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James Bowen has the last laugh with Fakenham Silver Cup success

PUBLISHED: 18:34 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 18:34 15 March 2019

It was Silver Cup day at Fakenham Racecourse, with James Bowen taking the big prize Picture: Ian Burt

It was Silver Cup day at Fakenham Racecourse, with James Bowen taking the big prize Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

James Bowen, 18 on Tuesday, was the star when taking the Fakenham Silver Cup to complete a personal hat-trick.

Bowen, son of trainer Peter from Haverfordwest, completed his treble when grey gelding Thistimenextyear landed the £18,000 feature.

Potters Midnight, last year’s winner, looked like completing the double. However, the mare made a complete mess of the final flight and left Thistimenextyear to score at 5/2.

“I’ve been a bit lucky. I don’t think I’d have won if the other horse had jumped the last well,” admitted Bowen, although trainer Richard Spencer thought otherwise.

While Bowen had plenty to celebrate he probably wasn’t looking forward to going home to see dad.

Bowen partnered the Christian Williams-trained Sideways to success in the Prince Carlton Chase, the 10/11 favourite getting the better of outsider Henryville, trained by his father!

It was a stirring finish as Bowen got Sideways, a previous Fakenham winner, home from Henryville who defied his 20/1 odds.

“He’s done plenty of racing so it may be time to give him a rest and look forward to next season,” said Williams.

Bridgend-based Williams has been in top form and his Cap Du Nord, under Bowen, won the Fakenham Staff Fundraising Run for Air Ambulance Chase.

Nobel Leader looked a danger but a jolting jumping error followed by a poor leap at the final fence saw Williams’ gelding, the 11/8 favourite, home.

“I must think now about stepping him up in grade,” said Williams.

There was more last-fence drama in the Walter Wales Memorial Novice Chase. Primal Focus, bidding to give Williams a treble, led going to the last, but crashed out, leaving Stonebrigg Legend, under Ben Poste, to score at 5/2.

The mare, trained by Sarah Humphrey, had won at the course 11 days earlier … beating Primal Focus.

Olly Murphy had the first two in the Robert Case Memorial Hurdle when 11/10 favourite Swaffham Bulbeck got his nose in front under Cillin Leonard, a conditional clocking up his first British winner.

Swaffham Bulbeck took over from Grand Inquisitor and held on to beat hurdling debutant and stable-mate, Emerald Rocket.

The Gary Moore-trained Clayton was delivered perfectly by conditional jockey Niall Houlihan to take the opening selling hurdle, returned at 13/8 while the closing Hunters’ Chase completed a double for trainer Spencer when 5/4 favourite Sir Jack Yeats cruised home.

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