National Hunt Racing by Jim Harding
Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham celebrated a 54-1 double at Fakenham’s second meeting of the season, saddling two outstanding winners on the seven-race card.
First up was Artifice Sivola ridden by Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell who took command of the Cool Roxy Owners and Trainers Bar Chase from the outset and was never headed. It was a brilliant round of jumping over the two miles to bring the pairing home by 17 lengths from favourite Be On Time.
The double came in the last race of the day, the Oxwick Standard National Hunt Flat over two miles for conditional jockeys, thanks to a patient ride from David Noonan on Potters Legend. He kept long-time leader Postbridge in his sights before making his move over the final half mile to pull away and coast to an eight-length victory.
A big half-term holiday crowd packed the stands in the only scheduled jumps meeting in the country which was also graced by the presence of star chaser Cool Roxy who won 11 times at the track.
Owner Alan Blackmore brought him along for the official opening of the new owners’ and trainers’ bar named in his honour.
Course doctor for the past 34 years Piers Reinhold was present to open the new Dr Piers Reinhold Medical Room.
Favourite backers got off to a good start when Tokyo Javilex made it three wins out of his last four rides in the Injured Jockeys Fund Hurdle over two miles and seven furlongs.
Seven-pound claimer Lee Drowne was always up with the pace and battled on well to get the better of Weybridge Light by four lengths.
Making his debut for new connections, Miami Present under Danny Cook saw off a competitive field, which included odds-on favourite Legend Lady, to take the Fakenham ‘National Hunt’ Maiden Hurdle over two miles.
The Harriet Bethell trained five-year-old was far too good on the day and won in a canter from outsider Blue April by seven lengths.
The top pairing of Wayne Hutchinson and trainer Alan King ensured that evens favourite Mystery Code triumphed in the Breeders Cup Fillies Juvenile Hurdle for three-year-olds.
It was a confident hurdles debut to get the better of Culture de Sivola by four lengths over the two miles.
Trainer David Thompson has found it difficult to win with his eight-year-old Bowdler’s Magic but made the long trip down from Darlington worthwhile in the Crown Inn Catering at Fakenham Racecourse Hurdle.
The switch from fences did the trick and relishing the going under a bold ride from Brian Hughes the win was never in doubt up the home straight ahead of Iron Butterfly by eight lengths.
Wadham was denied a treble on the day by the tightest of finishes in the Reinhold Jockeys’ Medical Room at Fakenham Chase over two miles and five furlongs.
Her horse Road to Freedom, sent off as favourite and ridden by Aspell, had every chance at the last but was denied by Milgen Bay under a determined drive from Thomas Garner who snatched victory by a head. The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday, November 17, first race due off at 1pm.