Photo gallery: Broxbourne stars as trainer Nicky Henderson lands a treble at Fakenham
- Credit: Ian Burt
Broxbourne, a top-class horse on the flat when trained by Yorkshire-based Mark Johnston, made a winning debut over timber at Fakenham yesterday when sent off 11/8 favourite.
The Nicky Henderson trained five-year-old mare won the Goodwood Stakes back in the summer of 2013 and had obviously been well schooled for her class four introduction to her hurdling career.
Jockey Barry Geraghty took the mare a little wider than her three rivals. With two flights to jump he allowed her to hit the front and she always looked like winning, beating Wild Bill who ran on for second spot.
'She's jumped really well on what was good ground for her. They've gone steady early on and it has turned into a bit of a sprint so that played into our hands a bit. But she should have an exciting season ahead of her, especially in mares' races,' said Geraghty.
Broxbourne was immediately quoted at 14/1 by Paddy Power for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
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Geraghty quickly completed a double both for the owners and trainer Henderson by getting impressive Nicolas Chauvin home in the maiden hurdle.
Taking it up two from home, Geraghty got the 13/8 shot in front and never looked like being caught despite the efforts of Apterix.
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The winning gelding had won a bumper at Newton Abbot in September and sealed an 11-length success with a great leap at the final flight.
Henderson, who wasn't at the course, went on to complete a near 5/1 treble when 5/6 odds-on favourite Jack Frost, under Peter Carberry won the finale, the National Hunt flat race for his owner, The Queen.
A winner at Ludlow in May, the victory was never in doubt and he won by more than three lengths from Thunder and Rain.
Hi Tide, under an excellent ride from Dougie Costello, won the feature race, the ROA Owners' Jackpot Chase returned at 7/2.
Costello had the John Jenkins trained 10-year-old at the back of the quartet early on but delivered his mount perfectly to take the prize.
'He's a bit of an old-timer now but he's cute enough and loves this ground.
'He made a fantastic leap at the second last and that was what won it for me today. He got up in the air so well,' said Costello.
Hi Tide stayed on well and although challenged approaching the last by the Ryan Winks ridden Chestnut Ben, the gelding won by the best part of two lengths.
Costello went on to complete a 26/1 double when he made all to win on trainer Tony Coyle's Frizzo, returned at 5/1 in the five-runner Injured Jockeys Fund Christmas Cards Chase over two and a half miles.
It looked as if Frizzo may have gone off too quickly early on but his lead proved an uncontested one and he held on to win despite slowing down dramatically in the shadow of the post as eventual runner-up Tales of Milan challenged.
It was a sunny but cold afternoon so perhaps the omens were there for Brass Monkey who won the Injured Jockeys Fund Anniversary Hurdle under Harry Skelton.
The 9/4 favourite tracked long-time leader Occasionally Yours for two circuits before going for home.
Weybridge Light made rapid progress throughout the final half a mile but couldn't get to the winner who was making a seasonal return for trainer Neil King.
The opener, which featured the biggest field of the day, nine hurdlers, was won by 10/1 chance Stags Leap.
Since joining the Middleham stable of Philip Kirby, the seven-year-old gelding had run well on the flat but he comfortably took the handicap by 11 lengths under Henry Brooke.
At the bottom of the handicap, Brooke always had Stags Leap handy and once he took it up half a mile out he looked the likely winner, beating Shinooki and Yazdi who filled the minor places.
Next Fakenham meeting is on Tuesday, November 18 with a first race time of 1pm.