Cannon fires as Fontwell’s thousands lap up the sun

Up-and-coming jockey Tom Cannon notched a double as Fontwell’s first two-day racing festival continued where it left off in the sweltering Sussex sun.

Cannon’s two victories - both tipped on this website on Saturday morning - came on 9/4 favourite Osmosia in the Black & Veatch Supporting WaterAid Handicap Chase and on 12/1 shot Sadler’s Star in the 4D Supporting St Barnabas House Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase - the second romping home a 14-length winner.

Day two, watched by a huge crowd enjoying an Irish theme to proceedings, kicked off with Tom Scudamore winning with 6/4 favourite Arab League in the Morrison Utility Services Supporting The Air Ambulance Novices’ Hurdle.

Jimmy McCarthy took the feature race, the Southern Water Supporting Aair/Awaairebear Handicap Hurdle, with 16/1 contender E Major, while Timmy Murphy was victorious in the BTU Supporting Help For Heroes Beginners’ Chase with Vertigo Dore, who went off at 4/1.

That was a second win of the afternoon for David Pipe, who’d also sent Arab League to post.

Dougie Costello rode Mtpockets (12/1) first home in the Clancy Docwra Supporting Chestnut Tree House Handicap Hurdle, while Rachael Green on Swincombe Stone (9/2) took the Costain Supporting Macmillan Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Afterwards race-goers were entertained by Irish legends the Saw Doctors, with a setting sun as the evening wore on the only evidcence this was not a midsummer’s day.

Fontwell bosses were delighted with the success of their first two-day festival, and it seems jockeys, trainers and owners were impressed too.

Clerk of the course Ed Arkell said: ‘We are absolutely delighted. The feedback from the jockeys on the ground has been excellent, so we couldn’t ask for any more. We’re chuffed.’

Watch out for reaction and pictures from the festival in the Observer - out on Thursday.