Brennan at the double as Fontwell crowd enjoy post-equine flu ban action

Racegoers enjoyed a sunny afternoon of jump-racing action at Fontwell Park - a day after the countrywide ban on the sport was lifted.

After six days where no racing was held in Britain, meetings resumed on Wednesday with the authorities satisfied the highly contagious disease was not likely to spread.

Plumpton was among racecourses to stage Wednesday action but Fontwell took its turn on Thursday, with a six-race card on a beautifully sunny spring afternoon that a decent-sized crowd flocked to see.

And no-one was more pleased than jockey Paddy Brennan that the fixture was able to go ahead as he chalked up an impressive double.

There was a surprise in the opener, the starsport.bet Handicap Hurdle, as Brennan took the honours on the Paul Henderson-trained Ted Bach (16/1). Fading Icon (20/1) was half a length behind in second. The favourite and our tip Silver Quay failed to recover from a stumble and was never in the reckoning after that.

Something like normal order was restored in the Happy Birthday Valerie Woods Juvenile Hurdle as 10/11 favourite Christopher Wood, tipped on this website, did the business for Harry Cobden and trainer Paul Nicholls - eating away into a big lead held by Josh Moore on Flaminger before easing home by seven lengths.

The sun is shining at Fontwell Park

The sun is shining at Fontwell Park

Third - and an amazing 58 lengths further back - was Brendan Powell on Westbrook Bertie, a winner here a couple of months ago for trainer Mick Channon.

There was success for Fontwell favourites and Sussex-based Gary and Jamie Moore in the "Trafalgar Boy Ready To Run For Hotsr" Handicap Chase as 9/2 chance Le Capricieux - also tipped on this site - scored by nine lengths from The Mighty Ash.

Alan King and Wayne Hutchison teamed up for a comfortable victory with The Cull Bank (8/1) in the Lucky Laura Mares' Novices' Hurdle, a Novices' Championship Hurdle Series Qualifier.

A second Sussex trainer - Lewes-based Suzy Smith - was in the winners' enclosure after jockey Brennan completed a double on Invicta Lake (11/2) in the Goodwin Racing Call 08000 421 321' Handicap Chase, beating our pick Sartorial Elegance, ridden by Cobden for Colin Tizzard.

The bumper was taken by hot 1/6 favourite Blazer's Mill, ridden by Fergus Gregory for Olly Murphy.

Next at Fontwell it's the track's richest race of the year - the National Spirit Hurdle - which is the highlight of an excellent card to be staged on Sunday, February 24.

Stick with this website for all the Fontwell and Goodwood action and news throughout the year.

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