Fakenham Racecourse Guide
Situated in Norfolk close to the town which shares its’ name, Fakenham Racecourse might not be the best known or most prestigious of tracks in the UK; but the track does have a bona-fide royal connection with the Prince of Wales being the patron of the course. Fakenham is a popular venue for racegoers in the area, hosting jumps racing throughout the National Hunt season with a couple of fixtures in the summer months.
Fakenham Major Meetings
Fakenham doesn’t have any real fixtures of note, but the course does play host to a couple of competitive races with the Norfolk National taking place at the track in the early summer; while the Fakenham Silver Cup takes centre-stage during the course’s Spring Festival each March.
Fakenham Track Characteristics
Forming almost a perfect square, Fakenham’s racecourse measures just one mile round and is a notoriously tight and sharp track which suits nimble, speedy horses rather than long-striding galloping types. Even the shortest races held at the track comprise of several laps of the track and it has been jokingly remarked upon in longer races that jockeys can get dizzy riding around Fakenham.
It is the tightest jumping track in the country and horses need to be quick between the six obstacles dotted around the track as there’s no real gap inbetween meaning if a horse makes a mistake there’s not a lot of time to recover until the next obstacle looms large. The run-in from the final obstacle to the finishing line is short
Underfoot conditions at Fakenham can often become testing and while the track is undoubtedly sharp leading to races often being well-run affairs there is more emphasis on stamina than meets the eye. The obstacles at Fakenham aren’t the stiffest in the country but due to how races often play out the track does see a higher proportion of fallers than at many other courses.
Fakenham Leading Trainers
Over the past five seasons Stuart Edmunds has proven the man to follow at Fakenham with the trainer boasting both a healthy profit return and strike-rate from his runners at the track. Dr Richarad Newland, Christian Williams and Lucy Wadham also do well here with their runners.
Looking at more recent times and the 2021/22 jumps season backers of Christian Williams, Lucy Wadham and Gary Moore would all be in profit to varying degrees although Olly Murphy returns the best strike-rate of the trainers at the top of the table although backers would be in the red siding with every runner from that yard.
Fakenham Leading Jockeys
In the saddle it has paid over the past five seasons to look twice at those horses ridden by Tom Cannon who shows a decent profit return from his rides with a strike-rate in excess of 40%; while Ciaran Gethings also rides well around here, his association with trainer Stuart Edmunds seeing the rider top the profit chart and return a respectable 27% win ratio. Tom Scudamore and Bryony Frost also ride Fakenham particularly well and are worth a second look when riding at the track.
Looking at the 2021/22 season and the same names appear as the jockeys to follow with Cillian Leonard and Aidan Coleman both topping the charts in terms of strike-rate, although of the pair the former shows a slight profit compared to the latter who returns a slight loss. Tom Cannon, Jack Tudor and Bryony Frost again showcased their ability to ride around Fakenham with a good haul of winners each with slight profits all around.
Fakenham Track History
Fakenham has been hosting horse racing since long before it began to operate formally as a racecourse in 1905 with the West Norfolk Hunt holding meetings in the area since 1839. The course wasn’t officially known as Fakenham Racecourse until 1964.
The track has enjoyed a royal presence for much of its’ life, King Edward VII becoming patron of the course when he was the Prince of Wales. More recently Her Majesty the Queenwas patron of the track for almost 50 years before she handed the title onto Prince Charles, in 2000.
The promixity of the course to Sandringham Palace, home of the Queen Mother went a long way to the course’s popularity with the Royal Family and the new members’ stand was opened and named The Prince of Wales Stand, opened by Prince Charles and the Queen Mother held a soft spot for the course with multiple visits to the track.
Double Olymic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton had her first public ride over regulation fences under Jockey Club rules at Fakenham in 2016 in the Switching Saddles series, unseating at the seventh fence when partnering Pacha Du Polder. The track has also seen plenty of drama with horses taking the wrong course or jockeys riding out a finish too early having mistaken the number of circuits they need to travel round the course.
Fakenham Racecourse Address
The official racecourse address for Fakenham racecourse is:
How To get to Fakenham Racecourse
Here’s how to get to Fakenham Racecourse if you’re planning a visit to the track.
By car: The racecourse is situated just one mile south of the town along the B1446, locally known as East Dereham Road. From major routes the track sits close to the A148 and the A1067 roads. On racedays there is local signage offering directions to the track. Car parking is free at the course although there is a charge for the members’ enclosure parking.
By bus: The track is reachable by bus from both Norwich and Kings Lynn. From Norwich the X29 operated by First Norfolk and Suffolk serves Fakenham Town; while the X8 service operated from Kings Lynn will also get racegoers to the track.
By train: The nearest train stations are Kings Lynn and Norwich although both are around 20-25 miles from the track meaning onward travel is required either by bus or taxi.
By air: Helicopters are permitted to land in the centre of the racecourse subject to prior arrangement with the track officials.