Actinpieces claims the Fakenham feature race on season’s opening day
Gina Andrews, who at 16 rode her first winner for trainer Pam Sly, landed the feature race on Fakenham’s opening day of the season for the Peterborough-based trainer.
Andrews, now 25, scored on grey mare Actinpieces, to land the £8,000 prize for the Visit ATR three-mile chase, at 9/4. She battled to see off Catamaran Du Seuil, the only ride of the day for Aidan Coleman, who was sent off favourite.
“Pam has always supported me. She’s been great. The mare jumped slowly to start with but got better as the race went on,” said Andrews.
“Now I’ve got to find another race for Actinpieces. I have to run her inside a month otherwise she blows her top,” joked Sly.
Harry Skelton took the ATR Novices’ Chase on Sam Red, trained by his brother Dan, after Bryony Frost had been unseated on the front-running Bagad Bihoue. When that partnership came unstuck it left Skelton in front. Favourite Thumb Stone Blues challenged but Sam Red, at 13/8, won cosily.
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“I felt we would be okay even before Bryony came to grief,” said Skelton, last season’s leading rider at Fakenham.
The very impressive Momella completed a double for the Skeltons when winning the three-runner finale. The five-year-old mare, sent off at 5/4, easily accounted for the Paul Nicholls trained Brahms De Clemont, by a decisive 17 lengths.
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There was a Norfolk winner in the opener when jockey Fergus Gregory scored on the Olly Murphy trained Cliffside Park.
“We made a mistake two out but it didn’t hurt us,” said Fergus, from Thompson near Watton, who enjoyed his sixth career victory. He is now looking forward to two rides on the flat at Kempton on Sunday for trainer Robert Eddery.
Jockey Harry Bannister made a decisive move two flights from home in getting favourite Fixed Rate home in the handicap hurdle, scoring for trainer Charlie Mann.
Fixed Rate, backed in from 15/2, won from Bonnet’s Vino, who jumped out to the right throughout. Trainer Stuart Edmunds saw Theclockisticking win on hurdling debut. Runner-up in a Market Rasen bumper, the 9/4 chance, under Ciaran Gethings, destroyed his five rivals, finishing clear of favourite Holryale in the novices’ hurdle.