Powell proves the chief in Fontwell’s Southern National

Golden Chieftain and connections celebrate their totepool Southern National win / Picture by Clive Bennett

Golden Chieftain and connections celebrate their totepool Southern National win / Picture by Clive Bennett

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Golden Chieftain notched his first win in two-and-a-half years in Fontwell’s second-biggest race of the year, the totepool Southern National.

Brendan Powell rode the Colin Tizzard-trained ten-year-old to his first win since a 2013 Cheltenham Festival success when staying on strongly to take the three-mile four-furlong contest.

Finish The Story was two-and-a-quarter lengths back in second under Alain Cawley with Dont Do Mondays a further 14 lengths behind in third with Jake Hodson on board.

Unusually, the national was the only race on the vard of seven not won by the favourite or a joint-favourite.

The big-race win was the first half of separate doubles for both Powell and Tizzard.

Powell was first over the line again for trainer dad Brendan in the last, the totepool Racing’s Biggest Supporter Handicap Chase, on 11/4 favourite Lady From Geneva, while Tizzard made it back-to-back wins when Daryl Jacob landed the John Rogerson Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase on 10/11 favourite Buckthorn Timothy.

The big-race win was the first half of separate doubles for both Powell and Tizzard.

There was familiar Fontwell success for the Moore family as Jamie rode Baron Alco (5/4 favourite) to the win in the toteexacta Salmon Spray Handicap Hurdle for the Salmon Spray Challenge Trophy.

That was one of two winners tipped on the Observer website on the morning of racing.

The other came in the opening race as General Girling tasted his second Fontwell win in ten days for James Best and Caroline Keevil by claiming the toteplacepot Novices’ Handicap Hurdle as an 8/11 favourite.

Heart of The South-owned favourite Fruity O’Rooney ran out of steam in the Southern National in this his last season of racing, but he did have a race named after him later on the card.

The Fruity O’Rooney Heart of A Lion Maiden Hurdle went to 9/4 favourite Emerging Force for Gavin Sheehan and Harry Whittington.

Trainer Anthony Honeyball saw the totetrifecta Handicap Hurdle won by Anda De Grissay (13/8 fav).

Fontwell Park marketing manager Max Roberts said the day was a big success and saw 2,500 race-goers pour through the gates.

He said: “It was a big raceday with great field sizes. The feature race of the day was highly anticipated and saw Golden Chieftain win with Brendan Powell for Colin Tizzard.

“Brendan also went on to get a double with Lady From Geneva in the last while Colin got a double, winning the following race with Buckhorn Timothy.”

Away from the track, Fontwell hosted its annual jockey mastermind competition where Jamie Moore was crowned the winner. Runners-up were Andrew Thornton, James Best and Denis O’Regan.

Fontwell have three fixtures remaining this year – Autumn Afternoon Racing on Wednesday, November 25, Festive Jumpers Raceday on Tuesday, December 8 and the most popular day in Fontwell’s calendar, Boxing Day Racing, where there will also be an ice rink and reindeer on display.

STEVE BONE

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