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.