Fontwell favourites prosper as crowds celebrate Diamond Jubilee at the races

Eva Hanna, eight, and her brother Ethan, five enjoy the jubilee fun at Fontwell   See more photos in the Observer on Thursday   Picture by Kate Shemilt C120756-6

Eva Hanna, eight, and her brother Ethan, five enjoy the jubilee fun at Fontwell See more photos in the Observer on Thursday Picture by Kate Shemilt C120756-6

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Thousands ignored the threat of rain to pack into Fontwell Park for a successful Diamond Jubilee race meeting.

Conditions weren’t nearly as bad as the forecast had predicted - for the most part it was dry but overcast - and that helped one of the track’s biggest days of the year go with a swing.

A crowd of 5,500 enjoyed picnics, some great British sidehsows and the chance to watch the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations on the Thames live on the big screen before racing and in between races.

On the track there was a royally-good start to the action for trainer/jockey partnership Seamus Mullins and Andrew Thornton, who won each of the first two races on the card.

First Thornton won by six lengths in the Flowers Unlimited - Fontwell Park’s Recommended Florist “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle on evens favourite Romeo Americo - tipped on this website - then he repeated the trick on 5/2 market leader Catch the Rascal in the Speedyfit Energy Novices’ Handicap Chase.

After that Thornton and Mullins let others have a piece of the action.

The Celebrating Boughton April Diamond Jubilee’s Birth Handicap Hurdle (Sponsored By T I Engineer) went to Azulada Bay (4/1), ridden by Nick Scholfield for trainer Mark Rimell.

The third favourite from four races triumphed in the Hope For Hearing, Evie’s Race (Handicap Chase) (Sponsored By Owen Kenny Solicitors) as Blue Hills (9/4) was guided home by Tommy Phelan for handler David Bridgwater.

Marc Goldstein took the Thomas Sanderson Handicap Hurdle with Sheena West’s 9/2 shot Screaming Brave, while the John Ryan-trained Cypress Grove (15/2) triumphed in the Fred Richardson Memorial Handicap Chase to give Scholfield a double.

The meeting ended with a victory for jockey Richie McLernon on 4/1 contender La Grand Chene, trained by Sophie Leech, in the 888sport.com Handicap Hurdle.

We’ll have reaction and pictures from today’s meeting in the Observer on Thursday.

And don’t miss tips and results for this Wednesday’s (June 6) Fontwell jumps action on this website.

STEVE BONE