Fakenham hosts extra meeting at short notice

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Despite just a few days’ notice, Fakenham was able to host an extra meeting on Friday.It had lost three earlier meetings this season to waterlogged ground and other tracks around the country had also suffered from the wet weather.The six races on the card provided plenty of good entertainment for the fairly modest crowd. Spectators were also able to watch the racing from Aintree on a big screen and most bookmakers covered bets from the Grand National meeting.The opening Maiden Hurdle over two miles was convincingly won by odds-on favourite Yalla Habibi ridden by Bradley Harris for trainer Harriet Dickin. Always well placed, the pairing took control up the home straight to outrun Diamond Koda under Tom Broughton by eight lengths.Ingennio had won his previous run at Fakenham on Easter Monday and confirmed his liking for the track by taking the second race on the card, a Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. It was a battle from the last with Jacks Touch always in contention but carrying bottom weight and driven hard by Gavin Sheehan, Ingennio held on well, running hard to the line. The Handicap Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs went to Tip Top Tonto ridden by Charlie Hammond. The margin of victory over Clararose was a significant seven lengths.A comparable hurdle, though over a three-mile distance, was won by The Wise Traveller ridden by claiming jockey Jamie Gambin for trainer Sarah Humphrey. They were too good for favourite Chatty Chich on the run-in. Coastguard Station just beat Aviles in the two-mile Handicap Chase, holding on by half a length when driven home by David Noonan. It was the closest winning margin of the meeting.Champion trainer Paul Nichols sent just one horse to Fakenham for its final race of the afternoon, a Bumper over two miles. It was little surprise that Bond Broker was sent off the odds-on favourite and was untroubled to dash around the track guided by Angus Cheleda to win easily by six lengths.A Point To Point meeting is scheduled at Fakenham for Sunday, April 21. The next National Hunt event, the Gamble Plant Norfolk National meeting, will be on Thursday, May 7.

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