Tony McCoy was among a wide range of winners as Fontwell’s third annual October festival proved a big hit with race-goers.
McCoy needed all his experience to guide 4/1 shot Tindaro home in the Fuller’s London Pride Handicap Chase - the feature race on the first of the two days of jump racing action.
The Paul Webber-trained six-year-old finished only three-quarters of a length ahead of King Edmund and Chris Gordon to take one of the richest races of the £100,000 festival.
That was one of three races in which the runner tipped on this website on Friday morning finished second - but we managed to find two winners as well.
Our first success came in the Nicola Coy Appreciation Society Breakthrough Novices’ Chase, won by Andrew Tinkler on Nicky Henderson’s 5/2 contender Kings Lodge.
Later, the royal connection worked again as our pick Kings Palace (15/8), ridden by Tom Scudamore for David Pipe, took the Southern Water Supporting Macmillan Maiden Hurdle.
Our selections also threw up a couple of well-priced runners-up - Hi Note (Marc Goldstein/Sheena West) was runner-up in the “Elixir” New Album By Ocasan Handicap Hurdle, won by Felix de Giles on 16/1 chance Foxcub, while Font was second after going off 14/1 in the James Todd Chartered Accountants Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, which went to another 16/1 runner, Eleazar, ridden by Matt Crawley for handler Lucy Wadham (see video of this race at the top of this article).
There was the usual Fontwell win for Sussex trainer Gary Moore, who watched son Josh take the honours on Halling’s Wish (10/1) in the the Shoreham Port Authority Juvenile Maiden Hurdle.
A final placing for our selections came courtesy of Theologist (8/1), who was third in the Blacksmith Bob Handicap Hurdle as Richard Johnson’s mount So Fine (9/2) lived up to its name.
On Saturday, favourites won the first four races on the second day of Fontwell Park’s October Festival - while each of the last four contests went to 7/2 chances.
There was a double for trainer Anthony Honeyball. He saw Aidan Coleman take the Clancy Docwra Supporting Chestnut Tree House Handicap Chase on Dorset Naga (2/1 fav) and Rachael Green take the second division of the Black & Veatch Supporting Today’s Charities Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race on Lily Waugh (7/2).
Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs both enjoyed a win on day one of the festival and they teamed up for further success on day two - winning the Mott MacDonald Supporting St Barnabas House Handicap Hurdle with 3/1 market leader Princely Player.
Popular Fontwell duo Chris Gordon and Tom Cannon took the Morrison Utility Services Supporting St Barnabas House Handicap Hurdle with Absolute Shambles, another 7/2-priced victor.
There were two other similarly-valued winners - Midnight Lira, ridden by James Best for Caroline Keevil in the MTS Sponsoring Chestnut Tree House Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase and Seedling (Sam Twiston-Davies/Charles Egerton) in the first half of the Black & Veatch Supporting Today’s Charities Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Day two opened with the 4D And St Barnabas House Novices’ Hurdle, won by 10/11 favourite Hannibal The Great (Noel Fehily/Charlie Longsdon), while Nick Scholfield and Andy Turrell joined forces to claim the BTU Supporting Chestnut Tree House Novices’ Handicap Chase with 3/1 favourite Caulfields Venture.
See the Observer on Thursday (Oct 10) for full coverage of the festival