Fontwell Park saw drama in the 3 mile 1 furlong condtional jockey’s handicap chase yesterday after runner Indiana Bay, trained by David Dennis, was pulled up by Kieron Edgar on the bend following the stands.
Edgar realised there was something wrong with the horse, which collapsed and died after being pulled up. All runners were pulled up.
Clerk of the course Ed Arkell said: “David Dennis’s horse had a problem going into the bend. He was on the floor and we had medical staff there as well as making sure the jockey (Kieron Edgar)was all right.
“I was not happy that if we had runners coming past again we could ensure safety. Had it been on the straight I would have been happy for them to have bypassed. But going into a tight bend on the running line we had to put health and safety first.”
He added: “It’s not a decision we took lightly. I’ve been clerk here ten years and it’s never happened before. It’s unfortunate and we’ll discuss the situation with owners and trainers. But it was a situation you could not legislate for.”
Horsham trainer Gary Moore continued his winning run when sending out 10-11 favourite Sisania, ridden by son Jamie, to win the juvenile maiden hurdle race. Another short-priced favourite, 4-6 shot Frodon, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by Paul Nicholls was a five length winner of the Novices’ Chase.
In the handicap hurdle another 4-6 favourite, Hygrove Percy was well-ridden by amateur James King to beat Alexandra Dunn’s 33-1 second placed Istimaar, giving trainer Neil Mullholland a well-deserved win.
Course winner Workbench repeated his victory of two years ago in the London Pride Handicap Steeple Chase over two miles two furlongs trained by Dan Skelton at Alcester, and ridden by his brother, Harry Skelton.
He came with a late run to take win in the closing stages from David Pipe’ Purple’n gold by a well judged length.
The final race went to 9-2 shot Young Dillon, trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies. The seven-year old, by Vinnie Roe, was an impressive winner and has a bright future ahead.
Another good card is promised tomorrow at Fontwell in a day not to be missed when the first race at 1.50 is the well-contested Southern Water Handicap Hurdle. There should be some highly competitive racing. The Skelton brothers will be back again with Zarib contesting the handicap hurdle.
Local trainer Gary Moore has a number of highly promising runners at the meeting and should be in the winner’s enclosure.