Festive fun for punters at Fontwell

Trainer Gary Moore was a winner at his home course
Trainer Gary Moore was a winner at his home course
The start of racing on Washout Wednesday / Picture by Malcolm Wells

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Bookies took a pounding in Fontwell’s first-ever Boxing Day fixture.

It is rare to see the money men so desperately running for cover from the West Sussex track’s betting ring.

But punters were certainly in the money at the unique figure-of-eight course yesterday, as five out of six favourites delivered winning performances.

Problema Tic kicked the festive fun off, as he jumped soundly to win the opener – the Mercedes Benz of Chichester Classic Beginners’ Chase.

Nicky Henderson’s charge showed a glimpse of his potential when completing a four-timer with a hurdles double last term.

And the 10/11-favourite made the jump to fences in fine style, drawing clear from Kind Of Easy at the third last to win comfortably.

Miss Milborne then shrugged off her bridesmaid tag as she ended a run of five straight second places with victory in the Butlins Bognor Regis Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Sent off the 11/10 favourite, Jamie Snowden’s mare tracked the leaders before easing to the front two from home and beating Dun See Dee by 12 lengths.

Peter Bowen’s Run To Fly was the only favourite not to taste victory, as he could only finish third behind 3/1-shot Miss Fleur in the Express Printing Handicap Chase.

Normal service resumed in the next race, though, with hot favourite Whatshallwedo winning the Winner Tool Hire 01903 230906 Handicap Hurdle.

The 5/6 market leader recovered from a mistake two out to move clear and defeat Owner Occupier by 11 lengths.

Sawago was a popular winner of the Ward-Thomas Master Remover Handicap Chase, as he delivered Christmas cheer for local trainer Gary Moore.

Ridden by Noel Fehily, the 5/4-favourite took advantage of bottom weight to crush Brendan Powell’s course regular Morestead by 15 lengths.

Powell got revenge in the final race, though.

He saddled Terra Bleu – the 13/8 favourite – to another easy victory, his charge finishing 13 lengths clear of the field in the Butlins Bognor Regis Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.