Top trainer Nicky Henderson maintained his excellent record at Fakenham with a classy winner in the third race carrying prize money of £10,000, writes Jim Harding.
Hunt Ball is more accustomed to jumping the big fences and even completed the Grand National trip last year but was equally at home negotiating his way over the tight track’s three miles to take the Independent Racecourses Ltd Novices Hurdle in style.
Jockey Andrew Tinkler dictated terms from the off and was never headed in the blustery conditions to get home by eight lengths.
Barneys Honour showed his liking for the course with a second win inside a month to take the opening Tour of Britain Fakenham 12th September Selling Hurdle over two miles.
Helped by the early departure of co-favourite Camachoice at the second, the 11 year-old romped to victory under an aggressive ride from Brodie Hampson. There was no bid for the winner at auction.
It was a similar story for Alright Benny who won at Fakenham on New Year’s Day and breezed home by eleven lengths under Paddy Brennan in the Orchard Group’s Race for Livvy Chase over two miles and four furlongs.
Waddington Hero had gone off as the warm favourite but could never land a blow at any stage.
Odds-on favourite Morning Reggie under Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell failed to live up to expectations in the feature race of the day, the At The Races Novices Chase over three miles.
In contention from two out, the pairing had no answer to the finishing burst from Emerald Rose ridden by Mark Grant who got home by a comfortable six lengths.
The IRL Open Hunters Chase for the Turner Family Trophy, also over three miles, featured three horses who had run at the track in the point-to-point meeting two weeks previously.
None of them was able to seriously trouble odds-on favourite Neverownup under Charlie Hammond who took control from two out to scoot home by eighteen lengths.
Form horse Queen Spud pleased favourite backers to take the Fakenham Ladies Raceday 31st May Mares’ Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.
Always prominent the six year-old, who won the same race last year, responded to a great ride from Jake Greenall to triumph by four lengths.
The next meeting at Fakenham, Ladies Day, is on Sunday, May 31, first race due off at 2.30pm.