Sport - Horseracing: Bumper crowd at Fakenham meeting

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A bumper crowd enjoyed Fakenham’s New Year’s Day meeting in fine conditions.

The opening Happy New Year Selling Hurdle looked to be a banker for favourite backers with Tannerman, under Sam Jones, easing to the front from two out.

But he found nothing up the straight and was collared by Aghill at the last with jockey David Bass driving his mount to the line.

The Mirror Punters Club Maiden Hurdle featured some smart horses from flat racing, three of whom vied for favouritism.

They were all trounced on the day by Ubaldo Des Menhies, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, who cantered home by an incredible 41 lengths.

Only three horses contested the Fakenham Amateur Riders Chase with the outsider of the trio, Evella, providing jockey Clare Twemlow with her first win under rules.

Tom O’Brien made his only ride of the day count to win the feature race of the afternoon, the Welcome to 2013 Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.

O’Brien drew his mount Minella Special alongside Phare Isle, under Killian Moore, at the last and got home by a length.

It was a poor day for punters but they gained some consolation when Groomed won the Wensum Valley Maiden Chase.

One of two horses saddled by trainer Tim Vaughan, the 6-5 shot, ridden by Michael Byrne, won by four lengths.

The Holt Handicap Hurdle produced a great finish with Smark Exit, ridden by Joshua Moore, edging out Everdon Brook.

The next meeting at Fakenham is on Sunday, January 13, first race due off at 12.40pm.