National Hunt Racing
Two outstanding doubles by jockeys James Banks and David Kemp highlighted a terrific afternoon’s racing at Fakenham.
With the track in top condition, a bumper Easter Monday holiday crowd, reckoned to be in excess of 6,000, enjoyed every minute of a sun-blessed seven-race card.
Banks showed his liking for Fakenham by taking his tally at the course to five wins for the season, one ahead of top riders Tony McCoy and Tom Scudamore.
He kicked off in dramatic style by just getting home in a photo finish on the Alex Hales trained Ogaritmo ahead of Another Journey ridden by Mr J Mahot to secure the Cecil and Sheila Buttifant Memorial Hurdle over two miles. It took the judge some while to confirm Ogaritmo’s victory by a nose.
Banks immediately followed up in the David Keith Memorial Chase over two miles and five furlongs with a more comfortable win on bottom weight Unknown Legend trained by Sarah Humphrey.
Warm favourite King Massini stalked him all the way round but was unable to narrow the gap as the winner stretched away to get home by five lengths.
Kemp showed all his experience to pilot Master Workman to the line in the Robert Hoare Novices Hunters Chase. Backed in from 8/1 to 9/2 at the off, the pairing went straight into the lead and were never headed despite the attentions of odds-on favourite Can Mestret under Gina Andrews.
This was some compensation for finishing second in the same race last year.
The double was completed in style on hot favourite Moroman to take the Queen’s Cup Eastern Counties Hunters Chase over three miles.
Again Kemp was relentless from the front and never allowed his challengers to interrupt a perfect round of jumping, making all to win by an easy 14 lengths.
A patient ride by claiming jockey Brodie Hampson on Barneys Honour provided new trainer Andy Turnell with a fine winner in the opening Big C Ladies Raceday 31st May Selling Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.
Always handy, the duo took control rounding the home straight to win by six lengths over favourite Ministerof interior. Barneys Honour was bought in at £3,100 at auction.
With four horses in line at the last, it was anyone’s guess who might take the Fakenham Ladies Raceday 31st May Hurdle over three miles.
Thanks to a quick turn of foot it was Bold Adventure, a winner at the track in February, who came through under a strong drive from Adam Wedge to prevail in a stirring finish.
With just one favourite winning all afternoon, punters’ hopes were pinned on Milanese Queen under Gavin Sheehan to dominate the finale.
Plenty of money came his way but trainer Lucy Wadham’s talented Mystic Sky ridden by Jack Sherwood spoilt the party by running away with the Tour of Britain 12th Sept at Fakenham Mares Maiden N.H.Flat race over two miles.
Milanese Queen could only finish third behind Actinpieces.
The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday, May 5, first race due off at 2.30pm.