Punters return at last for Fakenham Christmas meeting
After four race meetings behind closed doors this season, Fakenham enjoyed the return of spectators to celebrate its Christmas meeting on Sunday.
With fifty entries on the six-race card the invited crowd may have been small but certainly made itself heard.
The feature race of the afternoon, the Sky Sports Racing Chase over two miles and five furlongs, went to Maypole Class, ridden by Jonjo O’Neill Jr for his father.
Generator City took the lead from three out but the winner played his hand coming to the home turn to keep on well from main rival Duhallow Lad by three lengths.
The two market leaders dominated the Vote Hollie Doyle Personality 2020 Mares Hurdle, also over two miles and five furlongs.
Favourite Martello Sky, ridden by Bryony Frost, finally got the better of Allavina under Aiden Coleman, showing a good turn of foot from the last to scoot home, also by three lengths.
A field of ten contested the British Racing School Hurdle over two miles and seven furlongs, during which the lead constantly changed hands.
Top weight Juge Et Parti under a patient ride by Brodie Hampson was always up with the pace and took control up the home straight.
The Archie Watson-trained seven-year-old stretched away for a commanding win at the generous odds of 14/1. Warm favourite Jonjoela could only manage third.
Another competitive field of ten had entered the Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and RBL Hurdle over two miles.
Claiming rider Nial Houlihan picked up a spare ride on Gorham’s Cove and made it count in great style.
The pairing were never headed from first to last on the Gary Moore six-year-old, scattering the field by 8 lengths with rank outsider Letsbe Avenue at 40/1 putting in a fine effort to come second.
Princess Roxy was sent off favourite in the Vote Hollie Sports Personality of the Year Mares Chase over two miles and five furlongs.
Under a determined drive from Harry Bannister she just got the better of her rivals from the last, beating second-placed Episode by a length.
The biggest field of the day contested the last race of the afternoon, the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.
Money had come for Sopat, making his hurdles debut and ridden by Kielan Woods but he was unable to sustain his place with the leading bunch.
Timing her run perfectly, Page Fuller on Diocletian emerged from the pack to go well clear of runner-up First Soldier, ridden by Cillin Leonard.
The next meeting at Fakenham is scheduled for Monday January 4.