Lingfield Park launches second All Weather Championships

Lingfield Park Racecourse celebrated the 25th anniversary of All Weather Racing yesterday with the launch by Arena Racing Company of a second year of All-Weather Championships

Last year’s inaugural championship led to a 90 per cent increase in the number of 100+ rated horses running during the 2013-14 season, at the same time bringing an increase in prize money across every class of race. This year prize money for the second Finals Day, on Good Friday, April 3, 2015 will rise to £1.1 million.

Competitive racing on all weather tracks today thanks to Arena Racing Company and sponsors

Competitive racing on all weather tracks today thanks to Arena Racing Company and sponsors

Taking the initiative even further into the future will be a new category this year- a development of a three-year-old sprinting programme with £150,000 funding for 2014, alongside a move to eight furlong races as a springboard to the Guineas.

This year the All Weather Championships run from October 30 2014 to April 3 2015, consisting of all All-Weather races held at Lingfield Park, Southwell, Wolverhampton and the new Chelmsford City Racecourse.  The finals will again be on Good Friday, April 2015.

Jim Allen, the ARC Racing Director said: “The major change is that we have a new All-Weather Championships category after extensive consultations. We no longer have an apprentice race on Finals Day and that has been replaced by the £150,000 Three-Year-Old Sprint over five furlongs.

New sponsor Unibet backs the Three-Year-Old Sprint category in addition to the Sprinter Championship. The three other betting partners and sponsors, Coral, Ladbrokes and 32Red, were involved in the very successful first All-Weather Championships season and continue their association.

Coral supports the Middle Distance Championship, while Ladbrokes sponsors the Mile Championship. 32Red backs three Championships categories – Three-Year-Old, Fillies & Mares and Marathon.

Horses who do not win a Fast-Track Qualifier must run a minimum of three times during the All-Weather Championships in Britain or, in a new initiative, one of the three runs can now take place on Meydan’s dirt surface in Dubai or on the All-Weather at Dundalk, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.

Ambassador- Jockey George Baker  Photo:Jeannie Knight

Ambassador- Jockey George Baker Photo:Jeannie Knight

Jockey George Baker – the tallest  jockey in Flat racing at 6ft- has been appointed as the All Weather Ambassador.  George (32)  lives in Wiltshire and rode his first winner in 1999. This Group One winning rider had his first winner on the All-Weather aboard Beauchamp Magic at Wolverhampton on December 4, 1999 and has long been one of the leading jockeys on artificial surfaces.

George Baker said: “The most important thing last All-Weather season was the better class of horse running and, from my point of view, the boosted prize money.

“I will be doing a weekly blog and I would like to give Adam Kirby competition for the All-Weather Jockeys’ title. I will be riding as much as I can on the All-Weather but I have limited opportunities with my weight. Adam and I are both pretty heavy but Luke Morris is difficult to beat as he has plenty of rides.”

This year, four fast track qualifiers will be hosted abroad on synthetic surfaces at Dundalk in Ireland, Cagnes-sur-mer and Deauville in France. This is aimed at further increasing the profile of All-Weather Championships and encouraging international competition.

There will be seven championship categories: Three Year Old, Three Year Old Sprint (five furlongs);  Sprint ( for Four Year Olds run over six furlongs); Mile ( over eight furlongs); Marathon (  with races ranging from 13 furlongs to 16 furlongs) where the Final will be run over 16 furlongs; Fillies and Mares ( over seven furlongs);Middle Distance ( on the day over  ten furlongs, with qualifying races over ten to 12 furlongs).

Ertijaal and Paul Hanagan winners of last year’s three-year-old championship.Photo: Jeannie Knight

 

The success of the Champships rests with the continued support of sponsors 32Red, Unibet, Ladbrokes and Coral, which have embraced the visionary initiative launched last year by Arena Racing Company.

A new betting partner, Unibet, backs the Three-Year-Old Sprint Championship plus the Sprint Championship. The three other betting partners, Coral, Ladbrokes and 32Red, were involved in the very successful first All-Weather Championships season and continue their association this time. Ed Nicholson, for Unibet, said: “Unibet is delighted to be a sponsor of the All-Weather Championships.

Delighted owner Mick Mariscotti receives his trophy from sponsors 32-Red following Rattling Jewel's 25-1 victory Photo: Jeannie Knight Photo Jeannie Knight

Delighted owner Mick Mariscotti receives his trophy from sponsors 32-Red following Rattling Jewel’s 25-1 victory
Photo: Jeannie Knight

On Thursday, Rattling Jewel ridden by Liam Keniry, trained by Andrew Balding, sprang a 25-1 shock when winning the 32Red On The App Store/Irish EBF Maiden Stakes in fine style for owner Mick Mariscotti.

 

Exciting new prospects unveiled by KVT syndicate

Already preparing for another exciting Flat season next year is Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds (KVT),  headed by Sam Hoskins and Piers Winkworth, having enjoyed a good 2014 both on and off the racecourse.

Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds

Late last year they took over from former chairman, Nick Robinson, who was a pioneer of the professional racehorse syndication market, and said: ” From a communication point of view, we have been keen to keep everyone as well-informed as possible including videos and photos which are now so easy to take and send on.

“On the track, eight of our ten horses have run, winning seven races between them whilst from a prize money point of view, it was our best for more than a decade. The highlight of the season has, of course, been Tullius who has won more than £200,000 of prize money, taking his career total to £335,000 and improving his rating to 117.

Piers Winkworth

Sam Hoskins

Sam Hoskins

“We have welcomed more than two dozen new partners, including some parents of Finton House pre-prep school in London. We intend to build on this development somewhat but are ever mindful to maintain the intimate nature and team spirit that is the essence of                                           KVT.

“With the KVT horses, we have increased the squad from six to ten and it looks likely that we will be running ten horses in our colours next season. All of our older horses collected prize money and four of the five won races and, with the exception of Tullius (pictured below courtesy John Simpson), all will be offered for sale this autumn.

Tullius in action Photo courtesy John Simpson

“Amongst the two-year-olds, Magical Memory won a Racing Post Yearling Bonus at Leicester and also ran promisingly at Glorious Goodwood. He is rated 87 and should make up into a smart sprint handicapper for 2015. Both Finton Friend and Maxwell have also shaped with promise in their early starts whilst Spring Seraph is nearly ready for his debut. Bishop’s Leap is a lovely later-maturing horse for the future,” they said.

Dark Angel/Timbre filly to be trained by

Dark Angel/Timbre filly to be trained by Richard Hannon

Four new yearlings have been acquired, three colts and a filly, which are destined for KVT existing trainers, Andrew Balding, Ralph Beckett, Richard Hannon and Charles Hills, all of whom featured in the industry top twenty at the time of purchase.

Le Havre/Como colt to be trained by Charles Hills

These yearlings went on show to potential partners are Newbury racecourse last Saturday before racing, with shares to be sold on a first come first served basis. KVT will be targeting races for these which offer bonuses in cerrtain maiden, conditions and handicap races next summer.

Rock Of Gibraltar colt

Rock Of Gibraltar colt out of Issy Lou ( Andrew Balding)

 

Makfi-HiLife

Makfi-High Lite  chestnut colt to be trained by Ralph Beckett

Current older horses with trainers are: Tullius and Bishop’s Leap ( Andrew Balding), Finton Friend and Magical memory ( Charles Hills), Maxwell ( Ralph Beckett), Spring Seraph ( Olly Stevens).

The new unnamed two-year-olds which were impressive in their parade at Newbury, are: bay filly Dark Angel/Timbre ( Richard Hannon), bay colt Le Havre/Como ( Charles Hills), chestnut colt Makfi/High Lite ( Ralph Beckett)  bay colt Rock of Gibraltar/Issy Lou ( Andrew Balding).

For more information about Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds see www.kvtracing.com or contact Sam at  sam@kvtracing.com  0203 5421620

 

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Rositary, a remarkable Selle Francais racehorse, has died aged 31

Rositary, one of the earlier Selle Francais racehorse imports in the 1980’s, has died at age of 31. She was a remarkable mare, owned by Peter Winkworth of Dunsfold, Surrey, and won nine races in total for him.

These included five hurdle and two chases when trained by Stan Mellor, and the remaining two chase victories came at the age of 11, after having had two foals, when sent out by Peter, who was then a permit holder and a merchant banker.

This tough mare was also placed many times, including fourth in both the Keith Prowse Long Distance Hurdle, Grade 2 at Ascot in 1991 and the Premier Long Distance Hurdle Grade 2 at Haydock in 1995.

Rositary as pictured in the West Sussex Gazette a few days after her historic win in 1994 with owner/trainer Peter Winkworth and Nigel Dunger up

Rositary as pictured in the West Sussex Gazette a few days after her historic Plumpton win in 1994 with owner/trainer Peter Winkworth and Nigel Dunger up

When she strode home unchallenged in a Plumpton steeplechase in 1994, few racegoers realised that this tough mare had produced two foals in a spell away from the racecourse.

Then 11, she returned to the racecourse for another tilt at victory with two cracking filly foals to her credit-  one by Phardante and the other by Strong Gale. Peter Winkworth said at the time: “People told me it simply could not be done. Everyone said it was impossible to bring a jumping mare back at the age of 11 when she has had two foals. This was the challenge.”

Jamie Osborne came in for the 8-1 winning ride at Plumpton where she arrived at the last fence a distance clear and won by 12 lengths. In December that year Rositary followed up with a second victory in a three miles two furlong handicap chase at Folkestone, ridden by Chris Maude  winning by 30 lengths.

She retired from racing to spend many happy years cared for by her owner, who went on to start Robins Farm Racing Stables at Dunsfold, Surrey, where he sent out more winners before he retired a couple of years ago. He continues to own and breed top class racehorses.

Peter Winkworth, announced the death of his much-loved mare, on Monday saying:” She was not quite top class, but she was as tough as teak and had the heart of a lion.”

A fine tribute for a remarkable mare. RIP Rositary

 

 

New sponsor for Cowdray’s Polo Gold Cup

Cowdray Park Polo Club has  announced that Jaeger-LeCoultre will become title sponsor of the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship in 2015 with a long term commitment to the club and the tournament.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has been Official Time Keeper at Cowdray Park since 2006 in a significant partnership which has seen the iconic Reverso watch become the recognisable face of the scoreboard on Lawns 2, the pitch where the Final of the Gold Cup is played.

Dubai Cambiaso on the move in the quarter finals: Photo Clive Bennett

Dubai Cambiaso on the move in the quarter finals: Photo Clive Bennett

Inspired by polo, the cult Reverso was born in the 1930s as a result of British officers serving in India looking for a watch capable of withstanding the harsh knocks of a polo game.  Jaeger-LeCoultre found the ultimate, elegant and effective technical solution to the challenge and the concept of a reversible watch was born, using a case that rotates in order to protect the dial and expose only the metal case back to shocks.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has also supported Cowdray Park’s long-standing and popular HPA series of tournaments, ranging from 8 to 18 goal handicap and indicating the company’s interest in all levels of the sport.

Peter Barfoot, Cowdray Park Polo Club's new chairman

Peter Barfoot, Cowdray Park Polo Club’s chairman

Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club Chairman Peter Barfoot said:  “Jaeger-LeCoultre’s commitment to polo is unquestionable and the brand has established a solid reputation throughout all levels of the sport.  We feel privileged that Jaeger-LeCoultre has chosen the Gold Cup at Cowdray Park as the means to take their support to the very highest level.”

Zahra Kassim-Lakha, Director UK Market and Global Strategy added: “Extending our deep and close relationship with Cowdray Park Polo Club to encompass the title sponsorship of the world famous Gold Cup is a thrilling prospect for us. We hope to work closely with the club to promote the exciting sport of polo and increase its audiences.”

Hon Lila Pearson presenting Midhurst Town Cup to winning team Photo: Clive Bennett

Hon Lila Pearson presenting Midhurst Town Cup to winning team this year
Photo: Clive Bennett

The 2015 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship will open on June 23 with the Final taking place on Sunday July 19. Cowdray Park will shortly announce sponsorship Agreements with a tier of premier sponsors covering five important categories.

Don’t miss Moorcroft’s outstanding demonstration and tack sale on Saturday

A demonstration of ridden and long-reined ex-racehorses takes place at Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre this Saturday, November 1 at 11am. It will provide invaluable information and help to ordinary horse owners.

Long reining at Moorcroft- Mary teaches a course member.  Photo Jeannie Knight

Long reining at Moorcroft- Mary teaches a course member. Photo Jeannie Knight

There will also be a second-hand tack sale on the same day to try to boost funds for the centre, following some extremely generous donations of tack recently. The tack sale  starts at 11.30am and finishes at 2pm.

“Please come and support us. There wiil be a huge selection of rugs, saddles, boots, numnahs for sale plus much more at low prices. All proceeds go to help the horses currently being retrained at Moorcroft,” said Mary.

Meanwhile, the ridden and long-reining demonstration will demonstrate  the valuable work done at this outstanding centre.  It helps strengthen and supple horses’ backs to enable them to enjoy a more sustainable and sounder riding life.

Course members trying their hand at long-reining Photo: Jeannie Knight

Course members trying their hand at long-reining
Photo: Jeannie Knight

There will be both practical explanation and demonstration on how you can help your horse’s back, neck and pelvis to be more flexible, supple and pain free. Plus Bridgefield Physiotherapy will discuss the effect on the muscle system of pain and how rehabilitation can influence it.

Its experts will show the main muscles that can be palpated and assessed when looking at horses with neck, back and pelvic pain. They will explain some of the underlying physiology behind muscle spasm and guarding and the proposed effects of stretching and strengthening.

This demonstration takes place at Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold, West Sussex RH13 0RB  It costs £10 per ticket

For further details see: www.mrwc.org.uk   Book your ticket  by email at info @mrwc.org.uk or you can text or phone 07929 666408 – all proceeds go to help the horses at the centre.

Jayne’s racing experience of a lifetime in USA

HAVING had the experience of a lifetime in American racing is Jayne Farwell, a work rider at Robins Farm Racing Stables at Chiddingfold for Olly and Hetta Stevens. Jayne has just returned from America, where she has been looking after their horse Peace And War.

This filly, owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, made headlines when winning the $400,000 Grade 1 Darley Alcinbiades Stakes at Keeneland recently.The prestigious victory by the two-year-old War Front offspring, ridden by Keeneland’s top jockey Julien Leparoiux, qualified her for an expenses-paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race. But a decision has been taken for her to by-pass that race.

Jayne bringing Peace and War back to the winner's spot after her victory in

Jayne bringing Peace and War back to the winner’s spot after her victory in

Jayne, who has a strong racing background, was in America with the filly for several weeks, riding her every day  and she rates her time in the USA highly, saying: ” As well as riding her out every day, I was working for Kellyn Gorder and it was the most fantastic experience of my life.

“The way they train out there, training on the race track and doing things so differently, has taught me so much. American racing is so different from the way we run things in England that is has been a big learning curve.”

Jayne at the prize presentation with trainer Olly Stevens, second from right

Jayne at the prize presentation with trainer Olly Stevens, second from right

Jayne grew up with horses, having a pony at home, then doing pony club, hunting and eventing. She worked at weekends for the local hunt, riding and mucking out the horses and then had her first experience of racing was working in Mick Channon’s yard, then in Berkshire, during half terms and summer holidays.

She recalled: “When I was 16, I went to the British Racing School in Newmarket for nine weeks and was given a place at Andrew Balding’s yard in Kingsclere, Newbury. I was there for two years, and went to Australia for five weeks where I worked for trainer Mick Kent, riding out for him and a few other trainers.

“When I came back I joined Gary Moore’s yard at Horsham, West Sussex for two years, getting my apprentice licence, and had about 10 rides before moving to Olly and Hetta.”

Jayne had been there for eight months when she was given this outstanding opportunity to go the America with Peace and War for the run in the Grade 1 race. She added: ” I am so thankful that Olly sent me  with the horse. Having the win was unreal and the happiest day of my life. I have met some really good people that I will stay friends with forever.”

Peace And War handled the wet conditions at Keeneland  even though it had been expected that she would be racing on firmer conditons, and remains a bright hope for the future.

Ryan Moore excells in Australia with Adelaide

Sussex-born Flat jockey Ryan Moore has had bigger fish to fry than the Flat Jockeys Championship in the closing stages of the season.  He conceded the title to Richard Hughes to go to Australia for the Cox Plate this weekend and was rewarded with a stunning victory.

He rode Adelaide for Aiden O’Brien in an outstanding ride to take the race in a hotly contested finish that was probably the most exciting race in the Cox Plate history. The victory has shown that the three-year-old is a top quality international runner.

Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore- recognised as an international champion

After the race Moore told reporters:”He’s a very good horse, circumstances went against us, but he was much the best. This horse has shown how good he is, he’s been around the world this year. He’s a very good horse because he’s done it the hard way.”

Moore’s agent, Tony Hind confirmed that the jockey would not be riding in Britain for the remainder of the season and said Ryan would be going on to America, for the Breeders’ Cup, then back to Australia for the Melbourne Cup and then to ride in major races in Japan and Hong Kong.

The news came after Richard Hughes had been riding at afternoon and evening meetings to overtake his rival- having started well behind other jockeys after being badly injured in Dubai before the start of the season.

Jockey Richard Hughes Photo: John Simpson

Jockey Richard Hughes
Photo: John Simpson

He has now won the title  for a record three consectutive years and rates Toronado’s win first time out this season at Ascot as a highlight of his year.

Meanwhile Ryan Moore has always been committed to riding the best horses in top races overseas at this time of the year, rather than battling to win the domestic Champion Jockey title on home ground.

 

 

 

Thrilling second all-weather championships at Lingfield Park

A new category – Three-Year-Old Sprint – has been added to the exciting second AllWeather Championships season which starts at Lingfield Park on Thursday this coming week, October 30 – the 25th anniversary of the first All-Weather Racing in Great Britain. Three-Year-Old Sprint becomes the seventh of the All-Weather Championships categories, joining Three-Year-Old, Sprint, Mile, Marathon, Fillies & Mares, and Middle Distan

All weather racing at Lingfield Park Photo: A

All weather racing at Lingfield Park
Photo: Arena Racing

Jim Allen, Arena Racing Company Director of Racing, commented: “The creation of the new Three-Year-Old Sprint category arose out of consultation with horsemen and the BHA. We hope its inclusion will further support the sprint programme in Great Britain and give horses more opportunities to race throughout the winter months.
“Last year’s Championship winners have continued to prove themselves, on both synthetic and turf surfaces, here in Great Britain and abroad. We look forward to crowning more champions when the action gets underway on October 30 at Lingfield Park.”

A new betting partner, Unibet, backs the Three-Year-Old Sprint Championship plus the Sprint Championship. The three other betting partners, Coral, Ladbrokes and 32Red, were involved in the very successful first All-Weather Championships season and continue their association this time. Ed Nicholson, for Unibet, said: “Unibet is delighted to be a sponsor of the All-Weather Championships.

 

Lingfield Park Alll Weather Championships Photo:Arena Racing

Setting out for the Lingfield Park All Weather Championships
Photo:Arena Racing

“One of our primary objectives since our re-launch in May, 2013 has been to ensure that those who like to bet on the horses know that Unibet offers a complete and competitive horseracing service. The All-Weather Championships association, hot on the hooves of our partnership with Royal Windsor and our sponsorship of many of the country’s racecourse starting stalls, will go some way to achieving this aim.

“The partnership provides us with an excellent platform to regularly educate that target group on the many special racing promotions and enhanced offers we have at Unibet on a daily basis.

Others in the partnership are Coral, which supports the Middle Distance Championship, while Ladbrokes sponsors the Mile Championship.32Red backs three Championship categories – Three-Year-Old, Fillies & Mares and Marathon.

Lingfield Ambassador George Baker following his win at Lingfield's Championship Day on Good Friday Photo: Jeannie Knight

Lingfield Ambassador George Baker following his win at Lingfield’s Championship Day on Good Friday Photo: Jeannie Knight

George Baker, one of the leading jockeys during the first All-Weather Championships with 57 winners, is the new All-Weather Ambassador.Born on September 1, 1982, six-foot Baker is one of the tallest Flat jockeys and has to sweat daily to keep his weight down. The Group One winning rider had his first winner on the All-Weather aboard Beauchamp Magic at Wolverhampton on December 4, 1999 and has long been one of the leading jockeys on artificial surfaces.

Baker said: “The All-Weather has allowed me to progress as a jockey and I will always be grateful for the opportunities it gave me to gain valuable experience. The first All-Weather Championships raised the profile of All-Weather Racing considerably and also boosted prize money levels. I was lucky enough to win on Litigant in the 32Red Casino All-Weather Marathon Championships on Finals Day. It was fantastic to see Lingfield Park packed with racegoers and so many children present. The day was a total vindication of racing on Good Friday for the first time ever.”

Great Britain’s five All-Weather courses – Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, which are owned by ARC, plus Chelmsford City and Kempton Park – are all involved in the 2014-2015 All-Weather Championships.

Leonnie and Bellatrix are through to National Championships

Leonnie Jones (33) from Haywards Heath, West Sussex on board Bellatrix III, a seven year-old black mare owned by James Johnson won the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Second Round hosted by Sparsholt College Equine Centre in Winchester, Hampshire, recently

Each of the starters were hoping to qualify for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Championships, which takes place at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool from November 19-23.

Leonnie Joneas and Bellatrix

Leonnie Joneas and Bellatrix

Of the nineteen starters coming forward for the twelve qualifying places, only nine jumped clear in the first round to go through to the jump off. The jump off then saw seven secure a double clear, with all of the competitors picking up a qualifying place in the championship final, the clock decided the final line-up.

The penultimate combination to go in the jump off, Leonnie and Bellatrix III gained their double clear in 33.58 seconds ensuring the victory was theirs. Second place went to 23-year-old Bex Foster from Hook, Hampshire with her own six-year-old chestnut mare Ruby Tuesday XII.

Their double clear was secured in 34.01 seconds. Third place went to Lana-Mai Couzens (25) from Rowlands Castle, Hampshire with her own eight-year-old piebald gelding Peeping Tom. Delivery of a double clear in 34.51 seconds ensured the combination a top three placing, and also a spot in the Championship Final.

Alanjou impressed for Jamie Snowden at Fontwell Park

Trainer Jamie Snowden repaid former army favours when he sent out Alanjou, ridden by Daryl Jacob, to win the 2m 6f handicap chase at Fontwell Park yesterday by an easy three lengths.

The four-year-old, which was the pick of the paddock in the race, is owned by Jordan Wylie, the trainer’s former colleague in the army. Jamie Snowden was a Captain in the Kings Royal Hussars and had a fine reputation in the annual military races at Sandown, where he won on board HM The Queen’s horse, First Love.

Trainer Jamie Snowden, jockey Daryl King and Charles Wylie. Photo Jeannie Knight

Trainer Jamie Snowden, jockey Daryl Jacob and owner Jordan Wylie. Photo Jeannie Knight

” Jordan looked after me when I arrived fresh from Sandhurst, and used to cover for me when I took time off to go and ride in the races.  I promised him I would train a winner for him when I took out my licence,” he said. Snowden is now based in new premises at Folly House, Lambourn, where he  has 35 horses and an expanding career ahead.

Local favourite Venetian Lad, trained  by Lydia Richards at Funtington, ran on to finish third, despite being perisistently hampered by another horse over the three fences coming into the straight.

But there was an excellent success for local trainer Alison Batchelor of Petworth, when the aptly named Try Catch Me, added to his four wins over course and distance with Leighton Aspell on board in the handicap steeplechase.

Alison Batchelor leads in her winner Try Catch Me, ridden by Leighton Aspell.  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Alison Batchelor leads in her winner Try Catch Me, ridden by Leighton Aspell. Photo: Jeannie Knight

She said:” He jumps better here than at other tracks- he’s been placed at other courses but loves Fontwell. He also cannot handle softer ground- I was a bit concerned that it might be too soft in places for him today, but the rain had stayed away for his race.”

Trainer Alan King was rewarded with a double at the meeting, both ridden by Wayne Hutchinson. He took the opening novice hurdle with a promising young horse, Miles To Memphis, and also Division I of the National Hunt Flat Race with Dusky Legend.

Alan LKing with Miles Too Memphis following the opening race  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Alan LKing with Miles Too Memphis following the opening race Photo: Jeannie Knight

Following his opening win he said:”I’m pleased to come to Fontwell at any time with my runners. It’s a good track to give younger horses a grounding on an this horse did it well today.”

The Beginners’ Steeplechase went to the Paul Nicholls’ trained Virak in a three-runner field, but he was out of luck in the stronger handicap hurdle race over two miles six furlongs with Pressies Girl, which finished 22 lengths behind the winner.

The race was won by Lewes-trained Hi Note, a 20-1 shot sent out by Sheena West and ridden by Mark Goldstein. The mare’s trainer revealed that the horse had never taken to fences and had been switched back to hurdles. Hi Note is a versatile runner and has also won on the Flat in the summer breaks.

Delighted trainer Sheena West and owner Geral West with Hi Note and jockey Mark Goldstein

Delighted trainer Sheena West and owner Geral West with Hi Note and jockey Mark Goldstein

There was a goood victory for Emma Lavelle in the handicap hurdle race over two and a half miles when Demographic benefited from the drop back in trip from three miles and won an eventful Conditional Jockeys Novice Hurdle race. Rider Richie O’ Dea kept a cool head when hampered during the race, going on to take the lead and win at 8-1.

The next Fontwell Park meeting is on Friday November 7.