Leading trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville bid to book-end this afternoon’s seven-race card at Fakenham.
In the 1.10pm opener on Greene King race day, Henderson and de Boinville hold a favourite’s chance with Falco Blitz, a gelding second in two of his four hurdle contests. Last time he was runner-up at Newton Abbott, despite going off 4/7 favourite, beaten by a rival who has won again since. Main rival is High Change, a winner on hurdles debut for trainer Charlie Hills at Ffos Las.
In the 4.10pm finale, Henderson and De Boinville have debutant Hijack, a four-year-old tipped to make a good start in the National Hunt flat race.
Another debutant, Ever So Cool, under Harry Skelton for brother Dan, is fancied while one with experience is Largy Mouth, having the first run for Brian Ellison, having scored on debut at Ayr.
The £14,000 feature is the 2.40pm Greene King Novice Chase for which five go, headed by Nube Negra for the Skeltons. The five-year-old won at Warwick this month and faces four rivals, including Ar Mest and Fleur Irlandaise.
Ar Mest, under Josh Moore for father Gary, makes a chase debut while Fleur Irlandaise makes her debut for Nick Littmoden. Jack Quinlan rides the filly who won at Dieppe in August when trained by Yannick Fouin.
Greene King also sponsors two hurdle races. The 1.40pm could go to Brambledown who looks to go one better than his last two runs. The Gary Moore gelding was runner-up at Ludlow after having been beaten into the second spot at Plumpton. Musical Stardust, under Kielan Woods for Alex Hales, also holds a chance, the mare third last time out.
The 3.10pm handicap hurdle sees trainer Tim Vaughan and jockey Alan Johns make the trip from Wales with Nathan’s Pride, fourth last time at Fontwell. Also hopeful is Richard Dunne on Neil Mulholland’s The Detainee, third at Exeter recently.
The second chase, at 3.40pm sees Johns and Vaughan run Twasn’t the Plan, second at Ffos Las a fortnight ago while Nigel Twiston-Davies legs up Jordan Nailor on Double Court, second at Perth last time.
At 2.10pm eight debutants go in the fillies’ juvenile hurdle. Worth checking are Alan King’s grey filly Midnight Gift and Ellison’s Juals Spirit.
Selections: 1.10pm Falco Blitz, 1.40pm Brambledown, 2.10pm Midnight’s Gift, 2.40pm Ar Mest, 3.10pm The Detainee, 3.40pm Twasn’t the Plan, 4.10pm Hijack.
Words by Terry Redhead.