Champion jockey Tony McCoy made his only ride of the afternoon count at Fakenham by steering joint favourite Zip Top to a smart victory in the opening ATR Sculthorpe Maiden Hurdle over two miles on Tuesday.
Pressed all the way by the front-running Shwaiman under Denis O’Regan, the finish was typical McCoy up the home straight as he grabbed the lead and held on by the best part of four lengths.
His 184th winner of the season puts him over 70 ahead of Richard Johnson and odds-on to secure his 20th consecutive jockeys championship.
The ATR Raynham Novices Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs developed into a two-horse race between odds-on favourite A Boy Named Suzi ridden by Leighton Aspell and Baku Bay under Jack Doyle.
They broke away from the field over the final half mile but it was the Ali Stronge- trained Baku Bay who produced the best turn of foot to dash home by six lengths.
All six runners in the ATR Toftrees Hurdle, also over two miles and four furlongs, were in with a chance in a bunched field. It was only from three out that Raktiman under Jonathan England and Todd ridden by Tom Scudamore pressed ahead from the rest to fight things out between them.
Todd just prevailed by three-quarters of a length to give Scudamore his 98th winner of the season.
The soft going got even softer as driving rain accompanied the fourth race of the afternoon, the ATR Shereford Chase over two miles and five furlongs.
This went to favourite Midnight Charmer given a great ride by claiming jockey James Banks.
Having previously won twice at the track the hat-trick was achieved in some style as the pairing left the rest way behind following a perfect round of jumping.
A similar trouncing was applied by Vision Du Coeur ridden by Sam Jones to take the ATR Tatterford Hurdle over three miles.
Outsider Oliver’s Hill under Nick Schofield put up a game performance but once the Harriet Bethell-trained ten year-old got to the front he stretched away in impressive style.
In gathering gloom and flurries of snow the last race of the day provided a follow-up win for Shinooki ridden by Kielan Woods in the ATR Helhoughton Chase, also over three miles.
The pairing had been successful at Fakenham on its New Year’s Day meeting and showed similar determination to leave warm favourite Master Rajeem floundering in their wake by 16 lengths.
The next meeting at the track is on Thursday, January 22, first race due off at 1.30pm.