Continental flavour for Fontwell

Richard Rowe with stable-star Tatenen
Richard Rowe with stable-star Tatenen
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Fontwell is going global.

The popular West Sussex track regularly welcomes horses from all corners of the UK.

But this afternoon it will have a continental feel.

Andreas Wöhler, who was last month crowned the champion flat trainer in Germany for the second time, is set to run Il Presidente in the final contest of the seven-race card.

The five-year-old will meet 10 rivals in the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (4.30pm).

And Wöhler is targeting victory – a perfect birthday present for his wife.

He said: ‘Il Presidente is a five-year-old horse and hasn’t run yet.

‘He needed some time to mature but we’re just going to have some fun and thought we would trial him at Fontwell.

‘It is my wife’s birthday, so hopefully this will be a great present for her!’

Among those hoping to spoil the party will be Rugged Jack, who scored on debut for Victor Dartnall, and the David Pipe-trained Unex Degas.

West Sussex trainer Richard Rowe is set to saddle Knocknareen Boy in the last – the final of five runners from his Sullington yard.

Rowe is double-handed in the opener – the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle – where point-to-point winner I No Understand is due to line up alongside stable-mate It’s A Killer.

Lawney Hill’s promising Brough Academy may take some beating, though.

Current Climate carries Rowe’s hopes in the Richard Johnson – Fontwell’s Champion Jockey 2011 Handicap Chase (2pm).

And his 109-rated Amirico has been declared for the J Hurdle eBook Written By The Chancellor Handicap Hurdle (3.30pm).

Sandwiched in between are the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle (2.30pm) and the Beginners’ Chase (3pm).

The latter looks an intriguing encounter, with champion trainer Paul Nicholls hoping to run Sir Du Bearn.

The French recruit made a disappointing return to action over hurdles at Ascot last month following an encouraging second place on chase debut back in 2010.

Gates open at 11.30am.