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40-1 shot Fairway Freddy lands feature race glory at Stratford

THERE was a surprise in the Pat Smyth 60th Birthday Celebration Handicap Chase, feature of Stratford’s six-race card on Saturday, as 40-1 shot Fairway Freddy defied the odds to claim victory for trainer Nick Gifford.

The nine-year-old, making just his second run following a 153-day break, had initially been held up in midfield but made his way through the pack and despite a mistake two from home, he ran on well to beat 2-1 joint-favourite Punxsutawney Phil by four-and-three-quarter lengths.

The meeting got under way with the Jordan Garrett Very Late 21st Female Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle run over two miles and 70 yards and it attracted five entries. In the closest finish of the day, Man Of The Sea, returning to England after five wins at Les Landes in France since June 2021, pipped My Poem, sent off 100-30 favourite, to the line by three-quarters of a length.

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