Fakenham, Norfolk

Fakenham is a market town on the River Wensum in Norfolk. Historically, the main industry in the town was printing. The major printers are long gone but there are still a fair few small firms in the area. Kinnerton Confectionery is now the largest employer in this area and employs around 700 people.

Fakenham is in close proximity to the larger urban areas of Kings Lynn and Norwich. It is also quite handily placed for the Norfolk coastline and The Wash.

Among the best and most popular things to do in the area are:

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve – http://hawkandowl.org/locations/sculthorpe-moor-community-nature-reserve/

Pensthorpe Natural Park – https://www.pensthorpe.com/

Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham – https://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk/

Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History – http://fakenhamgasmuseum.com/

The Racecourse

Fakenham Racecourse hosts only National Hunt Racing.

Both courses are left-handed, very sharp, undulating and with a short run in from the last. It is regarded as one of the tightest tracks in the country and tends to suit front running, nippy types. The circuit is one mile.

Clerk of the course: David Hunter

Course telephone number: 01328 862388

Getting Here

Fakenham is just 120 miles from Central London, 140 miles from Birmingham, 225 miles from Bristol, 252 miles from Cardiff, 188 miles from Manchester, 25 miles from Norwich and 340 miles from Edinburgh.

The racecourse is situated about a mile south of the town on the B1146.

The course post code is NR21 7NY.

Course parking is free.

The nearest railway station is Kings Lynn which is 20 miles away.

Racecourse facilities

Course website: https: https://www.fakenhamracecourse.co.uk/

Disabled access: https:https://www.fakenhamracecourse.co.uk/racing/important-raceday-information/

There are three enclosures at Fakenham, The course enclosure (Advance £10), The Grandstand & Paddock (£15) and The Members Enclosure (£20). There isn’t a strict dress code though smart casual is encouraged, particularly in The Members Enclosure and Hospitality area.

There are a couple of half decent looking restaurants on the course. The Firth Restaurant is located on the First Floor of the Prince of Wales Stand and is run by a local pub. It has views over the entire racecourse. Weston’s Fruits of the Sea Restaurant specialises in seafood and is located in the Parade Ring Room overlooking the Parade Ring and track. There are a number of other food outlets on the course and these are listed on the course website.

I was hugely impressed by the Home Bakery. Lots of nice looking stuff there and the sausage rolls were just to die for.

My Day

I thought Fakenham had a really nice local feel to it and felt very friendly. It was a beautiful day and  busy yet still comfortable. I stayed close by in a place called Wensum Lodge and would readily recommend it.

Betting got off to a good start.

In the first, a selling handicap hurdle, I just couldn’t see beyond Collodi. Beaten just under nine lengths in a class 3 and eased down once his chance was gone. Prior to that, he had made all in a better race than this under top weight and really should prove far too good in this company. I was surprised and delighted to be betting at odds against and had a decent bet. Bot long after getting the course, I read my pal @genuinetriers posts on Twitter and then had a little bit more. Never a moments anxiety, he again made all and this was over a fair way out, eventually winning by 22 lengths.

The third race was a Novice Chase over three miles and featured just the three runners. The Kim Bailey trained Rocky’s Treasure had won his only other outing over fences at Kelso a couple of weeks back and had done so easily albeit in a two runner race. The Kim Bailey yard are in cracking form right now too. His main market rival was Cultivator from the powerful Nicky Henderson yard. This was to be his 5th outing over fences and he too had won last time out at Worcester though hadn’t jumped too fluently as had been the case in some of his previous races. Worcester is one of the easier courses to jump around and Fakenham one of the trickiest, so that for me eliminated him. The other runner was the Neil King trained Comanche Chieftain. He had run in 7 Novice Chases over the summer winning two of them, both at Stratford. I regarded him as the chief threat to Rocky’s Treasure but in receipt of 4lbs and having won his debut over fences so easily, I had to back the favourite. My confidence was justified as he jumped well and won by 18 lengths. Both of his rivals made their share of mistakes with Cultivator jumping deplorably and pulling up with a circuit to go.

After watching a 2/9 shot getting annihilated in the next, I turned my attention to the fifth race, a class 3 handicap chase over 3 miles. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Ballykan was having his first outing since February when he had finished 2nd to Master Dee in a grade 3 handicap chase at Kempton Park with some very decent sorts finishing behind him. His main rival for me was the Charlie Longsdon trained Midnight Shot who may well have been that bit fitter having been jumping a bit over the summer. Last time out he finished 5th in a Class 3 at Uttoxeter with Comanche Chieftain (Ran OK earlier today) behind him. As it developed, Midnight shot just jumped the better of the two and won easing down by 13 lengths from Ballykan in 2nd. Although he was 15/8F, I managed to cover my win bet on the 4 places market on Betfair so no damage done.

So back to the hotel for some food and get ready for Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

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