ONE emphatic winner at a charity race day at Fontwell Park last week was Forest Rhythm, partnered by Andrew Thornton, who took the horse round the better ground on the outside of the track throughout the race to achieve a 20-1 win for the New Forest Partnership.
The partnership had been considering sending Forest Rhythm to the sales if a few more members for this racing group could not be found but by using prize money will be able to keep Forest Rhythm in training until February, hoping for more members in the interim.
This is an extremely affordable group. On the back of this impressive win it makes an attractive opportunity for anyone wanting to enjoy the thrills of ownership.
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Two locally trained horses put in good performances at the meeting were Watergate and Current Climate, both trained by Richard Rowe at Sullington and were unlucky not to win their races.
Watergate, owned by the Stewart Family, put in a fine jumping display over fences but had to settle for second place behind the controversially low weighted winner, Hunt Ball. The five-year-old Sullington runner, ridden by Leighton Aspell, was carrying top weight, despite having won only a hurdle race last March and gave a fluent display.
But with a winner that was carrying 19lbs less weight, and which had notched up two point-to-points victories before landing a gamble at Folkestone only eight days previously, Watergate had little chance of winning when the pace was stepped up after the last fence. But he finished 35 lengths clear of the third horse in the Wellpool Building and Maintenance handicap chase.
Richard Rowe was also out of luck in the handicap steeplechase of the day, over three miles two furlongs, when Current Climate,under a fine ride from jockey Andrew Thornton, finished only three-quarters of a length behind winner Bring It On Home, trained by Brendan Powell.
Andrew Thornton reported: “He was going well, but was impeded by a horse in front at the final fence, which stopped his momentum. But for that he would have won.”
He suggested that Current Climate, a 14-1 shot, owned by the Encore Partership IV, would be versatile in both distance and going for any future runs.
Current Climate, seven, had one previous place to his credit in a hurdle race previously, but he had raced with enthusiasm at Fontwell. Connections might consider an engagement for him at Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day meeting,
For full feature and more photographs, see full page equestrian news in the West Sussex Gazette, December 14. Read this page every week for local equestrian news.