Lucy Wardham sets her sights on the Fakenham festive feature
PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 December 2016
Fakenham’s traditional New Year’s Day meeting takes place at the north Norfolk course tomorrow (Sunday) with six races, starting at 12.45pm and with the finale off at 3.35pm and as always, a large holiday crowd is anticipated.
Newmarket-based Lucy Wadham has a great record at the track and she looks to land the feature race, the 3.05pm North Norfolk Handicap Hurdle with seven-year-old grey gelding, Artifice Sivola.
Jack Sherwood claims three pounds off the back of the gelding, a winner at Stratford in October and a former Fakenham winner, back in October 2015.
The David Dennis trained Marquis of Carabas under seven-pound claimer Zac Baker looks the key rival in the six-runner line-up.
Earlier Wadham sends out her four-year-old grey filly Iconic Sky, again under Sherwood, in the 1.55pm maiden hurdle in which eight go to post.
The filly was fifth at Market Rasen a month ago having been runner-up at Fakenham in October.
Likely favourite is Dan Skelton’s Djarkalin under Ian Popham.
The gelding has been runner-up in his last three races, at Ludlow, Plumpton and Newton Abbott.
Racing starts at 12.45pm and sees Tuesday’s first and second at Leicester, Rathealy and Great Link, renew rivalry in double quick time.
David Pipe’s Rathealy, under Michael Heard, should beat Great Link again, under Adam Wedge for trainer Lawney Hill, as 13 lengths separating the two in Rathealy’s favour last week.
John Cornwall’s The Jugopolist, under Ben Poste, has won just one of his 30 previous chases but is favourite for the 1.20pm novice chase despite not winning at the course on seven previous attempts.
Tommy The Rascal, second behind Bonnet’s Vino at the track a fortnight ago, under Sean Quinlan for Jenny Candish, is the key threat.
Cornwall will be hoping The Jugopolist is the first part of a double.
In the 3.35pm finale, the amateur riders’ chase, he sends out That’s The Deal under James King, the horse having his 17th run at Fakenham.
However, he may find 13-year-old veteran Arctic Ben, under Harry Nugent for trainer Henry Daly, too strong.
Previous form always seems to count at the course and in the 2.30pm handicap hurdle, top weight Shinooki looks to use that statistic to his advantage. The Alex Hales trained 10-year-old gelding, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, scored at Fakenham twice in January 2015 and more recently finished runner-up there on the Sunday before Christmas.
Only five take their chance and two are from the stable of Evan Williams in Pembrokeshire.
He runs Abbeygrey, an Exeter winner last time, under Wedge, while Sutter’s Mill, under three-pound claimer Conor Ring, is interesting having been second at Bangor last time out.
Yesterday, Fakenham’s chief executive and clerk of the course David Hunter said there was frost in the ground and that if racing had been planned for yesterday, it would not have taken place.
However, a forecast for a warmer night last night and for tonight (Saturday) means that he had no plans to inspect.
1.20pm Amber Gamber
1.55pm Iconic Sky
2.30pm Sutter’s Mill
3.05pm Artifice Sivola
3.35pm Arctic Ben