Black Mac tipped for New Year’s Day glory at Fakenham

Black Mac could have Irish eyes smiling as the Irish-raider runs in the feature race, the Welcome To 2012 Handicap Hurdle (2.05), in Fakenham Racecourse's excellent six-race New Year's Day card.

This JP McAllen-trained gelding has been a consistent performer, without getting his nose in front, until an impressive performance when scoring by 23 lengths at Uttoxeter in December. Providing the long journey from his Killarney stables does not take it out of him, expect another bold showing with Eddie Power in the saddle once again. The main challengers in this competitive contest look to be Arctic Actress, Judiciary and Hawk Mountain.

The meeting gets underway with the Josh Fryer 21 Today Selling Hurdle (12.25), in which Philip Kirby-trained Platinum gets the nod. This gelding will be making his first start for his new stable, after being claimed out of Rebecca Curtis' yard, following an impressive 14-length win at Ludlow back in November. Cityar and Kickahead are the likely challengers.

Sam Telm is taken to break his duck in the New Year's Day Maiden Hurdle (1.00). This Renee Robeson-trained gelding was last seen when chasing home the useful gelding Jimbill at Fakenham's December meeting and is taken to go one better after two useful performances in two National Hunt bumpers prior to his hurdling debut. Of the other runners, both Hawaana and All Annalena look worth a second glance on their hurdling debut.

Locally-owned Captain Smoothly is the tentative selection to win the Ronald Bees-Phillips Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (1.30). This gelding has been lightly raced over the last year and despite failing to complete on his last two runs at the North Norfolk track, is given a chance after dropping down the handicap.

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The Black Baron should have too much in the tank to win the wide-open, Wensum Valley Maiden Chase (2.40) against some inconsistent rivals.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained, Storm Survivor, is taken to follow-up his recent Folkestone success with victory in the Holt Handicap Hurdle (3.15). He can score again in the very capable hands of young jockey, Maurice Linehan – with the consistent Fidelis the likely danger.

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