Home alone Imperial Aura kicks off chase career in great style
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Imperial Aura produced an immaculate display of jumping on chase debut to finish alone in Fakenham's feature race of its six-race card on Tuesday.
The Weatherby Beginners' Chase over three miles saw trainer Kim Bailey's six-year-old cruise home after his two rivals unseated the rider and pulled up respectively.
Imperial Aura, third in the Chepstow Silver Trophy Hurdle, took well to the bigger obstacles and pleased connections, returned at the remarkable odds of 1/25.
"He is a lovely horse. He jumped brilliantly. We have always thought a lot of him. He is a natural chaser and that's why we wasted no time in switching him to fences. He did it so well," said winning jockey David Bass.
There was a royal winner in the Mares' Chase when Chequered View, under Patrick Cowley, scored for owner The Princess Royal, and trainer Martin Keighley.
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The 13/8 chance was clear with half a mile to go in the three-miler and easily made it two wins from two at the track. Carnspindle was second in the four-runner chase in which Bridget Andrews was thankfully unhurt after a crashing fall on Ratoute Yutty.
The third chase on the card saw top weight Paddy's Poem triumph in a high-tempo two-miler, winning at 6/1 under James Davies for in-form trainer Nick Gifford.
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Favourite Master Vintage looked to complete a hat-trick but when he faded it was left for the winner to hold off Defi Sacre to score.
Olly Murphy's Todd reserves his best efforts for Fakenham and he won for the third time at the course when landing the selling hurdle under Callum McKinnes.
A runner-up at the previous Fakenham meeting, 2/1 chance Todd took it up two flights out and comfortably held off the favourite Skeaping, by three lengths to earn McKinnes his first victory at the track.
Fergus Gillard made his Fakenham debut a winning one when landing the Amateur Riders' Handicap Hurdle on the David Pipe trained evens favourite Paricolor.
Making his handicap debut, the three-year-old fell at Wincanton recently and despite some uncertain early jumping, won by nine lengths from Eva's Diva.
There was last-flight drama in the finale when favourite Viking Ruby unseated Harry Reed as he challenged eventual winner Perfect Moment. Perfect Moment had led for most of the three-mile trip under Tom O'Brien for trainer Michael Roberts, returned at 9/2.