New Year winners hard 
to predict at Fakenham

MLNF Gordon Treacy with Alright Benny
MLNF Gordon Treacy with Alright Benny
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A big holiday crowd descended on Fakenham Racecourse for its New Year’s Day meeting.

Winners were hard to find with just one favourite obliging on the six-race card.

MLNF Harrison Beswick leaving winner's enclosure

MLNF Harrison Beswick leaving winner's enclosure

That was odds-on shot Shinooki under a patient ride from Kielan Woods, overhauling long-time leader Sitting Back, ridden by Tabetha Worsley, to land the Independent Racecourses Ltd Chase over two miles and five furlongs by eight lengths.

In soft going and hampered by breezy conditions the opening Bet Tote Jackpot Selling Hurdle went to Murtys Delight with claimer Christopher Ward riding for Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland.

Taking the lead up the final straight the pairing held off their only challenger, Montaff, to win by three and three quarter lengths. There was no bid for the winner at auction.

Teenager Harrison Beswick celebrated his first win at the track on Acertain Circus trained by Pam Sly at her Peterborough yard.

The 19-year-old bided his time in the Fakenham Racecourse Annual Members Hurdle over two miles as Baths Well and Benissimo vied for the lead in front, sprinting past them both at the last to get home by two and a half lengths.

Only four horses contested the Fakenham Amateur Riders Chase over two miles with just two completing after both The Omen and Oxalido fell at the same fence down the back straight.

Alright Benny took full advantage in the hands of Gordon Treacy, holding off the attentions of Icy Colt ridden by Max Kendrick to triumph by three lengths.

The POW Grandstand For Private Functions Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs was convincingly won by Minstrels Gallery from the Lucy Wadham stable.

Confidently ridden by Leighton Aspell, the six-year-old swept past favourite Aficionado from two out, extending his lead to 14 lengths on the line.

In gathering gloom the finale went to outsider Vision Du Coeur ridden by Sam Jones to take the Happy New Year Hurdle over three miles.

Favourite Brass Monkey under Lizzie Kelly went to the front in the final mile but was soon collared by the winner who stretched away up the straight to land the spoils by eight lengths.

The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday January 13, first race 1pm.