LEIGHTON ASPELL got a warm welcome home to one of his local tracks six days after winning Grand National.
But such are the twists and turns of fate in horse racing, you could have predicted he’d go all afternoon without a winner at Fontwell’s Easter egg hunt raceday.
The Pulborough rider was the toast of jump-racing after his first National win when he rode 25-1 shot Pineau De Re to the famous Aintree victory.
And he admitted at Fontwell’s latest meeting last Friday he was still on a high after the triumph. He’d said after the victory: “The feeling is just of elation when you cross the line. At my age, I won’t have many more chances to win.”
But Aspell was out of luck at Fontwell, where the jockey honours were shared around on a marathon eight-race card, increased in size because of the number of entries.
Typically, the Moore family were to be found in the winner’s enclosure. Trainer Gary saddled two winners – Gun Shy (11/2) in division one of the Malcolm Roberts Memorial Novices’ Hurdle, ridden by Josh Moore, and Fontwell favourite Fruity O’Rooney, ridden by another son Jamie, in the Neil Madgwick/Clip Scaffolding Southern Handicap Chase.
Bigger-priced winners were hard to find – the longest price victor was Rhythm Star (7/1), ridden by Brendan Powell for Jamie Snowden in the last, the Chancellor Supports Always A Chance national hunt flat race.
Fontwell’s next meeting is their first evening fixture of the year, on Friday, May 2.