The sun didn’t shine but the rain stayed away and a large crowd lapped up the on and off-track entertainment at Fontwell Park’s Ladies’ Evening.
It was a much earlier date for an event previously held in August but the change seemed to prove popular as decent numbers turned up for a seven-race card followed by a DJ set by Radio 2’s Jo Whiley on an admittedly-chilly evening.
On the track a 150/1 double in the last two races for Nick Scholfield was a highlight.
He rode I’m In Charge to victory for Grant Cann at 15/2 in the Peel Hunt Independent Broking Handicap Chase and followed it up with a surprise 20/1 success with Ilewin Geez, trained by Sussex’s Gary Moore, in the Equiniti shareview.com Standard Open National Hunt flat race.
The evening programme of racing opened with This One Is For Equiniti Ladies! Maiden Hurdle, won by Nicky Henderson’s 6/1 shot Towering, ridden by Jeremiah McGrath.
Express de Berlais, ridden by Will Kennedy for Dr Richard Newland, took the International Payment-First Past The Post Handicap Chase after going off at 5/4 favourite. Another market leader was first home in the next, the Get Yourself On The Winner Handicap Hurdle, as Benbecula was guided home by Richard Johnson for Richard Mitchell at 2/1.
Benbecula was tipped on this website on the morning of racing.
The Equiniti Fintech For Wealth Solutions Handicap Chase was claimed by the Anthony Honeyball-trained Marie Des Anges (6/1), while Hi Bronco (8/1) took the Invest With Confidence At selftrade.co.uk Handicap Hurdle with James Davies in the saddle for trainer John Ryall (as seen in our video, above).
Fontwell’s next meeting is a Hunter Chase fixture on Thursday, May 14.
See reaction and pictures from Ladies’ Evening in the Chichester Observer series on Thursday