James Bowen and Christian Williams on lookout for double as racing returns at Fakenham
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Teenage jockey James Bowen and Glamorgan-based trainer Christian Williams are bidding for a double when racing returns to Fakenham this afternoon.
The last two scheduled meetings at the racecourse have fallen victim to overnight frosts but there were no anticipated problems for today's seven-race Lycetts Race Day card, starting at 1.40pm.
Williams will be hoping to make his trip from Wales worthwhile with Sideways, favourite for the 3.20pm feature, the Tim Barclay Memorial Chase, in which the eight-year-old faces six rivals.
Bowen rides the improving horse, a winner at Sedgefield mid January after an earlier win over course and distance at Fakenham. Main rivals are the Venetia Williams trained Un Prophete, under Charlie Deutsch, the grey gelding third at Ascot last time, and Paul Webber's Volt Face under Gavin Sheehan, a runner-up at both Market Rasen and Fakenham.
At 2.10pm the Lycetts novice chase has only four runners but they include Paul Nicholls Brelan D'As, ridden by Bryony Frost. The gelding was fifth at Cheltenham recently.
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The Lycetts handicap hurdle, at 3.50pm features seven with Williams and Bowen holding all the aces with favourite Uno Mas. The five-year-old won at Catterick last time having been second at Doncaster and a Hereford winner previously.
Most competitive race is the 2.45pm novice hurdle featuring Nicky Henderson's Mill Green. Off course for more than 200 days, the gelding won at Newton Abbott and Fontwell last summer.
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Khage, under Sheehan for Harry Whittington, is a recent Taunton winner while another last time out winner is Rapper, for Henry Daly. On The Slopes is respected for Daryl Jacob and Chris Gordon, the gelding second at Fontwell after winning at the same track on Boxing Day.
Generous Jack for Jacob and Suzi Best looks a good thing in the opening 1.40pm selling hurdle, the gelding a Plumpton winner last month while only three go in the William Bulwer-Long Memorial Hunter Chase at 4.25pm which should go to Risk A Fine, a point winner at Chaddesley Corbett recently.
The finale at 4.55pm sees eight, including five debutants, line up for the open National Hunt flat race, headed by Nickelsonthedime under Jacob for Kayley Woolacott, the gelding second on both previous starts at Catterick and Ayr.
Selections – 1.40pm Generous Jack, 2.10pm Brelan D'As, 2.45pm Khage, 3.20pm Sideways, 3.50pm Uno Mas, 4.25pm Risk A Fine, 4.55pm Nickelsonthedime.