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Monday, 25 January 2021

NEW DISTANCES AT FAKENHAM

Exeter will not be the only course getting some of that Tuesday action, as Fakenham is also set for some turf action with seven races on the cards. The crowd should be present for this one, including free tea, coffee, and hot drinks from one of the carts on the course. The weather is predicted to be sunny and clear skies, while new rules have come into force and all distances have been increased by at least 80 yards for all the races, with the fourth race of the day getting the biggest addition at +148 yards. Some qualifiers and GBB races in this one, and should make for an interesting watch with Cheltenham and the Grand National in mind as the early big names of the calendar. As the landscape of sports continues to change due to covid-19 and now the presence of vaccines, the hope is that the Grand National streaming and other big-name events will be only for the international audience. The race day at Fakenham will be a seven-race event, with four class races making the most headlines, followed by two class threes and a single class five at the end of the day. 

Fakenham comes to life with a midday kick-off, as a class 4 GBB race for horses aged 4+ years and rated 0-110 have a go at the 8,000 GBP prizemoney. The Pudding Norton Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Race also known as the Fakenham Double Up Bonus Race, gets us started, as 17 horses make their way through 2m 4ft and 85y. The second class 4 race of the day, the Shereford Novices’ Handicap Steeplechase will run for 2m 5ft and 167y, up 123y from its usual 2m 5ft and 44y. Meant for five-year-olds and above, a 9,000 GBP prize awaits at the finish line. The second-biggest race of the day comes up next as 15 geldings and three mares do battle over 2m 7ft 197y for the grand prize of 11,000 GBP. The race will be for horses four years and above and will be followed by the biggest taking of the day, another class 3 showdown for 12,000 GBP. The Brisley  Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeplechase will be well worth keeping an eye on, with horses going an exciting 3m 186y. Another GBB race, 13 jockeys will push themselves and their geldings to the limit, with two French horses in the mix. The last class 3 race of the day, the Brisley Steeplechase will be followed by two helpings of class 4, first, the Toftrees Mares’ Maiden Hurdle Race at 2m 71y for 8,000GBP, and then the Colkirk Handicap Steeplechase for 9,000 GBP, at 2m 157y. The curtain will be called with a class 5 2m 7ft 197y burner, the Coxford Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race, for 6,000 GB. 16 mares will go the distance, with no foreign horses taking part in this one.