IN SUMMARY: This looks like a quality renewal of the Norfolk National with plenty in with a chance. Thomas Wild and Prideofthecastle will be dangerous off top weight as will the Nigel Hawke trained Nail ‘M at the other end of the scale. Double Fakenham winner Emerald Rose is another who could be handy if she makes the trip but it’s two time chase winner HARRY THE VIKING (6/1) who makes the most appeal. He’s performed well in company much higher than this in the recent past, the trip and going shouldn’t pose a problem and Steven Fox claims a handy five pounds in the saddle.
1 Thomas Wild – Won two similar contests last season, both on good ground. He was pulled up over this distance on his reappearance but the soft ground at Exeter wouldn’t have suited. The eleven year old finished third on his last run at Cheltenham behind festival winner Any Currency and four-time winner this season Conas Taoi.
2 Prideofthecastle – Another who finished behind Conas Taoi on his last appearance coming second over 29 furlongs at Warwick. He was a convincing winner in a small field handicap on his reappearance but as stepped up after two midfield finishes over two and a half miles. He took to the much longer trip well at Warwick finishing only nine lengths behind his highly rated rival off the same weight he is here. The Pipe and Scudmore combination also have a very good record around this course.
3 Morney Wing – Finished seventh behind Any Currency in April but came into that race on the back of a win around this course claiming a narrow victory in a three mile Class Three Handicap. He finished strongly in a standard chase off a weight two pounds higher than today and Harry Bannister will be claiming three pounds in the saddle too.
4 Harry The Viking – Ran on well off top weight on his last run finishing third over 30 furlongs at Perth. He had to be pulled up on really heavy ground in a Grand National trial race earlier in the season but he was a good eighth in last year’s Scottish National a few weeks later coming in just under three lengths behind The Last Samuri in a Class Two at Kelso.
5 King Massini – The ten year old seems to have become more consistent since going up in trip and has raced solely over three mile plus trips this season. He won on decent ground at Ludlow in November and looked in a good position to challenge for his maiden Class Two win last time out at Haydock but weakened quickly and eventually finished fifth. He hasn’t won off this kind of weight since his novice hurdling days.
6 Irish Thistle – He had his first crack at a three mile race earlier in the season finishing a distant fifth at Sandown as a 14/1 shot. He won on his next outing in March but that was a race just short of a two mile trip. He was 30 lengths behind the winner over 20 furlongs at Carlisle last time out so the much longer trip here won’t be ideal.
7 Emerald Rose – Julian Smith’s nine year old is becoming a bit of a course specialist here at Fakenham with four of her last five outings coming on this track. She’s won two of those and finished in the places on the other two runs. The first of those victories was particularly impressive beating Morning Reggie by six lengths over three miles on good ground. Her only other attempt at a trip further than three miles didn’t end well but the good ground here will be welcomed.
8 Rebeccas Choice – The 13 year old consistently goes off at high prices in Class Two and three handicaps with his last win coming back in late 2014. He’s won over this distance a few times in the past but a 17lb drop in rating over the last year means his best days are surely well behind him.
9 Silver Grove – He’s had plenty of good results so far this season finishing a narrow second to Incentivise over this distance at Warwick in March. That came after a solid third behind Henri Parry Morgan and Bears Rails in a good quality three miler at Chepstow. Running third as a beaten favourite last time out doesn’t bode too well though and he’s only ever ran once on good going when he was fourth in a seven runner field two years ago.
10 Finish The Story – Johnny Farrelly’s yard aren’t in great form at the moment and this ten year old is without a win since February last year as well as having concerns about the ground. However the trip won’t pose any problems and he comes in to this on the back of some decent runs, a second behind Golden Chieftain and third and fourth in good quality contests at Plumpton and Cheltenham.
11 Nail ’M – An experienced handicapper who has been tackling trips of this distance all season. He was a close second to Woodford Country back in December but his form has been patchy with a mixture of placed efforts and incompletions. He was sent off as the favourite on his last run on better ground at Exeter but lost out to Bartons Gift by just over two lengths. Jamie Moore takes the ride for the first time as connections look to capitilise off bottom weight.
myracing Forecast Prices: 9/2 Grove Silver, 5/1 Nail ‘M, Prideofthecastle, 6/1 Thomas Wild, Harry The Viking, 8/1 Finish the Story, 12/1 Emerald Rose, 14/1 Morney Wing, 16/1 King Massini, 20/1 Irish Thistle, 25/1 Rebeccas Choice