Champion jockey Richard Johnson and trainers Philip Hobbs and Gary Moore all enjoyed doubles as Fontwell Park hosted a seven-race National-Hunt card in glorious sunshine.
The meeting – and Moore’s successful day – began with Twenty Twenty landing the spoils by 1¼ lengths at 9/1 in The Millstone Landscapes Experts In Commercial Landscaping Handicap Hurdle Race, with the trainer's son Joshua Moore on board. The trainer had to watch on as his other son Jamie Moore was brought down by another of the yard’s horses earlier in the 2m 1½f contest.
It was Brendan Powell Jr who impressed in the saddle in the 3m 2f Visit attheraces.com Handicap Steeple Chase as he rode Linda Jewell’s Uallrightharry to a 3¼ length victory at 18/1. Powell was almost unseated but somehow managed to stay in the saddle before driving his mount up the run-in in front.
Shortest price of the day was 2/9 – and it was a chance taken by Johnson and Hobbs - to bag their first of the day, with Le Ligerien. Despite a couple of jumping errors, the odds-on favourite looked in control from the start – making all, to land the 2m 3f Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Maiden hurdle Race by 15 lengths.
Fontwell enjoy luck of the Irish
Goodwood says if it ain't broke don't fix it
The 2m 1½f Matthew Hackney Foundation Handicap Steeple Chase was a chance for all three men to claim their double – with Moore’s Waikiki Waves and Hobbs’ New Millennium starting 9/4 joint-favourites. This time it was Jamie Moore who battled with Johnson up the run-in – guiding his father’s horse, owned by the local Heart of the South group, to a 2¾ length win.
On a day which saw the two trainers enjoy plenty of success, roles were reversed in the 2m 5½f, Alex and Travis Celebration Handicap Hurdle Race as Johnson got the better of the Moores by 1½ lengths to land a combination-double with the Hobbs-trained 5/1 shot, Victarion. The yard also notched their 100th winner of the season in the process.
Nick Scholfield gave the Jack Barber-trained Shintori the perfect ride in the Millstone Landscapes Charity Prize Handicap Steeple Chase – timing his late charge to perfection to win the 2m 3½f contest by ¾ lengths as 5/2 favourite.
Closing the meeting was the 1m 5½f Follow At The Races On Twitter Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, which went the way of Tom Cannon, Chris Gordon and the five-year-old Only Money at 6/1.
Next up at the West Sussex track is the Easter Eggstravaganza raceday – on Friday April 12 where there will be funfair rides, a petting zoo, an Easter egg hunt and even more free fun for all the family.
See a report and pictures from the latest fixture in the Observer on April 4