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Grant shrugs off late arrival to win Fakenham’s richest race of season on Emerald Rose

PUBLISHED: 08:37 09 May 2018

Emerald Rose and Mark Grant head for home as fallen rider Richie McLernon is hurdled by Set List, in the Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Emerald Rose and Mark Grant head for home as fallen rider Richie McLernon is hurdled by Set List, in the Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Jockey Mark Grant endured an awful journey to Fakenham but, despite arriving just 30 minutes before the start of the course’s richest and longest race of the season, managed to take the Snellings Norfolk National Chase on Emerald Rose.

Action from the Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham. Picture: Ian BurtAction from the Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

“It was a bit touch and go as to whether or not I was going to get here. There were problems with traffic but thankfully I made it.

“She’s the best horse I’ve ridden; she stays well and jumps well,” said the jockey, who had ridden the 11-year-old mare to win at the course in May 2016.

Returned at 14/1, Emerald Rose, trained by Julian Smith, was joined at the last of the 22 fences by Washed Ashore who crashed out.

Set List jumped jockey Richie McLernon, who had been thrown from Washed Ashore, and finished second with Court King third.

Action from the second race at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Ian BurtAction from the second race at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Ian Burt

“I knew Richie was closing at the last but you’ve got to jump them,” said Grant, as he celebrated taking the £32,000 race worth £20,000 to the winner.

Potters Hedger held on to take the Snellings Maiden Hurdle under Jack Sherwood for trainer Lucy Wadham.

With a circuit to go the eventual winner broke clear with two rivals but when Don Des Fosses fell and Chimes of Dylan dropped away, 7/2 chance Potters Hedger was left clear. The gelding looked tired but held on.

Potters Midnight failed to make it a Wadham/Sherwood double when beaten in the Mares’ Hurdle which went to 5/2 shot Apache Song under Harry Bannister for James Eustace.

Millen Dollar Man cruised home in the Jarrold Fakenham Ladies Day on June 3rd Chase under McLernon for trainer Alex Dunn who made the 500-mile round trip from the West Country worthwhile. The nine-year-old gelding surged produced an excellent at the last to score by seven lengths at 5/1.

If you are looking for consistency 12-year-old gelding Ascendant is the horse to follow. Under Patrick Cowley he took the opening Snellings Selling Hurdle by a length, returned 5/6 favourite. Ascendant was recording his third win at Fakenham and his seventh victory from his last eight starts for trainer Johnny Farrelly.

The finale, the Turner Trophy Hunters’ Chase, saw Strollawaynow charge through late on to win easily under Benedict Shaw for trainer David Arbuthnot, returned at 12/1, ahead of Can Mestret.

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