Champion jockey Johnson wins again at Fakenham

Richard Johnson..1.returning to the winner's enclosure on Queen Spud after taking the North Norfolk Chase
Richard Johnson..1.returning to the winner's enclosure on Queen Spud after taking the North Norfolk Chase

Champion jockey Richard Johnson picked up another winner at Fakenham on Wednesday to continue his march towards a second title.

There’s still a long way to go but he ‘s already close to the century mark, more than 20 wins ahead of his nearest rival and riding as well as ever.

His mount Queen Spud in the North Norfolk Chase over two miles and five furlongs had previously won twice at the track but laboured at times before getting into gear.

Having shaken off persistent outsider Charlie Mon rounding the home turn, the pairing then stretched away for a comfortable victory by nine lengths.

On an afternoon when favourites dominated the seven-race card, a surprise gamble was landed in the Brancaster Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.

With just five runners in contention, outsider Dothraki Raider who had been backed in from 16/1 to 13/2 before the off, took care of warm favourite Lee Side Lady in remarkable style.

Running in snatches under Richie McLernon the five-year old looked to be quite a handful but showed plenty of pace where it mattered to record his first win by four lengths.

A big half-term holiday crowd enjoyed a keenly fought opener to the afternoon with five in with chances for the David Hewson Is 60 Hurdle over two miles.

The Blue Bomber led for much of the way despite jumping out to the right but had no answer to the finishing burst of Eamon An Cnoic, driven to the front by Tom Scudamore for a one and a half length win.

Trainer Neil Mulholland had sent his horse Fool To Cry on the long 240-mile trip from his yard, hoping to follow up her debut win at Ludlow.

The three year-old obliged in style under a confident ride from Noel Fehilly to take the Breeders’ Cup At The Races Fillies Hurdle over two miles.

Sent off favourite, Fool To Cry, got home from Iconic Sky by two lengths.

There was a similar performance from Salto Chisco ridden by Gavin Sheehan to make it two out of two at the track this year for Harry Whittington’s eight year-old.

With a bold front-running performance, the partnership held off Crafty Roberto by two lengths.

Daliance under claimer William Featherstone had won at Fakenham in February and showed it was no fluke by picking up the Injured Jockeys Fund Hurdle over three miles.

Favourite Definitly Grey under a strong drive from Richard Johnson could make no impression up the straight and had to settle for second by a length.

Conditional and Amateur Riders competed against each other for the Oxwick Standard National Hunt Flat Race over two miles, the final event of an exciting afternoon.

Favourite The Caller, ridden by Harry Bannister, was always handily placed and took up the running from the home turn to storm ahead unchallenged by ten lengths.

The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday, November 15, first race due off at 1.05pm.