Fontwell return on cards for Cole Harden

The sun ought to shine for Fontwell's Thursday afternoon racing

Irish raiders among the Fontwell fields

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Cole Harden is among 97 entries for Fontwell’s next meeting as heavy rain continues to wreak havoc on the racing calendar.

Warren Greatrex yesterday pencilled his five-year-old son of Westerner in for a return to the West Sussex track on Thursday after a raft of other possible races were washed out.

But the Upper Lambourn trainer has still to decide whether to pitch his talent into handicaps for the first time or keep him to novice hurdles.

He has therefore entered him in both the Crocus Novices’ Hurdle and Aconite Handicap Hurdle on the track’s seven-race card.

Cole Harden was unbeaten in bumper company after chalking up victories at Doncaster and Worcester.

He then finished fourth to Shantou Magic at Fontwell on his hurdles debut before returning to win the Bet Totetrifecta With Totepool Maiden Hurdle in November.

The Irish-bred gelding drew clear up the hill under jockey Gavin Sheehan to win by four lengths from Westaway, with Harry’s Farewell third.

It’s no surprise then that Greatrex has no fears about bringing his emerging ace back to West Sussex after his festive runs were scuppered.

Cole Harden, who was handed an official rating of 120 after his Fontwell win, is one of 21 entries for the Crocus Novices’ Hurdle – the opening race of Thursday’s card (1pm).

Justification could make his debut for Gary Moore in that race after switching to the trainer’s Lower Beeding headquarters from Ireland.

The six-year-old son of Montjeu, who reached a career-high mark of 92 on the flat, was third to the impressive Giantofaman on hurdles debut in Thurles before making the move to England.

Twelve possibles have been entered in Thursday’s second race – the Narcissus Handicap Chase (1.30pm).

And then the ladies take centre stage in the Helleborus Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (2pm).

Among the 13 entries for the 2m2f test is Lily Waugh – a Fontwell bumper winner who disappointed behind My Miss Lucy on her return last month.

The Snowdrop Handicap Chase – due off at 2.30pm – has attracted 12 entries, while the 130-rated Home Run tops the 11 potentials for the Aconite Handicap Hurdle (3pm).

The penultimate race is the Polyanthus Handicap Chase (3.30pm).

And the meeting ends with the Wintersweet Bumper at 4pm with debut winner Askamore Darsi joined by eight unraced hopefuls in the 11-strong field.

For more information or ticket details, log on to fontwellpark.co.uk or call 01243 543335. The ground is currently rated heavy, with areas waterlogged.