Fontwell Park’s National Spirit raceday

Fontwell Park’s latest jump meeting went ahead today, Sunday, attracting a good crowd with runners enjoying good to soft going. Trainer Paul Nicholls was in outstanding form winning four races there.

It was disappointing that the opening Josh Gifford Memorial Novices’ Chase worth £12,660 to the winner, turned into a match attracting just two runners, with the course in good condition.

The two under starter’s orders were 4-6 favourite Copain De Classe, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by Paul Nicholls, and Space Oddity, trained by Harry Fry with Noel Fehily aboard, sent off at 6-5.  But it proved to be a one horse race when Space Oddity unseated his rider at the second and Copain De Classe hacked round to claim the prize.

Trainer Paul Nicholls  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Paul Nicholls continued his good form when Sam Twiston-Davies on board his 5-2 favourite The Last But One won the second race by three lengths from 8-1 Cape Horner, trained by Seamus Mullins, ridden by Jeremiah McGrath.  Spock at 20-1 finished third for Lady Susan Brook, ridden by her daughter.

The Grade Two National Spirit Hurdle, feature race of the day, attracted eight runners-and again Paul Nicholls dominated with his 11-4 shot Old Guard, ridden  by Harry Cobden, which went two lengths clear at the last to beat 5-2 favourite Lil Rockerfeller (trained by Neil King)  by just under two lengths.

Old Guard on the way to winning Fontwell Park’s National Spirit Hurdle Race under Harry Cobden Photo: Fontwell Park


Trainer Oliver Sherwood and jockey Leighton Aspell teamed up for a good victory in the Novices’ Hurdle with 1-2 shot Jersey Bean, beating trainer Neil Mulholland’s Niblawi  by almost four lengths, with the Nick Gifford-trained Puppet Warrior in third place.

The six-runner three mile two furlongs hunter chase attracted six runners, with the classy Unioniste (Paul Nicholls) ridden by 3lb claimer David Maxwell, heading the field. Unioniste and David Maxwell put in an impressive, flawless performance to win the race with ease.

There was a good win for trainer Colin Tizzard in the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle when he sent out Quiz Master, owned by Brocade Racing, to win from Lewes trainer Sheena West’s Ding Ding .

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on  Wednesday March 7 when gates open at noon and the first of six races is at 2.10pm.

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