Fontwell Park enjoyed competitive racing yesterday, despite some small fields resulting from the drying ground. warm, sunny weather attracted a good crowd.
The opening novices’ hurdle had just three runners and was won as expected by Brave Eagle, the 8-13 on favourite ridden by 5lb claimer Ned Curtis for trainer Nicky Henderson.
He came home nine lengths ahead of Mister Serious, a 33-1 shot, which had earlier won the Best Turned Out Award. This runner-up- an eight-year-old Kalanisi gelding,impressed with a gutsy run, ridden by Nick Scholfield. He is trained at Bruton in Somerset by Hugo Froud.
There should be more to come from him after this impressive effort, where he acquitted himself well. He is a half-brother to useful hurdler and chaser Crucham.
In the following handicap steeplechase, over two miles five furlongs, Easy Street trained by Jonjo O’ Neill at Cheltenham, and ridden by Aiden Coleman, was sent off at 9-2. But he beat 100-30 favourite The Italian Yob, ridden by Leighton Aspell and trained by Nick Williams, comfortably by almost three lengths.”He was carrying top weight but everything went right for him today,” said his rider.
Another top weight won the Handicap Hurdle race over two miles on furlong in fine style- despite giving 17lb in weight to runner up Flanagans Field. Bletchley Castle was a good winner of this race coming home almost three lengths clear of second-placed Flanagans Field, which in turn was sent out by Bernard Lllewellyn of Bargoed, with Robert Williams up.Conor O’ Farrell was the rider of the winning eight-year-old which impressed with this victory.
Lucy Gardner missed out on a winning ride on 10-year-old Bredon Hill Lad, trained by her mother Susan because she felt unwell.Ian Popham took over and made all in the race for an impresive victory.
He said:” This is a game old horse and he took the lead, having a look around and jumped well. I got the opportunity to ride because Lucy was not feeling well and did the job.”The handicap hurdle race over two miles five furlongs was well contested and went to Carnspindle, trained by Warren Greatrex, ridden by Gavin Sheehan which was a comfortable 9-2 winner.
Two local winners rounded off the meeting. The first was a good victory for Sullington trainer Richard Rowe and owners The Forever Partnership, when Andrew Glassonbury brought the seven-year-old gelding, Remember Forever, home to win by just under two lengths for a very well-deserved success.
The National Hunt Flat race at the end of the meeting was won by Gary Moore with 5-2 shot Dell Oro, ridden by son Joshua.
The next meeting at Fontwell Park is an Easter Raceday on April 12.