It was second time lucky for Richard Johnson and Umndeni as Fontwell Park hosted a six-race National Hunt card on Sunday.
The Philip Hobbs trained 5-year-old was involved in an incident at the track’s last meeting in which Johnson was unseated at the start – on board the then 1-2f. However, there were no such problems for the pair this time as the 4/5 shot was driven to a five-length victory in the 2m 3f Jamie Snowden Racing Club Maiden Hurdle Race.
The meeting began with the Class 3 Chancellor Of The Formchecker handicap Hurdle Race – contested over 2m 1.5f. Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville had just the one chance between them on the card – and it was worth the journey as Dream Du Grand Val, tipped on this website, eased to a 10-length victory, justifying even-money favouritism.
Good fortune continued for favourite-backers as 4/7f Greaneteen headed Chris Gordon and Tom Cannon’s On The Slopes to win the 2m 1.5f Chancellor Of The Formchecker National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle race by a neck for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
Gordon and Cannon quickly responded in the 2m 1.5f South Parade Pier Portsmouth Handicap Steeple Chase – which saw the Portsmouth-based sponsors award the Southampton FC-supporting owners the winning prize as the race ended in a ¾-length success for Sky Full Of Stars at 3/1.
In the 2m5.5f Chancellor Of The Formchecker Celebrating 10 Years At Fontwell Handicap Steeple Chase, Colin Tizzard, saddling just the one runner on the day, triumphed when Cobden rode Sartorial Elegance - also tipped here - to a four-length success, landing a double for himself on the 11/4f.
Closing the card was the 2m5.5f chancelloroftheformchecker.net Handicap Hurdle Race. In the shock result of the day, the Michael Attwatter-trained Sheila’s Fancy was steered to a seven-length win by Sussex jockey Jamie Moore at 33/1.
Next up at Fontwell is an afternoon meeting on Thursday, February 14. After that it's the National Spirit Hurdle - Fontwell's richest race of the year - on Sunday, February 24.
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