going to the eventual winner.

That winner, if taking his chance, could be eight-year-old gelding Hedgeinator, bidding for a hat-trick for trainer Christian Williams. Hedgeinator won twice in January, over three miles and two furlongs at Sedgefield and over three miles at Ludlow, both contests on soft ground.

On both occasions, the gelding was ridden by James Bowen whose father, trainer Peter, has two entered in Fakenham’s long-distance event. He has Buachaill Alainn and Court King in the provisional line-up and would like nothing better than to take the top prize home to Wales.

There is a strong supporting card to the National, with local electrical firm Snellings providing the sponsorship.

Olly Murphy has been the top trainer at Fakenham since the 2017/18 campaign began back in October and he has four entered in the Snellings Maiden Hurdle at 3.10pm over two miles and four furlongs.

Murphy, a visitor to every Fakenham meeting this season from his base near Stratford, has Captiva Island, Flynnvincible, Fresh New Dawn and Telegraph Place in the original line-up, three of those runners having already raced at the course.

The opening race at 2.10pm, the two-mile Snellings Conditional Jockeys Selling Hurdle over two miles could see hardy veteran Ascendant, trained by Johnny Farrelly return to the north Norfolk track where he has already won twice in 2018. He scored on New Year’s Day and followed up in March, also winning at Sedgefield and Huntingdon to chalk up four wins from five starts this calendar year.

Trainer Michael Scudamore will be hoping 12-year-old Skint can complete a hat-trick if taking his chance in the 2.40pm Jarrold Fakenham Ladies Day on Sunday, June 3rd Chase over two miles and five furlongs. Skint won at Fontwell three weeks ago after an earlier success at Huntingdon.

The card is completed with the 4.15pm Mares Handicap Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs which has 18 entries and the finale, the Turner Trophy Hunter Case over three miles, for which 22 are entered.

Words by Terry Redhead 



Easter Monday Raceday | ENTRY REPORT

Recent winner of Sandown’s Grand Military Gold Cup, Baden, is one of 17 entries for the feature event on Fakenham’s seven-race Easter Monday card.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and due to be ridden by Nico De Boinville, the seven-year-old grey gelding triumphed on March 9, and if taking his chance, is likely to start a short-priced favourite.

However, there are several other interesting looking entries for the race, the three-mile David Keith Memorial Handicap Chase, worth more than £11,000 to the winner.

Potters Legend, trained by Lucy Wadham, looked the likely winner of the Prince Carlton Chase at Fakenham’s last meeting before crashing out at the final fence over course and distance, in the race won by Morney Wing. Last time out winner Goohar, due to be ridden by Andrew Tinkler and trained by Henry Daly, a scorer at Ludlow in February, is also among the entries.

David Pipe has Dell Arca entered, the nine-year-old last winning at Newbury in November, taking the Pertemps Network Hurdle and now returning to chasing.

Dan Skelton’s Sam Red is in the original entries, the seven-year-old having won over course and distance back in October.

The card, which gets under way at 2.15pm, also features two Hunter Chase contests, the first the 2.50pm Robert Hoare Hunter Chase over 21 furlongs and the second, the Queen’s Cup Open Hunter Chase at 5.10pm over three miles.

In the former, there are 21 entries including hat-trick seeking In A Blue Dust, due to be ridden by Archie Wright for his father, trainer Nick.

The Queen’s Cup has a dozen entries at the five-day stage including a mount for Tim Gredley on the grey gelding Midnight Cowboy, whose last win was at Stratford in August when trained by Alan King.

Ascendant, winner at the last Fakenham meeting, and successful in five of his six last starts, has been entered in the 2.15pm opening selling hurdle while Michael Wigham’s regular Fakenham visitor Gin and Tonic is among the entries for the 3.25pm Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Handicap Hurdle.

Henderson has Taunton winner Comely in the 4.35pm handicap hurdle while Peter Bowen may run Cougar’s Gold.

In the finale, the National Hunt flat race, Pipe is likely to run Mechelen, runner-up on debut in a similar event at Taunton on March 12.

Words by Terry Redhead 



Totepool Silver Cup Day | ENTRY REPORT

All eyes will be on the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday and there is the chance to watch National Hunt racing’s blue riband event on a giant screen while still taking in live action at Fakenham’s meeting the same afternoon.

The six-race card at the north Norfolk course starts at 2pm with its races spaced strategically between contests at the Cheltenham Festival, all broadcast live for punters to enjoy.

Fakenham’s feature is the 4pm Fakenham Silver Cup and Lucy Wadham, the Newmarket-based trainer who frequently visits the winner’s enclosure, has two runners among the 20 entries in Iconic Sky and Potters Midnight. The former won at Market Rasen last month while Potters Midnight was third at Uttoxeter after having scored over course and distance in January.

Michael Appleby’s Beyeh, with Jack Sherwood booked to ride, won at Fakenham’s last meeting a month ago while Dennis Quinn has entered another last time out winner, Shining Romeo, a Huntingdon victor.

Two horses chasing hat-tricks of wins are among entries for the 4.40pm Prince Carlton Chase. Brian Ellison’s Bordeaux Bill won three-runner contests at Southwell a fortnight ago and at Wetherby at Christmas while Christian Williams has Hedgeinator, who won twice in January at Sedgefield and Ludlow.

Unusually, the finale is a chase. At 5.15pm the Walter Wales Memorial Chase could feature two from the stable of Olly Murphy, who has dominated the season at the north Norfolk course. Entered for Murphy are Wood Pigeon and Bisoubisou, both of whom have already won at Fakenham this campaign.

Such is Murphy’s liking for the track, he has nine of the 22 entries for the 3.20pm Robert Case Memorial Maiden Hurdle although some also have entries in the opening selling hurdle at 2pm. Murphy is most likely to run Saucysioux, a Fakenham winner in December in that opener. However, if taking his chance, the Johnny Farrelly trained Ascendant, winner of five of his last six outings, could take all the beating.

Twenty Eight Guns, winner of the Tim Barclay Chase at the last meeting, is set to return in the 2.40pm chase and trainer Michael Scudamore has jockey Robert Dunne booked. Brian Hughes is another jockey already booked, with Donald McCain lining him up to take on Twenty Eight Guns with hat-trick seeking Nefyn Bay.

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Lycetts Raceday | ENTRY REPORT

Leading National Hunt trainers Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Jonjo O’Neill have all named entries for the British EBF National Hunt Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles, one of the leading contests on a seven-race card at Fakenham Lycetts Raceday on Friday (February 16).

The 2.45pm race sees a quartet entered from Henderson’s yard, Du Destin, Duke Debarry, Settie Hill and Rebel Commander, the latter twice runner-up in National Hunt flat races and now making a hurdling debut.

O’Neill has Huntingdon winner Django Django among the 23 entries while Nicholls has Captain Cattistock entered, the five-year-old bidding for a hat-trick after twice winning at Wincanton, in November and earlier this month.

Olly Murphy, already with 12 winners at Fakenham this season, has Market Rasen winner Ballingslea Bridge in the provisional line-up as well as Piri Massini, a winner at the course at the last meeting.

Murphy, having a superb first full season as a trainer with close to 40 winners, has two former Fakenham scorers entered in the opener, the selling handicap hurdle at 1.40pm., in the shape of Bisoubisou and grey mare Hurricane Rita.

Feature race is the 3.20pm Tim Barclay Memorial Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs for which 15 have been entered including Murphy’s former course winner Wood Pigeon, who may be turned out again quickly having unseated the rider when running at Towcester last week.

Former course winner Cody Wyoming has been entered by Charlie Mann while last time out winners Rear Admiral, representing Mick Easterby, a Newcastle winner, and Until Winning, from Tom George’s stable, a Market Rasen January winner, are also in the provisional line-up.

George also has an interesting potential contender in the finale, the 4.55pm Maiden Open NH Flat Race in Stop The World. The five-year-old gelding has a first run for George since joining from Sean Doyle’s Irish stable where he was runner-up in a point-to-point at Quakerstown last April.

The predicted going for Friday’s meeting is heavy and other contests on the card are the 2.10pm Lycetts Farm and Estate Insurance Brokers Novice Chase over two miles, the 3.50pm Lycetts Bloodstock Insurance Brokers Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over three miles and the 4.25pm William Bulwer Long Memorial Hunters’ Chase over three miles

Words by Terry Redhead 

Racegoers with Dogs at Fakenham Racecourse. Norfolk

January Meeting | ENTRY REPORT

Rookie trainer Olly Murphy has entered a host of runners for Fakenham’s six-race card on Monday (January 22) in a bid to add to his already impressive eight winners from 26 runners in north Norfolk this National Hunt season.

Murphy, who began training at the start of 2017 from his base at Warren Chase in Stratford in Warwickshire, has been an immediate success, with 35 winners from 173 runners to date. Before going solo, Murphy spent four years in Ireland as assistant at the very successful stables of Gordon Elliott.

In the opening 1.25pm Taverham Handicap Hurdle, Murphy has five entries at the five-day stage, including grey mare Hurricane Rita, who pulled up at Ffos Las in December after previously running second at Towcester.

Two previous Fakenham winners are entered by Murphy in the 1.55pm three-mile novice hurdle with champion jockey Richard Johnson booked to partner Rio Quinto, a scorer at the pre Christmas meeting. Murphy has also entered More Than Luck, the seven-year-old gelding a winner at Fakenham on New Year’s Day.

The feature race is the three-mile Wendling Handicap Chase at 2.25pm which sees Popelys Gull and Princeton Royale likely to clash again. They were second and third respectively at Fakenham’s December meeting, both stepping up from 21 furlongs on that occasion.

Kielan Woods is booked to ride Peterborough trainer Pam Sly’s Popelys Gull while Princeton Royale, from Neil King’s yard, looks to be a pound better off at the weights since that December contest.

Murphy has nine entered in the 2.55pm maiden hurdle over two miles with Johnson booked to ride Weebill, a twice raced six-year-old gelding fourth on debut in a Southwell bumper before finishing third on hurdling debut at Market Rasen on Boxing Day.

The second chase is the 3.25pm two mile five furlong contest in which Johnson and Murphy look set to be represented by Wood Pigeon. An interesting entry is the Micky Hammond trained Knocknamona. Adrian Cawley is booked to ride the gelding which has notched up a hat-trick of wins at Uttoxeter, Leicester and most recently at Bangor.

Conditional jockeys get their chance to shine in the 3.55pm finale, the Longham Hurdle in which King looks set to send out Little Windmill under Harry Teal, the horse having scored over course and distance on New Year’s Day.


{Words by Terry Redhead}

New Year's Day Races at Fakenham Racecourse. Owners presented with a prize in the rain.

New Year’s Day | ENTRY REPORT

Long anticipated, one of the biggest race meetings of the Year on New Year’s Day is fast approaching. While it is looking to be a damp one, read on for some notes from Terry Redhead.

Artifice Sivola has been entered by Newmarket-based trainer Lucy Wadham for a bid at defending his crown in the feature race, the North Norfolk Hurdle on New Year’s Day at Fakenham.

On January 1, 2017, the eight-year-old grey gelding produced a fine display under jockey Jack Sherwood to land the £15,000 contest by eight lengths.

Since then the gelding has been chasing rather than hurdling and has been second three times before falling at Fakenham on November 1.

Now Wadham is set to return the gelding to the smaller obstacles for a race which has attracted 18 entries, including two recent Fakenham winners in the shape of Charlie Mann’s Fixed Rate and Neil King’s Mamoo.

Also likely to take up the entry is the Caroline Bailey trained recent Southwell scorer Early Retirement in what could be the most competitive race on the Bank Holiday meeting’s six-race card. The action gets under way at 12.45pm., the feature, the third race of the day, at 1.55pm.

Two other Fakenham scorers this current National Hunt season, Dizzey Heights and Cliffside Park, representing Neil King and Olly Murphy, have been entered for the opener, the Daisy Mason Selling Hurdle which may also feature Johnny Farrelly’s Ascendant, third a fortnight ago after running up a hat-trick of victories.

The amateur riders have their chance in the spotlight at 1.20pm for the Fakenham Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs.

If taking up their entries watch out for Bollin Lane, going up in trip after winning for trainer Lucinda Egerton at Catterick on December 19, and Oakidoaki, trained by Brendan Powell and a runner-up at Fakenham at the pre-Christmas meeting.

The 2.30pm Happy New Year Handicap Hurdle is the longest race of the day over almost three miles at 2.30pm while at 3.05pm the second of the day’s chases is the Independent Racecourses Ltd Novices Chase.

The finale at 3.40pm is the Fakenham Racecourse Annual Members Maiden Hurdle in which Murphy holds five entries, including recent Sedgefield runner-up Captiva Island, while Je Suis Charlie is interesting for trainer John Quinn after finishing third on debut at Doncaster a fortnight ago.

{Words by Terry Redhead}

New Years Day Meeting at Fakenham Racecourse

Christmas Meeting | ENTRY REPORT

Please find an Entry Report by Terry Redhead, ahead of the annual Christmas meeting on Tuesday, 19th December.


Several horses with wins under their belts at Fakenham this season, look set to return to the north Norfolk course for Tuesday’s six-race card (December 19).

A total of 113 runners have been initially declared for the six contests which get underway at 12.40pm with the finale off at 3.10pm.

Kalochi, an impressive winner at Fakenham on November 1, from Stuart Edmunds’ stable, may return for the 12.40pm opener, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Novice Hurdle over two miles, and if taking her chance, could double up for a trainer very much in form.

Neil King’s Mamoo was a winner at the last Fakenham meeting on December 4 and could be back for the 1.10pm National Heritage Centre Handicap Hurdle. A winner over 20 furlongs last time, the horse steps up to three miles if taking up the engagement.

Trainer Charlie Mann was thrilled when Cody Wyoming, under Harry Bannister, won at the previous meeting and the 11-year-old gelding may return for the feature race, the At The Races Handicap Chase at 1.40pm, worth almost £10,000.

If running, Cody Wyoming may face another previous Fakenham winner in the shape of King’s Holbrook Park, a scorer at the November 21 meeting when beating just two opponents.

The other chase on the card is the 2.40pm Fakenham 2018 Annual Membership Novices’ Handicap Chase over 21 furlongs and worth more than £6,000.

One to watch, if taking his chance, is a five-year-old gelding from Pam Sly’s Peterborough base, Mortens Leam. The youngster was runner-up at Wetherby in mid-November and could well go one better to further enhance the trainer’s fine record in Norfolk.

A huge early entry of 27 runners has been noted for the finale, the 3.10pm Independent Racecourses Ltd Maiden Hurdle while the 2.10pm Racing at Fakenham On New Year’s Day Handicap Hurdle over two miles has 22 entries.

For the finale, trainer Olly Murphy has six entered while Newmarket’s Lucy Wadham has named three potential runners.

Local trainer Caroline Fryer, based at Wymondham, has entered Nicheinthemarket. If taking her chance, the five-year-old mare will be having her first run for Fryer, having joined her stable having been unplaced in four point-to-point starts.






The going at Fakenham is currently SOFT ( correct as of Friday 14th December)

{Words: Terry Redhead}