There was drama at the start of Fontwell Park’s second jump-racing meeting of 2012 - and a fairytale ending.
The early scare was caused by 92-year-old owner Frank Caudwell collapsing in the paddock as he chatted to his horse Brough Academy’s jockey David Bass and trainer Lawney Hill.
They caught him as he fell and medics were soon on the scene. They took him to the first-aid room ... where he was able to watch Bass guide his runner to victory in the chancelloroftheformchecker.co.uk National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle.
Happily Mr Caudwell soon felt better - doubtless helped by that victory for Brough Academy, who went off 15/8 favourite.
The last race of the day, the digibet.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, was won by Il Presidente, whose connections had brought him all the way from Germany.
Trainer Andreus Wohler was delighted by Alain Cawley’s 19-length triumph on the five-year-old’s debut.
Il Presidente was one of two winners tipped on this website on the morning of racing.
The other was 4/5 favourite Sir Du Bearn, guided home comfortably by Darly Jacob for trainer Paul Nicholls in the chancelloroftheformchecker.co.uk Beginners’ Steeple Chase.
Before that there was a double for jockey Paul Moloney.
His first success was on Sophie Leech-trained Master D’or (12/1) in the Richard Johnson Fontwell’s Champion Jockey 2011 with a late surge to beat Brendan Powell on Rateable Value.
Thirty minutes later he was back in the winner’s enclosure after a stunning 10/1 win on Orvita, trained by Helen Nelmes, in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle.
The J Hurdle Ebook Written By The Chancellor Handicap Hurdle was taken by Sam Thomas on 4/1 shot Nagpur, while the Chancellor Raceday Trophies Provided By trophystore.co.uk was won by Marc Goldstein on the Anna Newton-Smith-trained Goring Two.
A decent-sized crowd was treated to the whole spectrum of weather during the card. There was spring-like sunshine at the start of the afternoon but heavy showers, although not the threatened hailstorms, by the end.
Theynext race at Fontwell on Sunday, February 5, which is Help For Heroes raceday.