FONTWELL Park’s traditional Boxing Day meeting attracted a good crowd, which enjoyed an afternoon of competitive racing. The opening Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, run over two miles three furlongs set the standard with a thrilling finale, in which only a neck separated the first two home.
In the final stages Ben Hicks and Michael Heard fought out the finish in fine style with Michael Heard going on to bring 6-4 favourite Oskar Denarius home to win by a neck for trainer Jennifer Mason from 13-2 shot River Dun, trained by David Pipe. Back in third was Jeb’s Gamble, trained at Findon by Nick Gifford, and this horse will come on for the experience having finished well clear of the remainder of the runners.
A good local winner emerged in the juvenile hurdle over two miles one furlong, when Horsham trainer Gary Moore sent out Aiguille Rouge, partnered by his son, jockey Jamie Moore, to a four length victory over 2-1 shot Spirit of Rome.
Spirit of Rome, still only a three-year-old, is trained by Harry Whittington but was no match for Moore’s talented French-bred chestnut filly, which is owned locally by The Winning Hand racing group. She was held up in the race but took the lead approaching the final obstacle running on in impressive fashion, making an interesting prospect for the future.
Highway One O One, trained by Chris Gordon, continued to impress when he won the James Tod Novices Hurdle over two miles one and a half furlongs comfortably. Owned by Anthony Ward-Thomas, the Irish-bred five-year-old is improving with every run. This time he beat Canyouringmeback (Ire), which is definitely one for the notebook .
Trained by Nick Gifford at Downs Stables, Findon, there is a lot to like about Canyouringmeback, a five-year-old,owned by T C McKeever. He has previously run in a couple of Irish points to points and is a decent sort who will benefit from more racing experience, going on to do well.
Bredon Hill Lad enjoys racing at Fontwell Park and this meeting was no exception. Trained by Sue Gardner, he was partnered as usual by her daughter Lucy to an easy two-length victory in the Handicap Chase of the day over Atlantic Roller, a 13-2 shot trained by Chris Gordon, depriving him of a double one the day.
Gary and Jamie Moore completed a double when winning the two mile one furlong handicap hurdle. Their 9-4 favourite Knocknanuss scored his third hurdles victory after he took the lead approaching two out. His win was at the expense of Notre Ami, a promising and lightly raced six-year-old trained by Nick Gifford at Findon, which is improving with every run. His winning turn will come.
Trainer Anna Newton-Smith has a good record at Fontwell Park and added to it at this meeting with a victory from 5-2 shot Goring One under veteran jockey Andrew Thornton. They won by more than four lengths from the Jeremy Scott-trained Colmer Hill.
The final race- a Mares’ Handicap Hurdle- was won in decisive manner by Somerset trainer Jeremy Scott. He sent out Ellens Way at 7-2, ridden by Matt Griffiths, to win by 14 lengths.
The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on Monday January 8.
Gates OpenFirst Race 13:15pm , Last Race15:45pm.