Sussex favourites Jamie Moore and Mattie Batchelor showed that local knowledge counts as they rode winners at Fontwell’s popular Easter Eggstravaganza Raceday, writes Nic O’Leary.
Nearly 50 horses went to post during a seven-race meeting as a dry and bright Fontwell Park Racecourse hosted the National Hunt meet.
The feature race was the Geoff Smith 65th Birthday Handicap Steeple Chase, contested by five class 4 horses, over a distance of three miles, about two furlongs.
Thanks to a couple of dry days leading up to the meeting, the going on the day was officially soft, heavy in places.
Besides racing, there was plenty to do for all the family, including 300 Easter eggs hidden around the racecourse, for children to find.
A large crowd gathered in the stands ahead of the first race of the day, The Kids Love Days Out @Butlins Bognor Regis Handicap Hurdle Race, which saw 11 Class 5 horses go to post.
Michael Legg, on board Hollywood Ken, let his horse kick on for home with two to go. Despite pulling right on the run in, the 20/1 shot went on to win by 12 lengths.
Next up was the feature race of the day, which proved to be a cracker. After making much of the early running, Colin Tizzard’s 3/1 favourite, Wizards Bridge, held on to beat Leo Luna, under Moore, into second.
The Sussex jockey made amends in the third race over two miles three furlongs, defying a weight penalty to guide his mount Larry round beautifully to beat favourite Duke Of Kilcorral by two lengths.
Just three horses took part in the fourth, and 10/11 favourite Clondaw Westie pulled well clear on the bit, to cruise to a 26-length victory for Oxfordshire trainer, Lawney Hill.
In the fifth, the Visit Star Sports In Mayfair, London Handicap Hurdle Race, eleven Class four horses went to post. Norman The Red finished strongest, landing the spoils for Brighton trainer John E Long and jockey Mattie Batchelor.
The even-money favourite, Burgess Dream, took the sixth before Neil Mulholland and Noel Fehily extended their leads at the top of the jockeys’ and trainers’ standings this season as Dandolo Du Gite won.
The next family meeting at Fontwell Park takes place on May 27.