A DOUBLE for jockey Marc Goldstein and Funtington trainer Lydia Richards lit up Fontwell’s Boxing Day fixture as thousands of race-goers braved wintry weather to enjoy an absorbing afternoon’s jump racing.
The duo teamed up to see Fontwell veteran Venetian Lad (4/1) to the 32Red On The App Store Handicap Chase and followed up with a winner tipped on this website on Christmas Day – 11/4 shot Volio Vincente in the Debra Clayton-Kyriakou 50th Birthday Celebration Handicap Chase.
It was a chilly and, later on, wet afternoon at the West Sussex track but families were out in force blowing away the Christmas cobwebs and enjoying the action, which also included the King George at Kempton, shown on the big screen.
Unusually for Fontwell, not one horse who went off favourite took line honours.
The card opened with a 7/2 victory in the 32Red.com Juvenile Hurdle for Rock of Leon, ridden by David England for trainer Dan Skelton.
The Southern Cranes And Access Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle went to Gavin Sheehan on 3/1 contender Miss Sophierose, trained by Warren Greatrex.
There was another Sussex handler in the winner’s enclosure after the Auntie Bill And Auntie Pam Handicap Hurdle – taken by Beau Lake (3/1), trained by Lewes-based Suzy Smith.
The Happy 60th Birthday Peter Bomphrey Mares’ Handicap Hurdle brought a second victory of the afternoon for Sheehan as he guided 10/1 starter Rosa Imperialis to the win for Robert Walford, while proceedings closed with Conor Walsh taking the £10 Free Bet At 32RedSport.com Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on the Tim Vaughan-trained Benability at 5/1.
Fontwell’s 2015 fixture list begins with a family raceday on Sunday, January 18.
We’ll have reaction and pictures from the Boxing Day meeting in the Chichester Observer – out next Thursday.