ONE of Fontwell Park’s richest racedays, featuring both the Southern National Handicap Steeplechase and the popular Salmon Spray Challenge Trophy, attracted an excellent crowd yesterday, when the well-fancied Boyfromnowhere, trained by Rebecca Curtis in Newport, and ridden by 5lb claimer Eamonn Corbett won the Southern National.
Southern National Winner Boyfromnowhere with jockey Eamonn Corbett and owners
Delighted owners Alan Rhead and Geoffrey Williams welcomed back Boyfromnowhere, in the absence of the six-year-old’s trainer. They praised Eamonn Corbett for the excellent ride he gave the six-year-old Old Vic gelding, which they have owned for 18 months. They added that the Southern National had been his target en route to the Welsh National, which was now Boyfromnowhere’s major target.
Jockey Eamonn Corbett receives his Southern National prize
Then the presitigious Salmon Spray Handicap Hurdle Race went to locally-trained Knight of Pleasure- a 5-2 shot trained near Horsham by Gary Moore and ridden by his son Joshua.
Knight of Pleasure, owned by The Knights of Pleasure Racing Grouup, took the Salmon Spray Challenge Trophy in style under a fluent ride from Joshua Moore, who claims 3lbs. He was bred by Bryan Fry, who lives near Chichester and who is a member of the owning group. He said: “I’m delighted with this win. I
Joshua Moore aboard Salmon Spray winner Knight of Pleasure
The Knights of Pleasure owners group receiving the Salmon Spray trophy
also have a filly foal from the same mare and it is particularly special to see a horse you have bred win such a prestigious race.”
Trainer Gary Moore said: “This is his first year in handicaps and I will see how he comes out of this race before I make any definite plans for the future for him.”
Joshua Moore was quickly back in the winner’s spot in the following race- the John Rogerson Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeplechase- on board Colebrooke,a 10-1 shot trained at Newport Pagnell by Renee Robeson. The five-year-old gelding has won juvenile hurdles at Fontwell in the past and this was his first run over bigger obstacles.
Cole Harden with jockey Gavin Sheehan and owners
The opening Maiden Hurdle race was won by Cole Harden, a four-year-old gelding owned by Mrs Jill Eynon and Mr Robin Eynon, ridden by Gavin Sheehan and trained at Upper Lambourne by Warren Greatrex. This horse had won both his bumper races and was fourth on his hurdling debut at Fontwell last month.
His trainer said he had run him at Fontwell in a tongue tie, not because he had any breathing problems, but to make him concentrate.
Winning trainer Warren Greatrex was joined by his young daughters following the victory
” He ran a bit green last time but he loves this ground and jumped much better today. He’s only four and now we know we have something to build on,” said his trainer.
Conditional jockey Connor Shoemark, who turned professional after a season as an amateur rider when he enjoyed some good wins, certainly made his value in the saddle apparent when he rode a double for trainer Neil Mulholland at the meeting. He impressed with a well-produced finish on board The Young Master in the opening Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Race. The four-year-old gelding reversed the tables with the fancied Brass Monkey, which had got the better of him at Southwell nine days previously.
Conor Shoemark and The Young Master won the opener
Shoemark’s second leg of the double came in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Steeplechase when he partnered Waltzing Tornado, 5-2 favourite, to victory in the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Chase, again for the same trainer.
An old hand at Fontwell, Orvita, trained by Helen Nelmes at Dorchester, was back to his very best when winning the final handicap hurdle of the day at 16-1. He had needed the run at Plumpton recently when making his seasonal appearance.
His trainer explained at the time that her son, who normally goes sheep-shearing in New Zealand in the early part of every year, had stayed in England longer to help her prepare this popular 11-year-old gelding for the season, ridden to victory by Richie McLernon.
Fontwell Park’s next meeting is on Wednesday November 26