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Fakenham racecourse preparing for a big New Year's Day meeting

PUBLISHED: 12:27 27 December 2018

Skandiburg - seen here leading the North Creake National Hunt Novices' Hurdle Race at Fakenham in early December - is set to return on Tuesday Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Skandiburg - seen here leading the North Creake National Hunt Novices' Hurdle Race at Fakenham in early December - is set to return on Tuesday Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Fakenham racecourse stages its hugely popular New Year's Day six-race meeting next Tuesday with 19 initial entries for the near £15,000 feature handicap hurdle.

The 1.55pm class three contest could see two recent winners at the north Norfolk course trying to double their tally.

Ben Case has entered Kilbrew Boy, the six-year-old gelding having won at Fakenham’s meeting on December 18, while Olly Murphy has entered Skandiburg, the four-year-old a winner over course and distance at the start of December.

Potters Midnight, from Lucy Wadham’s Newmarket stable, is also entered, the mare a Fakenham winner last January.

Other interesting entries include Ceare Be, trainer Alex Hales’s recent Leicester runner-up, and Mick Quinn’s nine-year-old gelding Great Hall. Great Hall won eight times from 42 starts on the flat and has scored once in seven hurdle contests, most recently second at Huntingdon in December.

The meeting gets under way at 12.45pm with a selling hurdle in which Neil Mulholland has two entries – Vancouver, third at Leicester on December 2, and Lee Side Lady, third at Fontwell on December 11.

Amateur riders get their chance in the 1.20pm handicap chase. Among the entries are Alex Dunn’s recent Wincanton winner Polo The Mumm, Christian Williams’ Sideways, third last time at Ffos Las, and Apachee Prince, from Murphy’s stable, third at Southwell a fortnight ago.

The second chase is at 3.05pm and Oliver Greenall may run four-year-old grey gelding Lord County, a winner over fences last time at Doncaster. Rivals may include Sam England’s Manwell, a runner-up in his last five starts, Molly Carew, Mulholland’s mare a runner-up recently at Sandown in a higher grade, and Utility, a runner-up for David Bridgwater at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Two horses second and fourth when they met at Lingfield earlier this month, could meet again in the 2.30pm handicap hurdle. David Pipe’s Max Do Brazil was second and Paul Henderson’s Minella Gathering was fourth and they could clash in a race in which another interesting possibility is Polly Gundry’s Danseur Du Large.

The 3.40pm finale, a maiden hurdle, has 18 entries including Murphy’s Collooney, a recent Plumpton runner-up, John Ryan’s Queen Adelaide, third at Fakenham in October, and Starjac, Paul Webber’s grey who was second at the north Norfolk track in October.

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