Course specialists worth following as point-to-point comes to Fakenham

Fakenham point to point - meeting this weekend. Photo: ARCHANT

Fakenham point to point - meeting this weekend. Photo: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Course specialists are often worth following at Fakenham, one of Britain’s most charming racecourses, and Master Workman, Can Mestret and Queen Spud, all already multiple winners here, may continue that trend when the venue stages its one point-to-point of the year, the West Norfolk fixture, on Sunday, writes James Crispe.

This meeting has attracted 85 entries to its seven-race card, which gets under way at 2pm with a 16-entry Club Race for veteran and novice riders and runs through until 5pm, when there are eight possible runners in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate – which is an extra race being staged because of the spate of recent abandoned meetings.

Before the steeplechasing gets under way, there will also be two children’s pony races using the course but bypassing the fences. These have start times of 1.15pm and 1.30pm.

Master Workman has no less than five Fakenham victories on his c v and is one of ten entries in the Mens Open Race.

His trainer, Thetford-based David Kemp, could not be in better form and, although Master Workman’s recent Higham success was somewhat gift-wrapped following the first fence departure of the red hot favourite, Broken Eagle, that triumph will have done his confidence the world of good.

Broken Eagle is again among his potential opponents, but will need the ground to dry out appreciably if he is to take his place in the field so Pride Of Parish, a hunter chase scorer here a year ago, could provide his toughest competition.

Can Mestret’s Fakenham record reads ‘two wins and two places from four visits’ and could be further enhanced if he takes up his engagement in the PPORA Club Race. He finished eight lengths second to one of his 16 possible rivals, Mr Syntax, at Higham a fortnight ago, but may be able to reverse that form.

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Can Mestret has what looks like a tougher alternative in the 13-entry Skinner’s Pet Food Ladies Open Race. Blue Mountain Boy may be able to complete a hat-trick here while Sedgemoor Express, who recently returned from a three-year absence to finish second at Kimble, would be a popular local winner as he is owned by Thursford farmer Keith Loads.

Queen Spud has yet to race in Points but has won on four of her five visits to Fakenham under rules and will be very difficult to beat in the opening Club Race.

It could be a big day for Bury St Edmunds handler Andrew Pennock as he may saddle two strong candidates in Chosen Rose and Steeles Terrace.

Chosen Rose has the enigmatic but talented Muchadoboutnothing to beat in the eight-entry Restricted Race while the unbeaten Steeles Terrace is one of seven of the eight Intermediate Race entries to be rated within 5lbs of each other.

Fakenham Racecourse has great facilities and always produces a good atmosphere for this meeting, which features a large variety of trade stands. Admission will be charged at £10 per head with under 16s allowed in for free.

The course is located two miles west of the town in north Norfolk at post code NR21 7NY. It is well signposted as it is a proper National Hunt course – portable Pointing fences are placed on the outside of the usual obstacles.

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