Excellent racing at Fontwell Park

.Racing at Fontwell Park returns with an outstanding card tomorrow ( Thursday), kicking off at 2.20pm with the Tom Cannon Triple Champion Novices Hurdle, commemorating the prolific wins he has achieved at this popular track-especially when teaming up with trainer Chris Gordon.

Jockey Tom Cannon following a win at Fontwell Park

Jockey Tom Cannon following a win at Fontwell Park

He is riding for this trainer in this two miles six furlong race, partnering Tara Bridge, a seven-year-old gelding, on his third outing.  This horse finished fourth at Fontwell Park last time, but faces some experienced opposition, especially from Mighty Vic, trained by Suzy Smith. Mighty Vic has joined her in-form yard from a win in Ireland. Ben Pauling also sends out a progressive horse in Ewings.

West country trainer Caroline Keevil and jockey James Best have a good record at Fontwell and they team up with previous course winner, Strawberry Hill in the two mile two furlong novice hurdle race, contested by nine runners.

Dan Skelton is another trainer in cracking form, especially when his horses are ridden by his brother Harry, and they are the pair Strawberry Hill has to beat in this race, with  Popaflora, second for them last time out at Plumpton.

Dan Skelton with an earlier Fontwell winner, Workbench Photo: Jeannie Knight

Dan Skelton with an earlier Fontwell winner, Workbench
Photo: Jeannie Knight

They also have good prospects of taking the 10-runner third race, a two mile two furlongs hurdle qualifier over two miles two with Benissimo. Their biggest danger could come from Colin Tizzard’s Fourth Act, second at this track on similar going in November.

Prouts Pub, a racing club horse trained locally at Findon by Nick Gifford and ridden by Tom Cannon, will raise the roof if he wins the two mile four furlong handicap hurdle. De Blacksmith, from Gary Moore, has still to recapture his winning form of December 2012, when his course and distance win at Fontwell was followed up by a win the following month at Plumpton.  An unknown quantity is Lewes trainer Suzy Smith’s Mariat, runner up at Fontwell and a winner at Plumpton last year, again with claimer Jack Sherwood in the saddle.

Nick Gifford

Nick Gifford

Brody Bleu, a dual chase winner and plenty of places to his credit, could take the two mile two furlong handicap chase for West Country trainer Robert Walford with Felix De Giles in the saddle. He could have most to fear from Laura Mongan’s Morgan’s Bay ridden by Tom Cannon.

There is a grand finale at Fontwell in the National Hunt Flat Race, where Nemarket Flat trainer Sir Mark Prescott will be making a nostalgic return to Fontwell Park for the first time since 1966. Better known for his winners on the Flat, almost 49 years ago he rode Propellant Miss to win a Fontwell Park hurdle race for trainer Cecil Stone.

He runs filly Sea Pride, by Sea The Stars, a four-year-old, who will be having her first run at 4.50pm. A big filly, she was unbroken until three and couldn’t run on the Flat because she was backward. Her first taste of racing will be in this race at Fontwell.


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