Diocletian gives Andrew Balding a Fakenham first

Archie Watson also on the mark over jumps.

  • Sunday 20 December
  • News
£20 Risk Free First Bet

Useful Flat stayer Diocletian ran out an authoritative winner to Classic-winning trainer Andrew Balding his first Fakenham winner on Sunday.

Sent off at 100-30, the Camelot gelding – who ran in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October and was third in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock – prevailed by 10 lengths in the Christmas Holidays Maiden Hurdle, mush to the delight of winning jockey Page Fuller.

Fuller said: “That is definitely the most mature he has been over hurdles. He settled well and you could ride a race on him today.

“He had four nice horses in front of him at Newbury last time and I’d like to think off the back of that run he can go on to bigger and better things.”

Like Balding, Archie Watson is better known for his exploits on the Flat, but Juge Et Parti enhanced his healthy strike-rate at the Norfolk track.

Pulled up on his previous two starts, the seven-year-old bounced back to form to land the British Racing School Handicap Hurdle by five lengths.

The Lambourn handler said of the 14-1 shot: “I’ve actually got a very good strike-rate here. Bazarov, Premier D’troice and this lad have won here.

“He has been through a lot this horse. He had a fractured tooth which then ended up developing a big sinus infection. He has come out of it well and it his first run since.

“He obviously had an almighty headache which we have relieved and he has come up and won it well. Brodie (Hampson) has given him a great ride.”

Niall Houlihan equalled his best-ever seasonal total of seven winners aboard the Gary Moore-trained Gorham’s Cave (9-2), who claimed the Fakenham Skips Supporting EACH and RBL Handicap Hurdle by nine and a half lengths.

Houlihan, deputising for Josh Moore, said: “It was probably too commanding (how far he won). I didn’t realise how far clear I was until I got to the last hurdle.

“He really enjoyed it around there today. His hurdling improved throughout the trip. He is a very athletic horse and has taken to it well.”

Diocletian gives Andrew Balding a Fakenham first
Sign up to bet365. Click to View Bonus Code Details
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
100% Bonus up to £100
Up to £20 in free bets
£40 in bonuses
£20 Free Exchange Bet
Get a £10 risk-free first bet
Existing User?

Forgot your password?

New User?

Sign up using our simple one-page form and you'll be able to access free video form, tips and exclusive content straight away.