Actinpieces looking to repeat last year’s success as Fakenham gets season underway
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Grey mare Actinpieces will try to repeat her feat of a year ago on Friday when Fakenham Racecourse's 2018/19 National Hunt season gets under way with a six-race card.
The Pam Sly trained seven-year-old, again partnered by Gina Andrews, won the feature race on the card at the 2017 meeting and has been entered for a bid to land the three-mile Sky Sports Racing Launching in January chase over three miles.
This time the mare will have an extra three pounds to carry in the 4.10pm feature worth almost £10,000 to the winner, and if taking her chance, could have most to fear from Gina's younger brother Jack on the Neil King trained Princeton Royale.
A regular visitor to the north Norfolk course, Princeton Royale won there in June having been placed on three other occasions in 2018.
King has also entered 10-year-old Mercers Court, winner of his last three races, two at Fontwell and one at Worcester since August.
The other class three event is the 3.10pm three-mile novice chase which has an entry from Nicky Henderson for Cultivator, a recent Worcester winner and now stepping up in trip.
Olly Murphy was leading trainer at the track last season and may run Motueka for a chasing debut, the six-year-old having won his last two hurdle races at Worcester and Newton Abbott.
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Murphy has multiple entries across the card including four in the 2.05pm opening selling hurdle in which he looks likely to run Let's Sway under Norfolk-based claimer Fergus Gregory. The Authorised filly won at Newton Abbott on debut for Murphy having been bought out of Tracey Barfoot-Saunt's yard.
Charlie Mann's Fixed Rate was a winner on the card last season and has Ilewin Geez entered in the 2.35pm handicap hurdle, while Murphy has champion jockey Richard Johnson booked for a ride on Mon Port in the 3.40pm novice hurdle. On his first run for Murphy, the six-year-old won at Huntingdon, his first run for a year after being bought from Ben de Haan's stable.
The 4.45pm finale has 13 entries, including six from Murphy, although a key rival to any of those could be Jamie Snowden's mare Floral Bouquet, a faller at Ffos Las when bidding to follow up wins at Perth and Ludlow.