A crowd of more than 4,000 packed into Fontwell Park for the track’s annual ladies’ night – but it was a man, and a familiar one, who grabbed the limelight.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy rarely comes to Fontwell without enjoying at least one win, and on this occasion he was celebrating a double.
He opened his account straight away by cantering to an 11-length victory on the John Ferguson-trained 5/6 favourite My Direction in the opening race, the Sara Tiara Hat Company Novices’ Hurdle.
An hour later he notched another victory, coming home five lengths clear for David Pipe on 11/2 shot Barton Stacey in the ABP Southampton, Gateway To The World Handicap Hurdle.
McCoy wasn’t the only Fontwell favourite toasting two wins – Sussex trainer Gary Moore achieved the same trick, including the biggest-priced winner of the night as Osgood (10/1) edged the Cascades Shopping Centre Portsmouth Handicap Hurdle. Moore was back at the No1 post after the last, the Winner Van Hire 0800 022 4247 Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, after jockey son Jamie triumphed on Uptendownone, the 11/4 favourite.
Other winners were 13/8 favourite Hollow Penny for Alan King and Richard Johnson in the Mercedes-Benz Of Chichester Handicap Chase, 11/4 joint-favourite Johnnys Legacy for Peter Carberry and Conor Dore in the Winner Events Supporting The Entertainment Industry Novices’ Handicap Chase, and 9/4 market leader Jewellery (Victor Dartnall/Denis O’Regan) in the Tecom Group Handicap Hurdle.
It was an enjoyable evening of racing for a large crowd who after the card, lapped up live music headlined by 2013 X Factor finalist Luke Friend.
Chichester’s Eva Knight won a £1,000 Cascades Shopping Centre voucher for winning the best-dressed lady. Dartagnan Menswear of Chichester sponsored a best-dressed male contest.
George Hill, marketing manager at Fontwell Park, said: “There was a great turnout for Ladies’ Evening, always a social highlight in our calendar.
“We had fantastic entertainment from singers, stilt walkers, best dressed lady, seven exciting races and music from The Parades and Luke Friend.”
There were no winners among the runners tipped at www.bognor.co.uk
Next up at Fontwell is a meeting next Thursday.