Fontwell back in action - and National Spirit Hurdle is in sight

Trainer Paul Nicholls
Trainer Paul Nicholls

FONTWELL PARK stages three race meetings in the next month – culminating in National Spirit Hurdle Day at the end of February.

The action begins tomorrow, when a seven-race card gets under way at 1pm. The meeting is sponsored by Craig Roberts, who runs the form-check website www.chancelloroftheformchecker.com and is sponsoring a Champion Fontwell Park Jockey of the Year award throughout this year.

Next up it’s the track’s first family raceday of 2011, on Sunday week, when an array of family entertainment including free kids’ attractions will be on offer.

Their richest race of the year, the National Spirit Hurdle, takes place on Sunday, February 27, and bosses are already optimsitic about a strong field.

One possible runner is Paul Nicholls-trained Celestial Halo, owned by one of jump racing’s leading owners, Andy Stewart.

The horse won the Triumph Hurdle at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival and followed up with a second in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham a year later behind Punjabi.

Fontwell are also hoping Lough Derg, who won the National Spirit Hurdle in 2008 and 2009 but failed to make it a hat-trick last year, will be back for another attempt this year – especially given a third place at Ascot last week suggest a return to form.

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