Oliver Sherwood took top trainer honours with a treble at Fontwell Park`s Boxing Day fixture yesterday, where a good crowd was rewarded with superb racing.
He won the Red Casino handicap chase with Before All, with local in-form jockey Leighton Aspell in the saddle and the same combination followed up in the Mares Novice Hurdle with evens favourite Spirit Oscar. Thomas Garner was in the saddle for 8-1 shot Jeano de Toulouse’s win in the 32 Red Handicap Hurdle.
Although the going was heavy, there was still competitive racing and Fontwell Park put on a great family day out when racegoers enjoyed the sunshine. There were a couple of local winners to add extra interest, with Sullington trainer Richard Rowe sending out Alteranthela, ridden by Colin Bolger, to win the handicap chase of the day.
And there was compensation for Gatwick trainer Kevin Tork, whose prolific runner Upton Mead finished a four-length second to Before All in the second race. His runner Zhukov, now 11, had been pulled up last time at Fontwell Park , making his reappearance after a very long absence.
But this time he won the Ward-Thomas Master Removers Handicap Chase over two miles two furlongs by a well judged length with local claimer George Gorman in the saddle. This was a good win for the young rider, who has previously ridden a number of point to point winners for his mother, trainer Carolyn Gorman. He should go on to more successes.
The opening juvenile hurdle went to Neil King’s Vandross, ridden by Trevor Whelan, and the final condition jockeys race was won by Josh Hamer aboard Claire Dyson’s Piqeuno Diablo.