Chaos and controversy shrouded the handicap chase at Fakenham on Tuesday when teenage jockey Brendan Powell threw away victory by taking the wrong course.

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Benny The Swinger, the 5-4 favourite from Winchester trainer Chris Gordon’s yard, looked sure to win and jumped clear at the last. But instead of heading up the run-in, Powell steered the bay gelding too straight and took the wrong course, jumping the fence in front of the stands.

Powell was roundly booed by the crowd when he returned to the unsaddling enclosure and not surprisingly was “too distraught” to comment later. The mistake left Roc De Guye, winner of the race for the last two seasons, clear, but on the line he was pipped by fast-finishing Peak Seasons.

The Michael Chapman trained gelding had won at Leicester just 24 hours earlier when giving 10-pound claimer Gerard Galligan his first win. Galligan couldn’t believe his luck in winning again, giving Chapman his first win at the course for 419 days.

After a stewards enquiry, a visibly distressed Powell was given a 14-day ban from December 4-17 inclusive for taking the wrong course.

The feature race went to 8-11 favourite First Fandango under five-pound claimer Michael Byrne. Jason Maguire, on Brady, went off in front and looked to be getting the better of the favourite until making a total mess of the fence in front of the stands with a circuit to go.

Maguire made a terrific recovery to keep the partnership together but the blunder proved too costly and First Fandango danced to success for trainer Tim Vaughan.

A huge gamble on Rock Me John went astray in the selling hurdle. The Irish point winner was backed down from 12-1 to 2-1 and looked full of running when taking it up for Thomas Flint, for trainer father John, with a circuit to go.

But the favourite, who had made a 520-mile round trip from Bridgend, capitulated when pressed by bottom weight Me Fein under Paul Moloney and the Barney Curley trained grey went on to win at 100-30 with Mangonel, under Tom Scudamore, second six lengths back.

The winner was bought in for 7,100 guineas after Taverham Hall Prep School youngsters had presented winning connections with their prizes.

The drama continued in the fourth when 3-1 favourite Amok made all until the second last when overtaken by outsider Scotsbrook Legend. But the outsider crashed out at the last leaving Amok to complete a Vaughan double.

Misstree Dancer made Devon trainer Nick Williams’ 540-mile round trip worthwhile with an easy win under Nick Schofield, the 5-2 shot beating favourite Midnight Macarena.

The four-runner finale went to Everdon Brook under claimer Tony Kelly for trainer David Thompson from Darlington. The winner, returned at 7-4, cost just £1,600 and was scoring for a second time.

Next Fakenham meeting is on Monday, December 10 with the first race at 1pm.

1 comment

  • As long as no horses were killed or injured, I couldn't care less what he did. Does it really matter, no.

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