Fakenham could witness one of its shortest priced winners this afternoon in the £16,000 feature contest on the six-race card.
The Weatherbys Racing Bank Beginners’ Chase at 2.40pm over three miles has attracted just three runners and the Kim Bailey trained Imperial Aura is likely to be sent off at around 1/20, under jockey David Bass.
Imperial Aura, a six-year-old gelding, will be making his chasing debut but last time out was an eye-catching third in the Silver Trophy Hurdle at Chepstow, looking a real chaser in the making.
His two rivals, Parsonal and Positive Touch look well held. Parsonal, under Ben Poste for trainer Sarah Humphrey, failed to win in seven point-to-points and has only a third place to show from five races under rules.
Positive Touch, under Liam Treadwell for Dai Williams, failed to complete in five point-to-points and has been tailed off in three attempts over hurdles.
While the field are small, the remaining contests should prove more competitive. The 3.10pm Weatherbys VAT Services Handicap Chase over two miles sees six line-up with favourite Master Vintage, a hat-trick seeking gelding from Richard Phillips’ yard under three-pound claimer Daniel Hiskett. Master Vintage won at Market Rasen before making all at Huntingdon to score again last week.
His main rival appears to be Defi Sacre for Richard Hobson, the ex-French winning chaser better than his fourth at Huntingdon a fortnight ago.
The third chase is the 1.40pm Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Mares’ Chase over three miles which could go to Chequered View under Patrick Cowley for trainer Martin Keighley. The gelding won at Worcester in September.
Main rival is Black Tulip, champion jockey Richard Johnson’s only ride of the day. Henry Daly’s mare was only third on her season reappearance at Stratford having been in the frame four times last season.
The card opens with the 1.10pm selling hurdle in which Todd, for Olly Murphy, second at the course three weeks ago, and Skeaping, a Fakenham winner earlier this season for Phil Middleton, look the main contenders.
Amateur riders have the Four Tenners Handicap Hurdle at 2.10pm in which Middleton will be looking for further success for Eva’s Diva while the 3.40pm finale, the Sculthorpe Mares’ Hurdle, could go to favourite Viking Ruby, under Harry Reed for Neil Mulholland, the six-year-old successful last time at Taunton.
Terry Redhead’s Selections: 1.10pm Skeaping, 1.40pm Black Tulip, 2.10pm Eva’s Diva, 2.40pm Imperial Aura, 3.10pm Defi Sacre, 3.40pm Viking Ruby.
Words by Terry Redhead.