FONTWELL PARK has been boosted by an award ahead of its biggest fixture of the year on Boxing Day.
The popular jumps track has again been named the best small racecourse in the south east in the annual Racegoers’ Club awards.
It comes as staff prepare to welcome a crowd of around 6,000 for Thursday’s seven-race card.
The weather had been a worry and officials at Fontwell reported ‘minor amounts of standing water in places’ on Tuesday morning after 32mm of rain on Monday. But things improved throughout Christmas Eve and with just 3mm of rain falling by 3pm no problems were anticipated regarding racing going ahead.
If there is any change to that, it will be reported on this website and via the @stevebone1 and @fontwellpark Twitter feeds.
Gates open at 10.30am on Boxing Day and the first race is at 12.20pm. The public are being encouraged to get there early.
Parking is free in the centre of the course as well as in the main car park and officials are hopeful that will stop congestion getting too bad.
The card starts with the Jake Eastham, Dual Keddie Trophy Winner Juvenile Hurdle, in which Akdam and Ninepointsixthree are worth a look.
In the Fontwell Interactive Handicap Chase, prolific Fontwell operators Gary and Josh Moore team up with Donnas Palm, who has an enviable record in elite company stretching back several years. Oliver Sherwood’s Beforeall is a recent solid Fontwell performer.
Sherwood uses Leighton Apsell to ride Beforeall and the same duo join forces with Spirit Oscar in the Bob The Hen Gray – Not Again Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Malibu Sun – second at Fontwell a fortnight ago – catches the eye in the Ward-Thomas Master Removers Handicap Chase in a field which also includes Fontwell stalwart Morestead.
Another course regular, Princely Hero, runs for Chris Gordon in the Fontwell’s January Sale Raceday Packages Handicap Chase.
Regarding Fontwell’s award, the Racegoers’ Club’s prestigious awards are eagerly anticipated by industry.
With the club’s 4,500 strong membership going racing on average more than 30 times per year and travelling far and wide, no-one is better qualified to name the winners.
Goodwood was just pipped to third place in the overall national award for best racecourse, in which Cheltenham was the winner ahead of York and Ascot.
Boxing Day tips: 12.20 Vandross, 12.55 Beforeall, 1.30 Spirit Oscar, 2.05 Sablazo, 2.45 No No Bingo, 3.20 Princely Hero, 3.50 Miss Mayfair.
See this website on Boxing Day evening for a report on the Boxing Day action.