Good day for the outsiders at Fakenham races
PUBLISHED: 09:25 18 February 2017
The smile on the face of owner and trainer Pam Sly said it all after her mare Bonnet’s Vino won the novice chase at Fakenham yesterday.
Sly’s smile was matched only by that of winning rider Gina Andrews after the 22/1 outsider scooped a shock victory.
The Nicky Henderson trained Omessa Has led early but it was favourite Mr Mix, under Sam Twiston-Davies for Paul Nicholls, who looked set to score. However, having gone ahead, Mr Mix crashed out at the open ditch and as Omessa Has faded, it was left for Andrews to power Sly’s mare home.
“Gina was so cool. I told her not to make a move until the last ditch. Obviously we were helped by the faller, but to be fair she has done it well,” said Sly.
“She’s run her heart out and deserved her bit of luck,” said Andrews.
Feature race, the Tim Barclay Memorial Chase, went to another long-shot in Rear Admiral, at 16/1.
Ridden by Jake Greenall and trained by Mick Easterby, the 11-year-old bided his time before racing through in the final half mile to win.
“Sometimes he packs it in but today he wanted it and ran well,” said Greenall as the owners touted a shot at Aintree’s Topham Trophy at April’s Grand National meeting as a target.
The William Bulwer Long Memorial Hunter Chase completed a double on the day for the Easterbys when Carlton Ryan, trained by Stephanie Easterby and ridden by William Easterby, triumphed at 3/1 after Mr Madeit fell at the final fence.
Barry Geraghty made a rare visit to ride Cash Again in the novice hurdle but could only finish third behind 4/1 winner The Mighty Don on whom Tom Scudamore injected pace to put the contest to bed a mile out.
It proved a day for big-priced winners and Improved did just that in first-time cheekpieces to win the novice hurdle under Thomas Dowson for Phil Kirby, returned at 10/1.
Six-year-old gelding Edward Elgar hit all the right notes in winning the opener under Harry Skelton for trainer Caroline Bradley at 4/1 while the closing flat race saw Skelton complete a wide apart double when newcomer Whatzdjazz trained by brother Dan, scored at 6/1.