Many happy returns at Fakenham?
Local racing supporters will be out in force this afternoon when Fakenham stages its annual New Year's Day six-race card which gets under way at 12.20pm.
Horses returning to the Norfolk track could be the ones to follow, particularly in the feature race, the handicap hurdle over two and a half miles at 2.05pm.
Wither Yenot was third at the last meeting on December 17, but the Ben Case-trained consistent sort, under amateur jockey Max Kendrick, could take all the beating this time. Brass Monkey, Trevor Whelan riding for Neil King, was second at Fontwell on Boxing Day following wins at Stratford and Southwell and rates a danger as does Scots Gaelic.
Bressingham trainer Fleur Hawes represents the locals with Bantry Bere, having a first run since March 2011. The horse last won at Fakenham in February, 2010.
In the finale at 3.15pm, Mistral Reine, a winner at the last meeting, returns for the near three-mile handicap hurdle. A weight rise is all but negated by the booking of five-pound claimer Matt Crawley, leaving Lucy Wadham's charge with a favourite's chance.
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Mikey Ennis on Larteta, runner-up in both recent starts, and Wymondham trainer Caroline Fryer's Riddlestown, rate the dangers.
The amateur riders get their chance in the handicap chase over two miles and five furlongs at 1.30pm for which six are declared. Full Ov Beans, whose last win was at Fakenham in October 2012, is favourite under Miss A Stirling for Michael Gates but Minella Ranger and Upton Mead offer capable threats, the latter having been second at Fontwell on Boxing Day.
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The other chase is at 2.40pm when six go in the Phyllis and Wilfred Tarrant Memorial Novice Chase. It looks between Tony Dinozzo, Jamie Moore riding for Peter Bowen and Tom Cannon's mount for trainer Nick Gifford, Bit of a Clown.
Two hurdle races get the day going. Eight were declared for the 12.20pm opener which looks to be between Josh Wall on Michael Blake's Stow, a winner at Leicester five days ago, and Josh Hamer on Tony Carroll's Akdam, runner-up at Fontwell on Boxing Day but now down in the weights. Biggest field of the day sees 11 declared for the 12.55pm hurdle which could go to a newcomer. Fennell Bay, Jack Quinlan for John Ferguson, Impertinent, Harry Skelton for Noel Quinlan, and Rockweiller, Moore for Steve Gollings, all tackle hurdles for the first time.