Chairman Ian Mason talks about racing over the coming weeks and welcoming people back to the course.
Chairman Ian Mason talks about racing over the coming weeks and welcoming people back to the course.
It’s lucky for racing fans that 13 have stood their ground for the £32,000 Snellings Norfolk National, the feature of a six-race card at Fakenham today (Tuesday).
With almost £20,000 on offer to the winner of the three and a half miles plus contest, the race is competitive although likely favourite is hat-trick seeking Hedgeinator for trainer Christian Williams and teenage three-pound claimer, James Bowen.
The eight-year-old gelding won at Sedgefield and Ludlow earlier this year and has since been given a 116-day break since.
However, there are plenty with chances, including Carlisle winner Grove Silver, a grey gelding under Sean Quinlan for trainer Jenny Candish and Cap Horner, a Taunton winner representing Seamus Mullins.
In-form trainer Dan Skelton, who had a four-timer at Uttoxter on Saturday, has David England on Set List, fifth in hurdle action at Ayr last time while Tom O’Brien rides Paul Henderson’s Talk of the South, pulled up at Haydock after two previous decent efforts.
The main event is at 3.45pm but the meeting starts at 2.10pm with the Snellings Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle which features Ascendant, under Patrick Cowley for trainer Johnny Farrelly. The 12-year-old has been a model of consistency, winning five times this season, including twice at Fakenham.
Nine contest the 2.40pm Jarrold Fakenham Ladies Day Chase with Hedgeinator’s trainer Williams running Caviar D’Allen, fifth last time.
Gary Moore has son Jamie on King Cool, a Plumpton runner-up while Millen Dollar Man under Richie McLernon for Alex Dunn, will be looking to go one better than recent seconds at Exeter and Plumpton.
The 3.10pm Snellings Maiden Hurdle features seven with Harry Teal claiming a useful seven pounds off the Neil King trained Chimes of Dylan, a Fontwell runner-up. Lucy Wadham has Jack Sherwood aboard Potters Hedger while another with a chance is Don Des Fosses under Harry Bannister for Warren Greatrex.
Half a dozen go in the 4.15pm Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, headed by Wadham and Sherwood with Potters Midnight, a Fakenham winner in March, although Amy Murphy will be hopeful of Mariah’s Legend, third at Cheltenham under Jack Quinlan.
The finale at 4.45pm has nine hunter chasers bidding for the Turner Trophy, headed by last year’s winner, Master Workman under Dale Peters for Thetford-based David Kemp. Gina Andrews on her father Simon’s Can Mestret and Charles Clover on One Fine Morning are key rivals.
Selections: 2.10pm Ascendant; 2.40pm Millen Dollar Man; 3.10pm Chimes of Dylan; 3.45pm Hedgeinator; 4.15pm Potters Midnight; 4.45pm One Fine Morning.
Harry Teal and Tom Gredley, two riders still able to claim weight allowances, have top chances of landing doubles at Fakenham’s Easter Monday seven-race meeting.
Teal teams up with trainer Neil King and has outstanding hopes on Holbrook Park and Sackett.
Holbrook Park was fourth at Fontwell on March 7, following a victory at Plumpton over a shorter trip and could go well off the same mark in the 4pm feature race, the David Keith Memorial Chase over three miles..
Main rival in the four-runner contest, Sam Red, a winner at the course in October, is the favourite for Harry and Dan Skelton for a contest worth £11,000 to the winner.
Sam Red was last seen at Southwell where he was fifth and in a tight contest could also see a challenge from the Olly Murphy trained After Aspen under David England, the eight-year-old third at the course at the last meeting.
Teal rides Sackett in the 4.35pm handicap hurdle, again for King. Sackett, a seven-year-old, won at Hereford last Tuesday and carries a six-pound penalty, but he could defy that in a five-runner field in which Shinooki looks danger for Kieland Woods and trainer Alex Hales, the 11-year-old a Fakenham winner more than a year ago.
Gredley will be going for a Hunter Chase double. In the 2.50pm Robert Hoare Novice Hunter Chase, he partners Dan Skelton’s Right of Reply, the gelding having his second run since undergoing a wind operation. Main rival is Foxcub under Emma Yardley, the duo successful in February.
In the 5.10pm Queen’s Cup over three miles, Gredley rides top weight Midnight Cowboy, formerly with Alan King. The dangers in the six-runner contest are Argot for Rory Bevin, a recent Leicester scorer, and In A Blue Dust, under Archie Wright for his father, trainer Nick.
The seven-race card opens at 2.15pm with the selling hurdle in which Ascendant, winner of five of his last six starts, including at Fakenham at the last meeting and in January, will start favourite for Patrick Cowley and trainer Johnny Farrelly.
Old favourite Gin and Tonic goes under Jack Quinlan for Michael Wigham in the 3.25pm Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Hurdle and looks to have most to fear from the James Bowen partnered Ardmayle for Ali Stronge.
The finale, the mares’ flat race at 5.40pm sees seven go and Murphy has favourite It’s O Kay, a Wetherby runner-up, ridden by Norfolk-based claimer Fergus Gregory and Foxtrot Juliet, under David England although Lucy Wadham could spring a surprise with appropriately-named debutant Easter Gold.
Selections: 2.15pm Ascendant; 2.50pm Right of Reply; 3.25pm Ardmayle; 4pm Holbrook Park; 4.35pm Sackett; 5.10pm Midnight Cowboy; 5.40pm Easter Gold.
NB: There is a precautionary inspection planned for 7am on Monday.
While the racing world goes for gold at Cheltenham this afternoon, it’s Silver Cup Day at Fakenham where there is a six-race card.
Fans can watch the Cheltenham action unfold on a giant screen as well as taking in the live action, the feature being the 4pm Fakenham Silver Cup Handicap Hurdle.
North Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison looks to have planned a Norfolk raid, having the favourite for both the feature and the 4.40pm Prince Carlton Chase.
In the Silver Cup, Ellison runs Smart Talk under Henry Brooke, the mare third at Newcastle in February. Main rivals in the eight-runner field are Beyeh, a winner at Fakenham at the last meeting, ridden by Jack Sherwood for Newark trainer Mick Appleby, and Shining Romeo. Six-year-old Dennis Quinn trained gelding Shining Romeo, has Aidan Coleman on board, trying to follow up a recent Huntingdon success.
Brooke and Ellison have Bordeaux Bill going for a hat-trick in the Prince Carlton Chase following victories at Southwell and Wetherby. Among his six rivals are What Happens Now, under Will Kennedy for Donald McCain, third at Doncaster in December, and Potters Legend, under Coleman for Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham.
Trainer Ollie Murphy has dominated at Fakenham this season and has outstanding chances in the other four contests.
The opening selling hurdle at 2pm, sees Murphy leg up David England on Saucysioux, a course winner in December. However, Ascendant, under Patrick Cowley for Johnny Farrelly looks the one to beat. The 12-year-old scored at Fakenham in January and has won five of his last six races.
At 2.40pm four go in the Easter Monday Racing At Fakenham Chase with Murphy having Coleman on board favourite After Aspen. The gelding had his first run for Murphy at Lingfield last month and won well.
Twenty Eight Guns, winner of Fakenham’s Tim Barclay Chase at the last meeting, goes under Ben Poste for Michael Scudamore while Pam Sly sends out December course winner Mortens Leam.
Murphy has odds-on favourite Weebill in the 3.20pm Robert Case Memorial Maiden Hurdle under James Nixon, the gelding a recent Warwick runner-up.
In the 5.15pm finale, the Walter Wales Memorial Novice Chase, Coleman and Murphy team up with Wood Pigeon, a January Fakenham winner who has since unseated his rider, pulled up, and finished second.
Words by Terry Redhead
Fakenham’s feature race at its meeting on Wednesday (February 7) looks set to be a cracking three-mile hurdle contest at 3.05pm.
There are 14 entries at the five-day stage for the Download the ATR App Handicap Hurdle including Harry Whittington’s eight-year-old gelding Octagon. After winning at Southwell in November, Octagon went on to complete a hat-trick with further victories at Leicester, and then at Sedgefield on Boxing Day.
There may be a royal runner in opposition in the shape of six-year-old gelding Take To Heart. Owned by the Queen and trained by Nicky Henderson, the gelding won twice in June before finishing down the field in November at Ascot.
Prolific Fakenham scorer Olly Murphy trained four winners at the last Fakenham meeting, taking his tally for the season to 12 at the course, and most have entries again.
Bisoubisou and Flow With Eve, first and second last time, and Hurricane Rita, also a Fakenham winner at the last meeting, are all entered in the 3.35pm Toftrees Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Murphy has six entries in the opener, the Sculthorpe Maiden Hurdle at 2 pm including Swaffham Bulbeck, a four-year-old gelding second at Warwick a fortnight ago on stable debut.
Provided he makes the long trip from northern trainer Donald McCain’s yard, Nefyn Bay looks interesting if taking his chance in the 2.30pm Lycetts Handicap Chase over three miles, the horse markedly up in trip after winning at Musselburgh in Scotland last month.
The second chase is the 4.05pm Shereford Handicap Chase in which Murphy has entered Wood Pigeon, a scorer under champion jockey Richard Johnson at the last Fakenham meeting. Johnson is the leading rider at Fakenham this season, with seven victories in the bag, making him the clear leader in the race for the course’s David Turner Trophy.
Southern trainer, Gary Moore has entered Stoical Patient, the nine-year-old mare a Plumpton faller when bidding for a hat-trick after victories at that course, and neighbouring Fontwell, earlier in the season.
The finale is the 4.35pm Raynham Novice Hurdle in which Stuart Edmunds may run six-year-old Kalochi, very impressive when scoring for the first time in her career at the north Norfolk course back in November. Since then the mare has won again, at Leicester, after previously finishing third at Huntingdon on Boxing Day.
After excessive rainfall over the past week, and with an additional 19mm rain in the past 12 hours, the race meeting due to having taken place at Fakenham on Tuesday 12th January has been abandoned at 2.30pm on Monday 11th January.
The chairman of the stewards panel and an additional steward conducted an inspection at 2 pm on 11th January, along with the clerk of the course David Hunter and head groundsman Matthew King, and a unanimous decision was made to abandon tomorrow’s fixture as the rain had created areas of dangerous false ground on the course and some slippery patches on the approaches and landings of some chase fences.
The next race meeting at Fakenham will be on Thursday 28th January 2016.
For any further information please contact David Hunter on 07767 802206.
We are now only 6 days away from Christmas and for most the presents are bought and wrapped, Christmas tree decorated and cards are sent. The build up to the festive season can be quite intense and get you rushed off your feet – there are so many things to think about and prepare for.
We recommend you should take some time out from all the preparations and join us for a fun family day out at Fakenham Races instead.
Tomorrow is our annual Christmas meeting and there are lots for you to do and enjoy while you are visiting – from the fabulous Fakenham Town Bank band playing joyful Christmas Carols to Father Christmas dashing around with his helpful Elves with some sweet treats for the little ones. Don’t forget the mulled wine and mince pies for the grown ups and of course plenty of delicious food from our local trade stands too.
This year we have 52 entries and most races will have at least 8 runners in each therefore we are expecting to have a few very exciting races. You can find details in the race cards, available to purchase at £2.50 on the gate or at selected locations around the course.
While we don’t have a formal dress code we recommend you dress up for the weather and if you would like to dress up a little – why not? After all – it is a fun family day out so Christmas hats and festive jumpers are all welcome.
It is also looking like it will be a fine, sunny day at Fakenham so make sure you arrive early to avoid hitting the queues – our gates open from 11am.
The team at Fakenham Racecourse is very excited to be welcoming you along to kickstart the Christmas celebrations — we will be ready and waiting tomorrow from 11am!