A BUMPER crowd turned out at Fontwell Park for the recent All About The Horse Raceday, with a special visit from the National Theatre’s War Horse production. The show’s black stallion Topthorn and actor playing Captain Nicholls greeted 3500 racegoers who had made the journey to Fontwell Park with an interview in the Parade Ring as well as a meeting with ex-racehorse, Monsignor.
General Manager, Holly Glover said ‘It was fantastic to have the War Horse production team here as part of our All About The Horse raceday. We were hoping to deliver a celebration of the racehorse and made sure we had plenty of entertainment for all racegoers including pony rides, a farrier demonstration and a racehorse simulator.’
Racegoers were also treated with a visit from recently retired Lough Derg, winner of the totepool National Spirit Hurdle in 2008 & 2009. Lough Derg lead the contenders for Fontwell Park’s richest race onto the track for a great race won by Third Intention. The 11/10 favourite, owned by Robert and Sarah Tizzard, trained by Colin Tizzard and jockeyed by Colin’s son, Joe, took the race convincingly by 9 lengths from 12/1 Topolski after going clear with two fences remaining.
Another highlight at the meeting was the presentation to Fontwell’s groundstaff of the Neil Wyatt Groundstaff of the Year Award- the most prestigious award for groundstaff in the racing industry.
In addition racegoers heard that Fontwell Park had been named the Best Racecourse of the Year for 2011, awarded by Betview to the racecourse providing the best experience for the betting and racing public.
Clerk of the Course, Ed Arkell, praised the work of the Head Groundsman, Paul Mant, and his full-time team of just two assistants, “I’m thrilled that the groundstaff team have been recognised for all their hard work. We have added two more fixtures to the calendar this year, which will add to the challenge for the groundstaff.”