Cheers for Nube Negra as gelding looks a star in the making at Fakenham
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Nube Negra looked a potential star to follow after taking the Greene King Novices Chase at Fakenham.
The five-year-old, ridden by Harry Skelton for brother Dan, produced an immaculate display to destroy his four rivals, returned at 2/5. He took the two-mile event from Encore Champs who snatched second on the line, 10 lengths adrift.
"That was really good. It's a difficult track for novices and he's done the job well. He will have learned a lot," said Skelton, his mount making it two chases out of two after winning a month earlier at Warwick.
"We looked after him over hurdles but chasing is definitely his game," said Skelton, adding Sandown's Henry VIII Novice Chase could be a future target.
Peterborough trainer Pam Sly won the Greene King Hurdle with Welland, returned at 7/1. Ridden by Paul O'Brien, Welland is a gelding who has been 'difficult to train'.
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"He's always going lame. He's been to the vets many times and they can't seem to sort it. But that was nice and he could win again," said Sly, who in 10 days' time goes into hospital for her fifth hip operation.
Trainer Alan King introduced grey filly Midnight's Gift to hurdling and the three-year-old won well. Tom Cannon had her handy and hit the front entering the home straight. Champion jockey Richard Johnson looked a danger on Break the Rules but the 6/5 favourite won by a short head.
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Nicky Henderson's odds-on favourite Falco Blitz had an easy victory in the maiden hurdle. Nico de Boinville pushed the 4/5 chance off in front and despite a mistake at the flight in front of the stands, never saw a rival in a six-length success.
Trainer Lucy Wadham has a great strike rate at Fakenham and her Regarding Ruth was a comfortable 9/2 winner of the three-mile Greene King Handicap Hurdle under Maxime Tissier.
The day's second chase, the David Hall Has Finally Retired Chase, was an all-the-way three-mile success for Ryan Day on the Laura Morgan-trained Thomas Todd. The 9/2 chance jumped well to win from Twasn't The Plan.
The finale, the NH flat race, saw Gavin Sheehan notch his 40th win of the season in getting home on Paul Webber's Litigate, returned at 16/1, beating Presence of Mind.