Cut-price weekend treat for Fakenham racegoers

Princeton Royale returns to Fakenham Racecourse for Saturday's additional meeting. Picture: Ian Burt

Princeton Royale returns to Fakenham Racecourse for Saturday's additional meeting. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Racing fans are in for a special cut-price treat this weekend when Fakenham stages a 'last-minute' seven-race card.

After losing its popular Easter Monday fixture to the wet weather, the British Horseracing Authority allowed the north Norfolk course to stage a first Saturday meeting for years.

And fans could respond by flocking to the track as admission is an across-the-board pay-on-the-day £10. Gates will open at 11am and the first of the seven races is at 2.15pm with the finale at 5.40pm. Despite the late decision to stage the meeting, there have been a good number of initial entries received, and the feature race at 5.10pm, a handicap chase over 21 furlongs worth £14,000, looks particularly tantalising.

Two horses will be looking to complete hat-tricks of victories if taking their chance. Wales-based trainer Evan Williams may run Tornado In Milan, a 12-year-old successful recently at both Ludlow and Chepstow, while Laura Mongan trains Skipping On, an eight-year-old winning twice in March, at Towcester and Southwell.

Olly Murphy, the leading trainer at the course this season, has entered After Aspen while Dan Skelton has Sam Red and regular Fakenham visitor Princeton Royale looks set to go for trainer Neil King.

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Murphy dominates the list of initial entries in two of the other contests. He has eight provisionally named for the 4pm handicap hurdle, including Calipso Collonges, winner of his last four starts, although another trainer with a superb Fakenham record, Lucy Wadham, based at Newmarket, has Iconic Sky entered.

The earlier 3.25pm novice hurdle also features eight horses from Murphy's Stratford base, although top trainers Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson both have two entries in Mont Des Avaloirs and Blu Cavalier and Grapevine and Pacific De Baune respectively.

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The opening handicap hurdle over two miles at 2.15pm could well feature 12-year-old Ascendant for trainer Johnny Farrelly. The gelding has won five of his last six starts, including two at Fakenham, one at the last meeting on March 16.

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