Fakenham welcomes big crowd for first meeting of 2021/22 national hunt season
A big crowd turned out for the first meeting of the 2021/22 racing season at Fakenham where jockey Aidan Coleman rode a double for trainer Olly Murphy.
The lifting of Covid restrictions and an afternoon of sunshine made for a perfect start on going rated as ‘good’.
Odds-on favourite Italian Spirit, ridden by Coleman for Murphy, justified his price with a dominant win in the opening Champions Day On Sky Sports Racing Maiden Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.
Always handily placed, the partnership grabbed the lead from two out and pulled away from its five rivals to canter home by 11 lengths from Loved Out.
The delighted trainer described his winner as a ‘grand horse who probably wants a bigger track and is not blessed with speed so needs the distance.’
With just four runners in the Hollie Doyle’s Blog On attheraces.com Novices Hurdle over two miles, another odds-on favourite obliged for punters.
Howdyalikemenow, under Adam Wedge for Evan Williams, justified the long round trip from the
trainer’s Welsh yard to hold off second-placed Auditoria by two lengths in a thrilling finale.
There was drama in the Breeders’ Cup On Sky Sports Chase over three miles when favourite Go Millie Go ridden by Ciaran Gethings fell heavily after two miles when leading.
This left the way open for main rival Eagle Hill, under Coleman, to grab his second win of the day for Olly Murphy.
The partnership of trainer Gary Moore and his son Jamie impressed with their mount Jumping Cats to take the fourth race of the day.
The Watch Fakenham Replays attheraces.com Novices Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs was keenly fought but the result was never in doubt up the home straight with the crowd roaring on Jumping Cats.
The winning margin over favourite Midnight Jewel was six lengths.
The Download The At The Races App Chase over three miles was reduced to three runners when the fancied Canyon City, under Jack Quinlan, fell with just a mile to go.
Two rivals were left to fight out the finish but a loose horse from the earlier fall interfered with Jamie Moore’s mount Larry, forcing the rider to swerve and fall off.
Minella Encore, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, continued alone to beat the only other finisher, Rocky’s Treasure, by a distance.
The final race of the afternoon, the Champions Day Form Study Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs went to The Knot Is Tied, with Daryl Jacob coasting home on his only ride of the day for trainer Neil King.
The result was never in doubt rounding the home turn, the margin of victory over Cremant announced as 24 lengths.
The next meeting at Fakenham comes up quickly, on Wednesday October 27.