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.
” 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.
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.
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.
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.