Tiverton trainer Nigel Hawke took the opening race at Fontwell Park’s meeting yesterday with 3-1 shot Mister Wiseman, overturning the third-placed favourite, Join The Navy. Thomas Cheeseman partnered the winner in this race for conditional jockeys, where locally trained According To Them, a 16-1 shot impressed in second place under rider Patrick Corbett.
Join The Navy could only finish third, Lawny Hill’s Frosty Lad was pulled up and Full of Beans unseated his rider. The only other finisher was Curragh Dancer, trained by Paddy Butler, which was 19 lengths behind the first three.
Nigel Hawke was thrilled with the win, saying that Mister Wiseman had jumped superbly throughout. On his last outing at Market Rasen, where he had won previously ,the horse had slipped up on the final circuit when certain to win the race.”He jumped superbly today and it was a good comfortable victory. I’ve had this horse a long time and he means a lot to me,” he added.
According To Them, ridden by Patrick Corbett, was an eye catching second. He is trained on the outskirts of Henfield by Daniel Steele. Daniel had ridden out for Gary Moore in nearby Horsham for more than seven years but took out a permit to train his own horses just over a year ago and has four horses which have been running.
He had two seconds a third and a fourth place to his credit prior to According To Them’s latest effort.
“The main thing was getting According To Them to finish a race and he put in a good performance today. I have three other horses – Hold The Bucks, Kasban and Niceboy. Hold The Bucks runs at Uttoxeter tomorrow ( Wednesday) ,” he said,
In form Emma Lavelle sent out Junction 14 to win the 2m 4f novice hurdle, by head from Cloud Creeper, trained by Philip Hobbs. She described the Kings Theatre four-year-old as ‘ a green baby’ on his previous runs.
“Fontwell is not an easy track for a novice, but I would bring him back here again,” she said after the victory. She had to settle for second place in the Novice Handicap Steeple Chase though, when her evens favourite,Red Rock, was given a seven-lengths beating by Strawberry Hill, a 5-2 shot trained by Caroline Keevil.
French-bred Unsist, trained by Nick Gifford at Findon, is a smart horse with plenty of potential. His future looks to be over fences, but he had to run from 8lb out of the handicap in this race because there was no suitable novice chase for him. “Hopefully he will get a handicap mark to suit him for his next run,” said Nick.
Victor Dartnell’s horses are firmly back in the winner’s enclosure and Seebright won the 32Red Casino Handicap Hurdle Race of the day by three-quarters of a length with Jack Doyle in the saddle. Owner Mrs Dawn Fleming was delighted with the performance.
Bridgwater trainer Carroll Gray made the trip pay off when saddling up 9-4 favourite Volio Vicente to win the 32Red.com Handicap Steeplechase. The six-year-old gelding had run only seven days previously and he had the edge over Richard Rowe’s Alteranthela, in second place, which had been off the track for 169 days. But Alteranthela ran well enough and will be better for this outing.
The final two races of the day went to Neil Mulholland, who saddled up 7-1 shot Kilrush to win the final handicap hurdle ridden by Michael Byrne, and Caroline Keevil, who secured a double when her 16-1 shot Larks Rising took the National Hunt Flat Race with Tom O’Brien in the saddle.
The next meeting at Fontwell Park will be on Tuesday December 12 with a Christmas Party Raceday with a chance to win an annual Fontwell Park membership for 2014.