Christian Williams was rewarded for his 3.30am alarm call after Cap Du Nord completed the first treble of his career in the Horseman’s Group Handicap Chase at Fakenham.
Having enjoyed plenty of success at the Norfolk track in recent seasons, the Welsh handler stole the show with a near 78-1 three-timer, highlighted by the seven-year-old’s first victory of the campaign in the feature prize.
Brought through to challenge at the last, Cap Du Nord dug deep to get the better of Eceparti by a head and complete the second leg of a double for Welsh National-winning teenager Jack Tudor.
Williams said: “We had a horse fall here last year when six lengths in front and that would have been my first treble, but that is lovely. It is a lucky track for us.
“We were on the road at 3.30am and won’t get back until about 1am, but it’s worth it when things like this happen.”
On the 5-2 winner, he added: “You have only got to look through his form and he could be one of my best horses – that will come in time.
“I wouldn’t have thought the track would have suited him today and you will see him in a better light on a bigger track. ”
Massini’s Dream (4-1) provided Williams and Tudor with an earlier success by atoning for her Catterick mishap when getting up by half a length in the Sky Sports Racing Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
“She got a touch of a leg last year. My brother does a lot of the work with her so I have to credit him,” said Williams.
“She was just unfortunate at Catterick as she slipped on landing. They went a good gallop there and that helped her.”
Adam Wedge celebrated his second successive half-century to get the ball rolling for Williams with a six-length victory aboard Strictlyadancer (7-2) in the Barnham Primary School Selling Handicap Chase.
Wedge said: “Things are going well and I’ve got brilliant people behind me. I go to Christian’s once a week and I’m getting chances with Evan Williams and Emma Lavelle, who are great people to ride for.”
Wedge hopes his latest success is a sign of things to come aboard Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter in the Grade Two Paddy Power Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.
He added: “It is a big ‘thank you’ to Emma and the owners for allowing me to get back on him. Ben Jones gave him a great ride in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
“I schooled him last week and he seems as well as ever.”
Fergal O’Brien can now boast a winner at the Norfolk track after Quantum Of Solace made her first start in 302 days a winning one to take the britbet Mares’ Handicap Hurdle by a neck.
“We had one in the seller so we decided to bring her to give her a run before going to Market Rasen for a race she was second in last season,” said assistant trainer Sally Randell.
“She is a very consistent mare though, and she had been in excellent form.”
Jamie Moore had his prayers at the last answered by The Flying Sofa (5-4 favourite) who prevailed by half a length in the Racing Partnership Novices’ Handicap Chase.
“We had been waiting for better ground. If I got a good jump at the last I thought I’d win and fortunately I got one,” said Moore of the winner, trained by his father, Gary.