Rain can’t ruin the action at Fontwell Park

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Fontwell Park survived a morning deluge to make a success of its latest family race day.

The weather that put off on-the-day race-goers was offset by advance ticket sales for Sunday’s meeting being significantly up on last year.

Some 3,800 tickets were sold in advance and general manager Phil Bell said the afternoon ended up a big success.

Highlights on the track included a double for champion jockey Tony McCoy on award Winner and Amber Cloud and a one-two for one of Fontwell’s biggest-supporting owners Les Gilbert. He saw Ballagio (5/1) and Morestead (11/2) come in first and second in the FSB Finance For Business Handicap Chase.

There were three winners with odds in double figures as the racing proved tricky for punters to call.

Bell said: “We could have done without the heavy rain in the morning – that hit our walk-up sales, but advance ticket sales were up 15 per cent on last year and hospitality, incredibly, was up 100 per cent, so that saved us.

“The weather improved and it was a good afternoon’s racing.”

Now staff are gearing up for their big two-day festival, which takes place on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.

There’ll be larger-than-usual prize pots up for grabs and each day will have a theme: Friday is Best of British Day and includes a lads’ lunch while Saturday is Irish day.