Champion jockey Johnson back in winner’s enclosure at Fakenham
Two more wins for Richard Johnson highlighted a good day’s racing at Fakenham on a perfect winter afternoon.
The champion jockey’s partnership with trainer Olly Murphy has certainly paid dividends lately and produced a double of outstanding quality with runaway victories.
Johnson must have been delighted to renew acquaintance with Saucysioux on whom he won at the track just a couple of weeks previously.
The seven-year-old made it three wins on the trot in the Simon Bell Hurdle over three miles, producing a fine turn of foot from two out to leave the field trailing by 14 lengths.
Something similar was produced by Johnson in the final race of the day, the Racing Partnership Juvenile Hurdle over two miles as favourite Oxford Blu coasted home and eased down by 20 lengths.
The afternoon got under way with a very competitive Visit Palace House This Christmas Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.
Four horses were in with a chance over the final mile but it was Mamoo, enterprisingly ridden by Trevor Whelan for trainer Neil King, who took the initiative and would not be passed on the run in ahead of Astrum.
The Injured Jockeys Fund For Christmas Presents Chase over two miles and five furlongs went to the experienced Cody Wyoming ridden by Harry Bannister for trainer Charlie Mann.
Always up with the pace the 11-year old took command from three out and was unchallenged up the home straight to win by four-and-a-half lengths.
The West Street North Creake Novices Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs developed into a two-horse race between market leaders Ballinsea Bridge under Johnson and Classic Ben ridden by Ciaran Gethings.
There was little in it over the closing stages but with Ballinsea Bridge losing ground by jumping out to the right, Classic Ben made the most of his advantage to win by one-and-a-half lengths.
The closest finish of the day came in the EPDS Welfare BTO Series 2017 Chase over two miles.
Yourholidayisover, under Brian Hughes, led at the last but was just caught on the line by the fast-finishing Bajardo driven home by James Banks for a neck victory.
The next meeting at Fakenham, when Father Christmas will be present, is on December 19.