In-form Harry Skelton aiming for chase success on Amidon at Fakenham
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Harry Skelton, enjoying his best season as a jockey, could add to his tally at Fakenham this afternoon in the 2.30pm £6,500 feature race, the Wendling Handicap Chase.
Skelton, notching up the winners mainly for his brother, trainer Dan Skelton, rides the likely favourite, a six-year-old gelding trained by Lucy Wadham, who was second at Newbury at the end of the year.
Before that Amidon had won at Fontwell although he won't have it easy in an eight-runner field headed by Aigle De La See for Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville.
Listen Bay goes under claimer Ryan Hatch for Nigel Twiston-Davies, the 10-year-old third in each of his last three runs while veteran Fruity O'Rooney also takes part.
The 13-year-old, third at Lingfield last time out, has won seven of his 39 chases and represents trainer Gary Moore and his jockey son, Jamie.
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Should Skelton prevail on Amidon, he will be hoping for a quick double when riding his brother's Late Night Lily in the following maiden hurdle at 3.05pm.
The five-year-old mare was second at Huntingdon on Boxing Day having won a Fontwell bumper in October.
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Likely favourite for the 13-runner contest is Magic Dancer, a four-year-old gelding trained by Charlie Longsdon, who was second in a higher grade contest at Musselburgh on New Year's Day. Graham Watters claims a useful three pounds.
Henderson and De Boinville team up with hurdle debutant Barman, second on the flat at Vichy in France 18 months ago, while Richie McLernon rides Paul Webber's Gwafa, a grey gelding sixth on debut at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The other chase, the East Bilney Chase at 3.40pm features six and could go to Halo Moon under Noel Fehily for Neil Mulholland.
The gelding was brought down at the course on New Year's Day having previously finished third at Huntingdon.
Main rival looks to be Salut Honore for James Banks and trainer Alex Hales, the 10-year-old a three-times third placer at Ludlow, Southwell and Towcester.
The 1.25pm opening handicap hurdle looks a match between Guaracha and Ogaritmo.
Guaracha, Mikey Hamill claiming seven pounds on Alex Dunn's gelding, has a seven-pound penalty for winning at Plumpton less than a fortnight ago while Banks and Hales team up with Ogaritmo, second at the north Norfolk course in December, having previously won there last April.
Bridget Andrews rides Skelton's likely favourite for the 2pm novice hurdle, Girly Girl, looking to follow up Worcester and Plumpton wins before finding a higher grade too tough at Taunton last time.
Road To Freedom, Tom O'Brien for Wadham and Weststreet, Leighton Aspell for Oliver Sherwood look key rivals.
Conditional jockeys get their chance in the closing 4.10pm handicap hurdle in which favourite is the Harry Cobden ridden Hassadin, a Fontwell winner on Boxing Day whose main threats appear to be Joe Colliver riding the Mick Hammond trained Jumpandtravel, a course winner in November and Running Wolf for Killian Moore and Hales.