Snellings Norfolk National won by David Pipe

The fifth running of the Snellings Norfolk National at Fakenham produced the most exciting finish of the day with three horses vying for the lead from the final fence.

The photo finish resulted in the David Pipe-trained Duc de Beauchene ridden by Fergus Gilliard placing first by a head from Jony Max under Ellis Collier, closely followed by long-time leader Wake Up Early ridden by Cillin Leonard.

Last year’s winner Tommie Beau was some way down the field of eleven.

On an afternoon of sunshine and showers a good crowd packed the course to enjoy the six-race card.

In the opening Duke of Lancaster Academy Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs, Michael Nolan picked up the first of his double on the afternoon by coasting home on Way Out by 15 lengths from State of Bliss ridden by Jack Quinlan.

The big margin of victory was secured when challenger Copshill Lad under Bradley Harris fell at the last.

On a day when favourites dominated the card the toteplacepot at Fakenham Chase over two miles and five furlongs was landed by Jigginstown King ridden by Cillin Leonard.

Leading from the front throughout the six-year-old would not be denied and held on well to beat Abaya Du Mathan ridden by Conor O’Farrell by five lengths.

Nolan secured his double in the third race, the Autism in Racing Novices Hurdle over two miles and four

furlongs with a determined ride on outsider Baby Sham, priced at 22/1, to beat the warm favourite Scudamore by a head in a rousing finish.

The race had real drama when Living’s Boy An Co and Top Draw fell at the flight in front of the stands, leaving Bryony Frost and Ben Ffrench-Davis needing medical attention.

Frost was stood down for the day as a result.

There was no stopping favourite Gavin, ridden by Jack Quinlan, in the Snellings Selling Hurdle over two miles.

The pairing dominated over the final mile to win handsomely by 16 lengths from outsider Hey Bob. In steady rain the final race of the day, the Jumping For Fun ‘Grassroots’ Hunters’ Chase for the Turner Trophy went to favourite Raleagh Flora ridden by Charlie Marshall.

Taking control over the final mile the pairing extended their lead to a distance to win handsomely over For Rita under Zac Baker.

The final race day before the track takes a break for the summer is Ladies Day on Sunday, June 4.

As in previous years, the afternoon will include prizes for the Best Dressed Lady, the Best Dressed Couple and the Best Hat.

Before racing, Fakenham Racing Club’s Allo Allo graced the parade ring.

Trained by Stuart Edmunds, Allo Allo won two hurdle races at Fakenham before a first chase victory, at Bangor.

The club also owns Conceroe, trained by Ben Case, who will also train the club’s latest recruit, Pollywiggle.