Posted Wednesday 26th January 5pm
A friend asked me to mark their card for our local NH track so I might as well share my thoughts with the worldwide inter thingy!
Looks as though they will be running round the outside of the track with the races distances being extended by 113, 170, 221,113, 185 + 141 yards. Therefore the course could be narrow in places and it will pay to be in front. The going is currently Soft but we’ve had less rain than expected and there is a brisk drying wind.
Plenty of horses and some big yards in the form of Henderson and Skelton.
1.25 Trappy start. I think the winner is among the topweights and OGARTIMO (5/2) is a course winner and I just prefer him to Irondale Express and the precocious Harry Cobden.
2.00 Question marks over most of these. Can’t have the rags, Mahlers Spirit and Cupids Lad, Far from Defeat has been dreadful this season after promise in bumpers, and Valiant Creek and Minella Daddy don’t look like they’ll stay. Weststreet was really lucky to win at Southwell which leaves the promising mare Girly Girl and the failed novice chaser Road to Freedom. I prefer Lucy Wadham’s ROAD TO FREEDOM (11/4) who has won a hurdle over the trip and has form at Fakenham.
2.30 Good race for Fakenham a C3 chase worth £6,500. Beforeall takes a drop in class on seasonal debut, Aigle de la See is only a 6yo from a powerful yard but yet to prove he stays 3m, Fruity O’Rooney is a game veteran that has every T-shirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of those three won but I’m going for AMIDON (3/1) who looks a ‘now’ horse. Harry Skelton rides the in form 8yo for Fakenham specialist Lucy Wadham. This is just his third run over fences and his second to Silvergrove last time out is the best form on offer and my only concern would be if he jumps right, as he did on chasing debut, on this tight left handed track.
3.05 This C4 maiden hurdle is another competitive event which could produce a useful winner. The two 4yo’s Haut Bages and Magic Dancer were both placed last time out, the latter in two grades higher. Barman makes his British debut for Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville having won in the French provinces and could be anything but I’m going for the Skeltons well-regarded mare LATE NIGHT LILY (4/1) who was a very promising second in a similar event at Huntingdon last time out. The main danger could be Gwafa (8/1) who was sixth on hurdling debut in one of the strongest novice hurdles run in Britain this season. He was a decent 3yo on the flat and any improvement could put him in the frame.
3.40 I can’t remember the last time I put up a horse with form figures of PFPP-PP!! However the race before that string of letters MIDNIGHT CHARMER (12/1 with Ladbrokes 4.47pm!!) won over course and distance off exactly the same handicap mark and this is his first return to Class 5 since. The opposition looks weak and I just hope the selections regular rider James Banks didn’t have a choice of mounts as he is aboard Salut Honore!!
4.10 The bet of the day is in the finale. The three at the bottom of the weights are hopeless, Slidecheck is a chaser and Jumpandtravel is a bridesmaid who won just a seller here at Fakenham. That only leaves veteran front runner Hassadin who will hopefully set the race up for the improving 5yo RUNNING WOLF (5/2) for the in-form Alex Hales yard.
Nap of the day – RUNNING WOLF Next Best –AMIDON (3/1) Each Way –GWAFA (8/1)
Placepot 8 x 50p= £4
Leg 1 – 2 & 3 Leg 2 – 1 Leg 3 – 4 Leg 4 – 4 & 9 Leg 5 – 1 & 5 Leg 6 – 2