Norfolk National winner Hepijeu enjoys more success at Fakenham
- Credit: Archant
Hepijeu, winner of the Norfolk National in May, returned to Fakenham to add the Jarrold Ladies' Day Chase to his roll of honour.
While some thought Hepijeu lucky to take the National when his nearest rival fell at the final fence, there was nothing fortunate about yesterday's victory under the course's leading rider of the season, Ciaran Gethings.
The 5/2 chance timed his effort perfectly to beat Fifty Shades in a thrilling five-runner contest.
"I love coming here. It's always in great condition with a lovely covering of grass. I've won here 11 times, 10 of those for trainer Stuart Edmunds," said Gethings. But Edmunds missed this success, away in Ireland.
Gethings collected the David Turner Trophy as the season's leading rider, with eight victories.
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Bryony Frost beamed with joy after taking the Longwater Construction Supplies Novice Chase after a superb round of jumping on trainer Neil King's Regulation.
The 10-year-old switched to chasing a fortnight ago and won at Stratford. He made it two after leading from start to finish, returned at 7/2.
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"He was magic. He's a real pocket rocket. It's great when you can trust in your horse and he never put a foot wrong," said Bryony.
Four went in the opening Stibbard Handicap Hurdle in which hat-trick seeking Sirobbie was turned over by 3/1 chance West to Crossgales.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson stalked the favourite before pressing the accelerator around the final bend to win for trainer Charlie Pogson.
Sam Twiston-Davies praised trainer Dr Richard Newland after YCCS Portocervo pulled off a shock 9/1 success in the Wordingham Plant Hire Maiden Hurdle. The French-bred grey gelding had run out at Warwick on his British debut but wearing a hood and on a left-handed track, he led from start to finish.
"That was a good run. The trainer's horses are really happy horses and are running well at the moment," said the winning jockey.
There was drama in the lady amateur riders' contest when Angel of the North slipped on the final bend, giving rider Gina Andrews a nasty fall. That left two clear but they were picked off by 11/8 favourite Cottonvale, who raced home under Isabel Williams for trainer Christian Williams.
The finale further boosted trainer David Pipe's terrific strike rate at Fakenham when Max Do Brazil under Tom Scudamore won the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards Novice Chase for the Prince of Wales Cup, returned at 15/8.