All eyes on Fakenham's Norfolk National Chase
PUBLISHED: 18:11 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:11 03 May 2018
Archant Norfolk 2016
There are 21 entries for one of the highlights of Fakenham's National Hunt season, the Snellings Norfolk National Chase over three miles and five furlongs on Tuesday.
In total there are 116 entries for the six-race card but all eyes will be on the 3.45pm feature race, worth around £32,000 with almost £20,000 going to the winner.
That winner, if taking his chance, could be eight-year-old gelding Hedgeinator, bidding for a hat-trick for trainer Christian Williams. Hedgeinator won twice in January, over three miles and two furlongs at Sedgefield and over three miles at Ludlow, both contests on soft ground.
On both occasions the gelding was ridden by James Bowen whose father, trainer Peter, has two entered in Fakenham’s long-distance event. He has Buachaill Alainn and Court King in the provisional line-up and would like nothing better than to take the top prize home to Wales.
There is a strong supporting card to the National, with local electrical firm Snellings providing the sponsorship. Olly Murphy has been the top trainer at Fakenham since the 2017/18 campaign began back in October and he has four entered in the Snellings Maiden Hurdle at 3.10pm over two miles and four furlongs.
Murphy, a visitor to every Fakenham meeting this season from his base near Stratford, has Captiva Island, Flynnvincible, Fresh New Dawn and Telegraph Place in the original line-up, three of those runners having already raced at the course.
The opening race at 2.10pm, the two-mile Snellings Conditional Jockeys Selling Hurdle over two miles, could see hardy veteran Ascendant, trained by Johnny Farrelly, return to the north Norfolk track where he has already won twice in 2018. He scored on New Year’s Day and followed up in March, also winning at Sedgefield and Huntingdon to chalk up four wins from five starts this calendar year.
Trainer Michael Scudamore will be hoping 12-year-old Skint can complete a hat-trick if taking his chance in the 2.40pm Jarrold Fakenham Ladies Day on Sunday, June 3rd Chase over two miles and five furlongs. Skint won at Fontwell three weeks ago after an earlier success at Huntingdon.
The card is completed with the 4.15pm Mares Handicap Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs which has 18 entries and the finale, the Turner Trophy Hunter Case over three miles, for which 22 are entered.