Frost and fog fail to spoil the party with all six races surviving tough conditions
Frost and fog failed to spoil the National Hunt racing party at Fakenham racecourse on Tuesday (Dec 4) with all six races on the card surviving tough conditions.
Whilst the frost disappeared early, the fog lingered with visibility more of a challenge for spectators than jockeys.
Having won impressively at the track just two weeks ago with his mare Yeats Baby, Irish trainer Emmet Mullins had entered his 6-year-old in the opening Visit Palace House In Newmarket This Christmas Hurdle, hoping for a repeat performance under jockey Alain Cawley. Sent off, the odds-on favourite Yeats Baby led the field for two miles but had no answer along the back straight when outsider Bisoubisou was driven to the front by Sean Bowen.
They were followed by Demon Fou under Nick Schofield to fight it out up the home straight with Bisoubisou at odds of 14-1 holding on by half a length on the line.
Favourite Native Robin under Schofield just survived a late challenge from Wood Pigeon ridden by Aidan Coleman to win the Injured Jockeys Fund For Christmas Presents Chase. The winner idled after jumping the last and was almost caught with only half a length to spare.
Odds-on favourite Skandiburg played a waiting game in the North Creake National Hunt Novices Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs before easing to the front. Under a canny ride from Fergus Gregory the pairing won well despite a poor jump at the last, giving trainer Olly Murphy yet another winner at one of his favourite tracks.
The form book was turned upside down in the Fakenham Juvenile Hurdle over two miles as 20-1 shot San Seb ridden by Ciaran Gethings scattered the field to romp home by 11 lengths. All his previous achievements in bumpers had been poor.
The Racing Welfare Chase, also over two miles, looked to be in the hands of Your Holiday Is Over under Adrian Heskin, jumping the last in the lead. With Fakenham’s short run-in his supporters must have been counting their winnings but a never-say-die burst from long-timer leader By Rail, urged on by Jack Quinlan, won him the prize by half a length.
In gathering gloom the Harpley Hurdle over three miles was won in style by bottom weight Midnight Queen ridden by Alan Johns for South Wales trainer Tim Vaughan, the pairing leading from start to finish.
The next meeting at Fakenham is on Tuesday, December 18.