Fontwell festival ends on a high

Forces' Festival action at Fontwell Park   Picture by Clive Bennett /
Forces' Festival action at Fontwell Park Picture by Clive Bennett /

Champion jockey AP McCoy was among winners on the second and final day of Fontwell Park’s Forces’ Festival.

Despite some wet weather, anorher big crowd poured through the gates to see seven absorbing jump races and a host of off-track entertainment, much of which was centred on the military.

Thousands of pounds was raised for armed forces charities over the two days of the event.

See a report and video from day one here

One of the biggest cheers of the second day came when Chichester trainer Lydia Richards’ 33/1 shot Aaly won the Costain-MWH JV Commemorating Royal Sussex Regiment Handicap Hurdle, with Marc Goldstein in the saddle.

It was a rare big-priced winner on a day when most races went to form.

McCoy’s win came on 11/4 favourite The Nephew – trained by Jonjo O’Neill – in the MTS Cleaning Services Supporting Royal Navy Handicap Chase.

The prolific Fontwell pairing of jockey Tom Cannon and trainer Chris Gordon scored their second festival win in two days in the Clancy Docwra Supporting Royal Air Force Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, as 11/4 joint favourite Comeonginger claimed the honours, while Tom O’Brien rode 3/1 start Mile House to the win in the Equiniti Supporting Queen Alexandra Hospital Home Novices’ Hurdle.

The 7/4 favourite Henryville took the Morrison Utility Services Supporting The Army Handicap Hurdle under Noel Fehily for Harry Fry, and the BTU Commemorating Royal Army Medical Corps Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase went to Osmosia (5/2), saddled by that man Gordon again and ridden by Sean Bowen.

The final race of 14 run over the two days was the Mott MacDonald Commemorating Womens Land Army Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, which was won by Rachael Green on the Anthnoy Honeyball-trained 2/1 contender Fountains Blossom.

They race again at Fontwell on October 22.

Keep up to date with all the local racing in the Chichester Observer and The News.