All clear for action as Fakenham Racecourse fights the frost
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Fakenham Racecourse's afternoon meeting will go ahead after passing an inspection at 7am.
Although temperatures failed to fall as low as had been forecast earlier this week, the track was partially frozen when examined yesterday morning and so it was decided another inspection would have to take place today.
Now that racing will definitely take place, trainer David Pipe and jockey Tom Scudamore could land a double.
In the opening, 1.30pm novice hurdle, they run Rathlin Rose, a five-year-old gelding who won at Taunton earlier this month. Main rival in a three-runner race is Baku Bay under Jack Doyle for Ali Stronge.
Baku Bay certainly likes the track, the seven-year-old gelding having won at the last meeting nine days ago.
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Irish import Twentytwo's Taken will be the odds-on favourite for Pipe and Scudamore in the 3pm mares' maiden hurdle. The seven-year-old was second in Navan in November on the back of last season's wins at Fairyhouse and Down Royal and is well fancied to open her account in England.
Midnight Jazz, Kielan Woods on Ben Case's Newbury runner-up, and Tambura, Tom Cannon riding the former Plumpton and Ffos Las winner, are key rivals.
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The feature race at 2.30pm is the Wendling Chase and Full Ov Beans, a six-time winner at the course, tries to defy his highest ever mark to beat his four rivals. Mikey Hamill rides for Stratford-based trainer Michael Gates.
Shinooki, Woods riding for Alex Hales, tries to make it a course hat-trick in the same race after winning at the previous two meetings at the north Norfolk track while Alanjou, Brendan Powell riding for Jamie Snowden, also holds a good chance.
Half an hour earlier, 10 are declared for the conditional jockeys' hurdle which is very competitive.
Montaff, under Tom Cheeseman, was second at the course on New Year's Day while Conor Shoemark rides Running Wolf, a recent Market Rasen runner-up.
Only five go in the 3.30pm chase, where another previous course winner, Alright Benny, is likely to be favourite for Tom O'Brien and trainer Paul Henderson. But the gelding is up in weight and could find Moneymix and Epee Celeste ready to take advantage.
Seven go in the 4pm finale over hurdles in which Nouailhas tries to win after finishing second in his last three outings.
Ben Poste rides, but will be looking out for Nellie The Elegant, third at the course in November for trainer Tim Vaughan.