Williams puts in the miles in a bid for Fakenham glory
PUBLISHED: 11:34 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 27 February 2019
It may be a 500-plus miles round trip when trainer Christian Williams brings his horses from Glamorgan in Wales to Fakenham, but the young handler doesn’t let that stand in his way of searching for winners.
For Monday’s six-race card, Williams returns with two recent course winners as he tries to continue his most successful spell since starting as a trainer in April 2017.
Second in the 2005 Grand National, Williams, as a jockey, rode more than 100 winners for trainer Paul Nicholls, including three on Denman. Now he is making a name for himself as a trainer since moving to new premises at Ogmore, south of Bridgend.
In the 3.10pm feature, the £17,000 handicap hurdle, Williams returns Uno Mas to north Norfolk, the five-year-old gelding a winner over course and distance on February 15 before scoring a week later at Warwick.
Among his rivals could be Nicky Henderson’s gelding Lomachenko, fourth at Kempton in January after a Christmas success at Leicester.
Williams has two recent winners in the 2.40pm Spring Handicap Chase in Sideways and Conas Taoi. The former was third at the course at the last meeting having previously won at Fakenham on New Year’s Day. Conas Taoi, a 10-year-old gelding, won at Carlisle last week having previously been runner-up at Market Rasen.
There is a strong initial entry of 98 for the meeting, which starts at 2.10pm with a maiden hurdle in which Olly Murphy has Swaffham Bulbeck, last seen on New Year’s Day when finishing second over course and distance.
The 2.45pm Toftrees Mares’ Hurdle has attracted a big initial entry with Sam England’s Gold Runner, an Ayr runner-up early in February, and Phil Kirby’s Lady Kyria catching the eye. Lady Kyria was third last time, at Newcastle.
The second of the day’s two chases is the Shereford Handicap Chase at 4.15pm in which Sara Humphrey has seven-year-old Stonebrigg Legend. The mare was third at Warwick, having been a Fakenham runner-up in January. Truckers Tangle from Alex Dunn’s yard, is also of interest, the gelding a recent runner-up at Ludlow.
The finale at 4.50pm sees Murphy with Chez Hans and Colloney entered, both last-time winners, while Venetia Williams has Chambard, a Ludlow runner-up after an Exeter victory.