It was a Merry Moores Christmas at Fontwell.Sussex’s best-known jump-racing family came away from the track with a Boxing Day double - showing again why their presence at the track can never be ignored.Trainer Gary - top handler at Fontwell in the 16-17 season - and jockey son Jamie hit the jackpot twice on the day a crowd of just ovr 5,000 poured into the venue in bright winter sunshine and went home slightly bedraggled after rain arrived and set in for the latter part of the fixture.The Moores’ first success came in the JEB Homes Ltd Juvenile Hurdle, the second race of the afternoon, as Jamie rode 2/1 contender Aiguille Rouge to a four-length victory over 20/1 chance Spirit of Rome, with long-time leader and our tip Oxford Blu fourth.The same father-and-son combination followed that with success in the Winner Plant And Access Handicap Hurdle as Knocknanuss, the 5/4 favourite, prevailed by seven lengths over Notre Ami. There were a couple of wins for horses tipped on this website.Bredon Hill Lad (7/2) took the Southern Cranes And Training Division Handicap Chase for Lucy and Sue Gardner, while Goring One, a horse very familiar to Fontwell race-goers, claimed the Lawrence Handicap Chase after going off at 5/2.The action began with the Southern Cranes And Access Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, which saw Ben Hicks ride his first winner under rules to guide 6/4 favourite Oskar Denarius to the win for Cirencester trainer Jennifer Mason.Another market leader, Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon’s Highway One O One, won the James Todd Novices’ Hurdle to justify an 8/11 starting price under young star of the saddle James Bowen.Proceedings ended with trainer Jeremy Scott and rider Matt Griffiths claiming the Southern Contract Lifting Mares’ Handicap Hurdle with 7/2 shot Ellens Way.It was Fontwell’s final fixture of 2017. They begin a new year of jumps action on Monday, January 8.
Fontwell marketing manager Max Roberts said: “We’d like to thank the thousands of racegoers who attended. The fixture is fast becoming a true Sussex family tradition and continues to grow in popularity every year with all hospitality, restaurants and the premier enclosure selling out in record time.
"We hope everyone had a great day throughout the seven races and enjoyed themselves on the ice rink and met the lovely reindeer and owl.
"We had some great racing including a first win under rules for jockey Ben Hicks and a double for Gary and Jamie Moore. Despite the weather taking a nasty turn, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day and would like to wish all our customers a happy new year. We look forward to welcoming them back to our next fixture on January 8.”
See pictures from Fontwell’s Boxing Day meeting in the Observer - out on Thursday as usual