Photo gallery: O’Brien delivers winner to solve Fakenham Ladies’ Day dilemma
- Credit: IAN BURT
Fair Dilemma answered all the questions for punters when landing the feature in the Ladies' Day sunshine at Fakenham yesterday as the north Norfolk course closed its 2013/14 season.
The nine-year-old, trained at Whitsbury by Paul Henderson and ridden by Tom O'Brien, was delivered perfectly and with a great leap at the last outpaced 15/8 favourite Tony Dinozzo in the race to the line to win by a length at 14/1.
The Plumpton winner had disappointed last time but he recaptured winning ways in the £12,000 Elsie and Cyril Clarke Memorial Handicap.
Tony Dinozzo finished second and Tales of Milan third in a contest in which four-time course winner Full Ov Beans unseated jockey Peter Carberry at the first fence.
The EDP Fakenham Fire Appeal Novices' Handicap Hurdle proved a great success for Unknown Legend, under five-pound claimer James Banks for Anthony Middleton.
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Favourite Mist The Boat under Richard Johnson, did just that because his jumping let him down and Banks took full advantage to win at 5/1.
'He's a buzzy little horse and likes the sharp track here. We fitted ear-plugs on him and he jumped well. We could turn him out again in three weeks,' said the winning jockey.
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No-one can ever accuse a Fakenham meeting of failing to provide drama and the Light Dragoons Handicap Chase for the Prince of Wales Cup was full of excitement.
Cypress Grove unseated Dave Crosse on circuit one and before the end of the three-mile trek, there were four other fallers before eventual winner Midnight Diamond crossed the line, despite some jumping errors.
Johnson had earlier clocked up his sixth Fakenham win of the season on Tim Vaughan's 11-year-old, winning at 4/1, by seven lengths ahead of Xenophon and Flichity.
The 19-times champion jockey AP McCoy won the Best Dressed Lady Chase on 5/2 chance Able Deputy, a win made easier with a last-fence fall of Woodbank.
Able Deputy, trained by Kim Bailey, looked likely to have won anyway. A maiden who had failed to win in 16 starts, McCoy rode the seven-year-old gelding last time at Carlisle where he was second.
'I think I learned a lot about the horse at Carlisle and so was able to give him a better ride today,' said McCoy.
The opener was a cracking hurdle run at a furious pace and won by Stephen Hero, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry.
Before the race the trainer said to ignore the gelding's previous effort and he was spot on as Stephen Hero galloped clear to win by seven lengths at 9/4 with Song Light second and Hawdyerwheesht third.
Hingham trainer Christine Dunnett would have been happy to see her Flamingo Beat finish fifth in a decent contest despite going off at 66/1.
The finale was a ladies' amateur race and produced a stunning finish with Squeeze Me getting up in the final strides to win by a head for joyous rider Jodie Hughes.
The Peter Bowen trained 11/4 joint favourite just did enough to beat front-running El Toreros under Lizzie Kelly.