Two fledgling jockeys made their mark at Fakenham on its Silver Cup race day on Friday with the big guns concentrating on the Cheltenham Gold Cup meeting.
Seven pound claimers Hugo Hunt and Sam Davies-Thomas won the opening two races in impressive style on the good going ground.
In the Selling Hurdle over two miles Hunt played his hand from the start by immediately pushing his mount Caprice D’Anglais into the lead. Odds-on favourite Sailors Warn was never able to close the gap and the winner got home by a comfortable 11 lengths, extending trainer Richard Hobson’s good strike rate at the track.
In the Easter Monday Racing at Fakenham Novices Chase over three miles Davies-Thomas timed his run on Master Jake to perfection after his main rival Cabragh, ridden by Jonathan England, took the lead with a mile to travel.
Virtually together at the last, Master Jake quickened over the short run-in to win by three lengths.
There were plenty of chances in the Robert Case Memorial Maiden Hurdle over two miles in a packing field but from two out Hint of Grey pulled to the front under Conor Shoemark. Turning into the home straight the pairing kept up the gallop and held on well from odds-on favourite Cesar Et Rosalie by a length.
The feature race of the day, the Totepool Silver Cup Hurdle, also over two miles, went to Highland Fling ridden by Robbie Dunne.
The horse had won just three days earlier at Sedgefield but relished the Fakenham conditions to come out on top again, despite being hampered along the back straight with half a mile to go. Coming to the last, he overtook Star Foot to gain a stirring two-length victory.
The combination of Sean Quinlan and trainer Jennie Candlish rounded off the day with success in the final two races.
In the Prince Carlton Chase over three miles top weight Beeves led most of the way and having shaken off main rival Fingerontheswitch cantered to the line clear by a resounding 10 lengths.
It was a similar story in the ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot Chase over two miles and five furlongs with Quinlan urging his mount D’nailor clear of the field following the fall of joint favourite Tara Mac. They won easily by 12 lengths.
The next meeting at Fakenham is on Easter Monday, April 17.