FONTWELL PARK is gearing up for one of its biggest races of the year.
The going is heavy, soft in places, at the racecourse and officials will be heartened by a decent forecast for Sunday, when the totepool Southern National takes place.
Nine entries for the £20,000 contest – the second richest race of each year at Fontwell – include last year’s winner Boyfromnowhere, trained by Rebecca Curtis.
Seamus Mullins’ Adrenalin Flight – runner-up last year – is the top-rated entry for the three-mile, four-furlong race while other trainers throwing their lot in for the prize include Oliver Sherwood and Gary Moore.
Richard Lee’s Incentivise, winner of this race in 2012, also returns to the track on winning form having won his last start at Carlisle in October, beating Shouldavboughtgold, who has since won his latest start.
Peter Bowen is represented by Grand National runner Viking Blond, a proven stayer who will enjoy the predicted soft ground, despite not having run over hurdles since last December.
Also on a card which boasts a total of £54,000 in prize money is the Salmon Spray Handicap Hurdle, which has seven entries.
These include Fontwell Park regular Lightentertainment, a Chris Gordon-trained six-year-old who has already won twice at Fontwell this year and was beaten by a nose on his latest outing at Ascot a 12 days ago.
Sheena West saddles Feb Thirtyfirst, placed on all three previous runs at Fontwell with two seconds and a win.
Racegoers will be treated to a host of entertainment, including an interactive military display.
The racing begins at 12.45pm but gates open at 10.30am. Admission starts from £10 in advance and from £15 on the day.
Fontwell Park marketing manager George Hill said: “It’s set to be an exciting afternoon of racing and the totepool Southern National in particular looks a high-class race.”
Our tips: 12.45 Sweet Boy Vic, 1.15 Antony, 1.50 Gorgehous Lliege, 2.25 Kings Lad, 2.55 Lightentertainment, 3,30 Southway Star, 4.00 Goochypoochyprader.