The volume button was turned to maximum at Fakenham on Sunday after course specialist Full Ov Beans registered his sixth victory at the track.
In what was his toughest assignment at the track to date the diminutive 10 year old jumped for fun out in front to slam his rivals by 13 lengths in the feature Class Three 2m5f handicap chase, much to the delight of his owner and trainer Michael Gates, and the vast majority of the crowd.
“Today he was fit, last time he won here he was only 80 per cent fit and when he won at Stratford he definitely wasn’t fit,” said Gates.
“I told Mikey (Hamill) that he will need to get him settled in the first 300 yards as he will pull your arms out. It is unbelievable as he is only the size of a pony and that was his best ever win.”
The ups and downs of a National Hunt jockey were well and truly advertised by Harry Skelton.
After getting beaten aboard odds on favourite Bon Chic in the mares’ novices’ hurdle, Skelton then took a crashing fall aboard My Oh Mount Brown in the feature chase.
Luck was to change for Skelton however when teaming up with his brother Dan to steer recent stable recruit Shady Lane to a pillar-to-post success in the Class Four two-mile handicap hurdle.
“We went a hard gallop but Shady Lane stuck it out well and kept on going,” said Skelton.
“She had lost the plot a bit over fences and we had to try something different over hurdles and it has worked. It is good to get a winner for the owner who has been a family friend for a long time.”
Mark Usher is seldom known for trainer winners over hurdles but he did exactly that on a rare foray to the West Norfolk track following the victory of Haatefina.
Given a positive ride by Dave Crosse the four-year old broke her duck over hurdles at the eighth attempt with a length-and-a quarter success in the Class Four mares’ novices’ hurdle over two-miles.
“She was running well last year and she didn’t quite get there,” said Carl West-Meads, owner.
“Her first run this year was at Uttoxeter where she run well in a very hot race, then she went to Lingfield where the ground was awful and she hated it.
“Dave (Crosse) always wanted to bring her here. It is a nice little track and she was very gutsy. Getting her head in front will do her the world of good.”
Favourite backers were given the perfect start to the afternoon when Be Bop Boru underlined his class with a win in the 2m7f Class Four handicap hurdle to give jockey Alan Johns his first success at the track.
“Be Bop Boru is a nice horse but he is tough more than anything and he deserved that today. We can put him back up in a better race now,” said Johns.
Daryl Jacob made his one ride at the course a winning one when partnering Mr Grey to victory in the concluding 2m4f maiden hurdle.
“He is a nice horse but when came back with a bit of heat in his leg from his run at Kempton which kept him a bit longer. He had a good run at Wetherby and we hoped he would improve a bit for that,” said Ben Case, winning trainer.
Having been out of luck in three National Hunt flat races, and four hurdle contests, Midnight Chorister gained an overdue first career win on his chasing bow in the 2m4f novices’ handicap chase.
“Midnight Chorister has had numerous problems but we always thought he would improve for jumping a fence,” said Alex Hales, winning trainer.
“We thought he would win over hurdles last time out but he was too keen and we rode him handy so today we dropped him out and put the headgear on to help switch him off.”