Workbench registered a gutsy performance to land the Winnie Leadbetter Birthday Handicap Hurdle feature affair at Fontwell Park’s family race day.
Dan Skelton’s charge came out on top of a blanket finish to beat the Phillip Hobbs-trained Resolution Bay by a neck, while David Pipe’s favourite Ramses De Teillee was a further head back in third.
Workbench – rated 134 over fences – took advantage of his handicap mark of just 115 over smaller obstacles.
Sent off 5/1, the son of Network was given a superb ride under Harry Skelton in testing conditions. The nine-year-old was ridden prominently near the pace for the majority of the contest before taking up the running in the home straight and holding on gamely.
It was Workbench’s fourth career victory at Fontwell and the seventh of his career.
Elsewhere on a day when poor weather kept the crowd to around 3,000, Poetic Lady landed the curtain-raiser, the Call Star Sports On 08000521321 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle. The 100/30 favourite looked beaten two flights from the finish but Noel Fehily continued to nurse his mount along. Poetic Lady kept on finding more gears was ridden flat out to score by four lengths from Kentford Heiress.
Lord E scored on his first start over hurdles in the ‘Become A Racehorse Owner With select-racing-club.co.uk’ Juvenile Hurdle for West Sussex-trainer Gary Moore.
The son of Lord Shanakill had contested six times on the flat without creating any fireworks but looks a decent prospect over timber.
Lord E was held in mid-division by Jamie Moore before making his move two fences from home.
The three-year-old jumped ahead of Kiruna Peak at the final flight and, despite hanging right in the run for the winning line, Lord E had plenty left in the tank to romp to a five-length win.
Malindi Bay has likely went into a few trackers following her eye-catching 10-length debut victory in the Starspreads.com Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race.
James Evans’ daughter of Malinas was held up in the rear by Liam Treadwell before the 2009 Grand National-winning jockey made his way to the front of the pack at the six-furlong marker.
Treadwell oozed confidence on Malindi Bay and he picked up the pace coming out of the back straight. Victory was never in doubt and the mare cruised home.
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