Tag Archive for: Fontwell

Monmiral delights Nicholls with Fontwell fourth

Paul Nicholls is rarely “thrilled” by finishing fourth in any race, never mind a valuable Grade Two hurdle contest.

Yet the 12-times champion trainer was happy to make an exception about Monmiral, who returned to action on Sunday for the first time since sustaining an injury in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle on his seasonal bow at Newcastle in November.

It has taken the Ditcheat handler time to bring the five-year-old back to fitness after he sustained a nasty cut, but the exciting Monmiral, who took the Grade One Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree last year, looked in great shape on his return at Fontwell.

Having travelled smoothly and jumped fluidly in a deep renewal of the National Spirit Hurdle, a race won by the Gary Moore-trained Botox Has, 9-4 favourite Monmiral floundered from the second last and was beaten 11 lengths.

Nicholls was delighted with his effort, however.

He said: “Basically, I have been up against it getting him ready. He had a piece of work last Sunday at Wincanton and yesterday was soon enough to run him. He cut himself and pulled up lame at Newcastle and had a month at the vets.

“Harry Cobden said that Sunday was the best feeling he has probably ever given him. He travelled well and jumped running, but just lacked a little bit from the second last.

“We rode him, as we always do, to try to win. Probably, if we had dropped him and given him a quieter run round, we might have run on.”

Nicholls is now targeting the two-and-a-half-mile Aintree Hurdle on April 7, should the gelding, who is owned in partnership by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason and John Hales, come out of his latest test satisfactorily.

“The thing is, there will be a lot of improvement to come from him,” said Nicholls.

“I have got six weeks now to get him really bang-on for Aintree, which is the plan.

“In effect, this was his first run of the season and I could not believe he was favourite because I told all and sundry that he was going to need the run.

Monmiral (right) is on course for Aintree
Monmiral (right) is on course for Aintree (Adam Davy/PA)

“He had a real old blow. You can’t get horses really ready to win races like that in six weeks. We have just been pushing and pushing to try.

“He travelled on the bridle and just needed the run, simple as that.

“What a chaser he will be next season!

“In a lot of ways, by not having to run in Christmas Hurdles and things like that, he has had a bit of time and we will go to Aintree now really rafting.

“He will then have a holiday. We were really thrilled with him – he is a proper horse.”

Fabulous four-timer for Gary Moore at Fontwell

Gary Moore enjoyed a near 154-1 fabulous four-timer on a super Sunday at Fontwell, topped by Botox Has taking the West Sussex venue’s feature race of the year.

The Horsham handler, who is enjoying his best-ever campaign made it 72 for the season after striking with Nassalam (8-15), Botox Has (20-1), Jerrash (1-5) and Legal Rights (3-1) to keep his legion of fans at one of his local tracks in clover.

“I have had four on a day before, at Lingfield earlier in the year, but it is not something I have done very often, so long may it last,” said Moore.

Nassalam gained his third win of an excellent campaign in the Land & Power Ltd Novices’ Chase, justifying 8-15 favouritism in the hands of son Jamie Moore.

The four-year-old scored on his debut at Ascot in October and followed up in a Grade Two at Newbury the next time.

Despite a couple of subsequent runner-up efforts at Plumpton, giving weight away, he bounced back in first-time blinkers, although his trainer conceded “he made hard work of it”, jumping persistently left, before coming clear before the final fence to win by two and a half lengths.

Moore said: “I think he has had his last run this season. He had a very hard race at Ascot to win first time. He’s only a four-year-old and he has done his job – he has won three races and been second twice.

“So, if the owners agree, we will probably let him down now.

“Not many horses win three in a season. It was job done when he won at Newbury.

“He is quite a nice horse and only a baby. Hopefully we will put him away and have a good summer off and bring him next year. We might just have a nice horse on our hands.

“He is just jumping left-handed all the time, down his fences. Although he has been checked out, we just need to make sure we are not missing something.”

After Josh Moore had produced a superb ride to take the National Spirit Hurdle with 20-1 outsider Botox Has, brother Jamie completed his double as Jerrash scored in the Manor Elite Horsebox Novices’ Hurdle.

The five-year-old made all the running to beat stablemate Make My Day and his sibling by a length and a quarter.

Moore added: “It was not the way to ride the horse, but I thought we would get the job done and ride him that way.

“He is more experienced than the other horse and just got the job done. I wish I had him qualified him for a race at Sandown next week, but he will be a nice horse for next year.”

Moore completed the four-timer when Legal Rights made the best of his way home from a long way out to stay on well in the Royalequestrian Bedding And Manor Elite Horsebox Handicap Hurdle under Josh Moore, completing his brace.

Moore had concerns over the winter that half of his horses were running well and some were under a cloud and he admitted it had “frustrated me a bit”.

Legal Rights, who scored by three and a quarter lengths, was one of those who bounced back swiftly.

“He was a little bit wrong the last time he ran, like they all were,” he said.

“They have all got over it and he was one of the ones that recovered quickly and he has done it well today.

“I’m very pleased with him. I was a bit worried when he hit the front turning in, as it is a long way home, but he had plenty left.”

Tony Lawes is also enjoying his best-ever season and notched his second winner in as many days in the Andrew Wates colours as Alkopop obliged as the 2-1 joint-favourite in the Royal Equestrian Bedding Handicap Chase.

Beare Green trainer Lawes, who introduced a smart bumper winner in Onewayortother at Kempton on Saturday, notched his 12th winner of the season and jockey Tom Cannon made it 51 for the campaign, one short of his personal best, with the two-length success.

Lawes said: “We have always loved him. He’s a cracking horse, but this season has not panned out for him as I was hoping.

“We schooled him in cheekpieces to sharpen it up at home, not as much as I’d hoped early in the race, but Tom knows him well and he is a thorough stayer.

“He is actually a very genuine horse. He is not very quick, but he does stay. He has definitely got an engine in there.”

“Tom is riding with a lot of confidence and is a Grade One-winning jockey who is only going up and up.”

Owner and amateur rider David Maxwell is experiencing a real purple patch, and Shantou Flyer (2-1) upset odds-on favourite Jett in the hunter chase.

Maxwell jumped upsides at the last and rallied gamely to score by five and a half lengths.

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said: “It was just the job. He was fit and well and ready for today. He is entered in the Foxhunters’ at Cheltenham, but he won’t run if Bob And Co runs – he will be first reserve for David. He is 12 now and we will try to pick up a couple more of those races. He loves the game.

“We will run Stratagem at Wincanton on Wednesday possibly, but Bob And Co is the big one.”

Botox Has pays Josh Moore back with big-race victory at Fontwell

It has been a long road back for Josh Moore following two spinal injuries sustained at Plumpton in October.

That fall came aboard Botox Has, who redeemed himself when carrying the son of trainer Gary Moore to success in Fontwell’s biggest race of the season, the Royal Equestrian Bedding and Manor Elite Horsebox National Spirit Hurdle.

And if there was any doubt about the rider’s fitness and strength, they were completely erased, as he conjured a supreme ride to fight back and collar Brewin’upastorm in a deep renewal of the Grade Two contest.

Botox Has (20-1) travelled well in the two-mile affair, but looked booked for the minor honours two out as Brewin’upastorm cruised upsides Monmiral and jumped the last in front.

However, Aidan Coleman’s mount idled up the run-in and Moore’s persistent rousing of the six-year-old paid off, as he reeled in Olly Murphy’s charge, timing his ride to perfection to earn a head success in a thriller.

The winning jockey started riding out again at the beginning of January, but memories of the aftermath of his crashing fall aboard the John and Yvonne Stone-owned Botox Has, which knocked the 29-year-old unconscious, were still fresh.

“The last time I wore these colours, they were being cut off me,” he said. “It was good to get a good winner in them again.

“I sounded like an idiot beforehand, telling the owners I was hopeful. We were wrong in the weights, but I know this horse – I won a juvenile around here and I was gutted he didn’t run in the Triumph Hurdle as he was good around Cheltenham last October.

“Last year, he was just a four-year-old carrying a lot of weight in handicaps and it is hard on horses. It was just nice to run him in a small field today, give him a bit of room and while I was three-wide all the way, which is a terrible place to be around here, I just wanted to give him some comfort the whole way, and keep pressing on, because he does stay well.”

Moore, who was handed a two-day ban for his use of the whip, added: “This means a lot. Fontwell is a local track, it is their big race if the year, it’s a good prize as well, but it is very good to win on this horse, as four months ago I thought I didn’t think I’d be sitting on him again this season, that’s for sure. It is very kind of Mr Stone to let me back on him.”

An emotional Stone said: “I am more pleased for Josh than anything. I’m absolutely delighted for him.”

The trainer also looked on with understandable pride. He said: “The horse owed him that. I never lost faith in him. He will go novice chasing next year. It was nice for Josh, nice for the owners and I’m delighted for Josh, obviously.

“It means a lot. He is my son, he is my right-hand man, well, they both are. Jamie and Josh are both my right-hand men.

Josh Moore with winning connections
Josh Moore with winning connections (Simon Milham/PA)

“What happened to him was horrible and it was two ways whether he would come back or not. It would not have surprised me if he had not packed up and taken over the yard.”

Of the winner, Moore added: “He is no mug, the horse. Last year he beat Allmankind at Cheltenham and he was 20-1 today and Allmankind was third best in the betting.

“Obviously it was a big shout going back in distance today but we knew he would stay all day and when that horse went on, you saw the guts he had to come back and take him on again.”

Allmankind bidding to show Cheltenham sparkle in National Spirt

Allmankind can book his place in the Queen Mother Champion Chase if he satisfactorily comes through his prep run over hurdles at Fontwell on Sunday.

The six-year-old takes on five rivals in the Royalequestrian Bedding And Manor Elite Horsebox National Spirit Hurdle, the two-miles-three-furlong feature on a seven-race card.

Allmankind, who will be partnered by Harry Skelton, has won five of his seven starts over fences, including a Grade Two at Aintree in October.

However, he has not been seen since early December when beaten 31 lengths by First Flow in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.

Trainer Dan Skelton says he needed time to recover and is thriving again ahead of a switch to a sphere in which he has won three of six starts.

“Allmankind is back over hurdles and he doesn’t have a penalty,” said Skelton. “The trip is good for him, the race is worth a lot of money and he is in good form.

“He didn’t actually come out of Huntingdon all that well. He wasn’t at his best that day, obviously.

“He ran flat and he wasn’t great afterwards. I wasn’t happy with him. He was obviously off-colour that day and I didn’t know that at the time – if I had known, he wouldn’t have been there.

“But now he is happy and healthy and we schooled him over hurdles on Thursday morning with Harry, and we are happy with him. He is taking on some very good hurdlers, though.

“I think Tim (Gredley, owner) is keen to run him in the Queen Mother, so we will have a look.

“He should go well and the track won’t bother him at all. When he is on form, he’s a good horse.”

In a quality line-up, the Paul Nicholls-trained Monmiral, who won the Grade One Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree last April, returns after suffering his sole defeat in five outings over hurdles, having finished fifth in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle in November.

Cheltenham International Hurdle winner Guard Your Dreams represents Nigel Twiston-Davies, while Gary Moore, who won this race five years ago with Camping Ground, saddles Botox Has.

Darver Star, who was third to Epatante in the Champion Hurdle two years ago, makes the journey from Gavin Cromwell’s Navan yard.

The 10-year-old, who holds an entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle, renews rivalry with Brewin’upastorm, who beat him a length and a quarter in deep ground at Lingfield in January.

Cromwell is hoping for a more truly-run race this time. He said: “He is going there in good form. It is a very competitive race, but hopefully he can be thereabouts.

“He probably got racing a little bit too soon at Lingfield. It was a messy race on heavy ground and hopefully the pace will be better this time. I certainly wouldn’t be confident, but I’d be hopeful he’ll go well.

“The sharper track should not be a problem, but as for the Stayers’ Hurdle, we will look at it after Fontwell.”

Darver Star (left) and Brewin’upastorm clash again at Fontwell
Darver Star (left) and Brewin’upastorm clash again at Fontwell (Steven Paston/PA)

Brewin’upastorm bids to repeat last year’s win in the race for trainer Olly Murphy.

He meets Darver Star on similar terms and even though winning his fifth race over hurdles from 11 starts at Lingfield, Murphy, feels the nine-year-old can perform better than he did at the Surrey track.

“Brewin’upastorm seems in really good nick,” said Murphy. “He has had a really good year and when he is good, he is very, very good and he looks like he will have his ground at Fontwell.

“He is very versatile regarding the ground. He has a penalty of weight to give away to most of those in the race, but he handles the track and trip.

“He hasn’t had a lot of mileage this season – his races have been well spaced out and I don’t think he was at his best at Lingfield by a long way. He was very cold through the mid-part of the race.

“I think that wind surgery last summer has probably helped him, but more so his confidence is higher.

“I know he had a fall at Cheltenham in January and lacked a little bit of confidence though the mid-part of his race at Lingfield, but hopefully that will have put him spot on again.

“I thought he was brilliant at Cheltenham and never missed a beat until falling, and that slow ground at Lingfield would have helped his confidence 100 per cent.”

Brewin’upastorm too good for favourite McFabulous at Fontwell

Brewin’upastorm was an emphatic winner of Fontwell’s Loch Lomond Whiskies National Spirit Hurdle – at the chief expense of short-priced favourite McFabulous.

Olly Murphy’s eight-year-old, on his second start back over hurdles after two unsuccessful chasing efforts earlier in the season, followed up his impressive Taunton handicap victory in this Grade Two feature.

Brewin’upastorm, fancied for last year’s Arkle Challenge Trophy only to unseat his rider at Cheltenham, has no Festival entries this time round – and will instead be seen next in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

In receipt of 6lb from 4-6 shot McFabulous, he demonstrated he is a major force to be reckoned with at around this near two-and-a-half-mile trip over hurdles – striking from off the pace under Aidan Coleman to win by five and a half lengths at 3-1.

Murphy said: “I’m absolutely chuffed with that – he’s a very, very talented horse.

“It’s great to have that winning form at graded level.

“He got a very, very bad fright over fences – and things certainly didn’t go to plan on those runs.

“But Taunton was a great stepping stone, and then to win with as much authority as he did today in that company was very pleasing.”

Paul Nicholls’ McFabulous, so impressive in last month’s rerouted Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton, rarely looked happy – making a minor early mistake and a second more significant one in front of the stands on the first circuit.

As he began to labour behind the front-running Molly Ollys Wishes, it was obvious Brewin’upastorm was going much better – and he was not hard-pressed to lead between the last two flights and move easily clear, with McFabulous having to settle for second.

“The penalties worked in his favour today,” added Murphy.

“But if they’d been reversed, and everyone was getting penalties off him, it would have made no difference.

“The way he won, he absolutely bolted up.

“He saw the two-mile-three out very well today, and the plan will be to go straight to Aintree for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One there.”

The Warwickshire trainer has always had a high opinion of Brewin’upastorm, and is delighted to have had his faith repaid.

“He’s kind of knocked on the door as a novice over hurdles and over fences and never really won a nice race, so I was just chuffed for the horse that he’s won this race,” added Murphy.

“I’d say he’ll never jump a fence again. But if he can be a good hurdler that will suit me just fine.

“There’s plenty of avenues to go down there, and he’s one to look forward to now we’ve got his confidence back.”

Brewin’upastorm in good shape for National Spirit challenge

Brewin’upastorm is reported to be in top shape as he sticks to the smaller obstacles for the Loch Lomond Whiskies National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday.

The Olly Murphy-trained eight-year-old made successful return to hurdling with a convincing display at Taunton in January.

Before that his last run over hurdles was at Aintree in April 2019, when he was second in a Grade One contest to Reserve Tank.

He had been chasing exclusively since October that year and even ran in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December before connections decided to go back hurdling.

“He’s in good form. Obviously the revert back to hurdles worked well the last day,” said Murphy.

“The ground will suit and the small field should suit well. He gets 6lb off the majority of the field, so we’re looking forward to running him.”

Cornerstone Lad is another coming back to hurdles after finishing second in both his starts over fences.

Trainer Micky Hammond wants to save the 2019 Fighting Fifth winner for an uninterrupted chasing campaign next term.

“We feel at this stage of the season we’d like a full novice chase season next time around and hopefully without too much Covid-19,” said Hammond.

“He’s in good form at home. It was a choice of the National Spirit or the Morebattle Hurdle (at Kelso on March 6). The ground is beginning to dry.

“He likes a bit of dig in the ground which he’s sure to get on Sunday. We’re looking forward to taking our chance in what looks a very open race.

“He’s generally a good jumper so reverting back to hurdles shouldn’t inconvenience him.”

McFabulous is a major player in the National Spirit
McFabulous is a major player in the National Spirit (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

McFabulous goes for a third Grade Two success of the season after taking the Persian Novices’ Hurdle and the rescheduled Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton.

Paul Nicholls expects McFabulous to be hard to beat.

“This has been the target for McFabulous for a while and the drying ground over the past week is all in his favour,” the Ditcheat handler told Betfair.

“He is a class act, won nicely at Kempton and though two miles and three furlongs is probably the minimum for him round this tight track he is in great shape and will hopefully take all the beating. Then he will bypass Cheltenham and wait for Aintree.”

Dan Skelton’s progressive mare Molly Ollys Wishes, Nicky Henderson’s Call Me Lord and the aofrementioned Reserve Tank from the Colin Tizzard stable make up the field of six.

Jumps courses on weather watch as cold snap bites

Jumps tracks are bracing themselves for another week of inspections and abandonments due to the continuing cold snap.

Sunday’s card at Musselburgh survived a morning inspection, but fixtures remain under threat in the coming week.

A poor weather forecast has prompted Plumpton to call an inspection at 8am on Monday to determined prospects for that day’s card.

Light snow is forecast with temperatures down to -2C overnight and not expected to rise above freezing.

Frost sheets were deployed on landings, take offs and vulnerable areas on Friday.

The prospect of a sharp frost on Sunday night has forced Carlisle to hold a precautionary inspection at 8am on Monday ahead of the same day’s meeting.

There is currently no problem with waterlogging, but there is a chance of snow on Monday.

Taunton are to inspect at noon on Monday to assess prospects for Tuesday’s card.

The course was free from frost on Sunday morning, but it is set to get colder overnight with temperatures forecast to drop to -2C on Sunday and -4C on Monday night. Daytime temperatures will struggle to get above freezing.

An precautionary inspection is also set for Market Rasen at noon on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s fixture due to the potential risk of snow and frost.

Wednesday’s meeting at Fontwell has been abandoned following an inspection on Sunday afternoon.

The course was found to be waterlogged in places and unraceable.

An inspection is set for Huntingdon at 4pm on Monday ahead of Thursday’s programme as the course is waterlogged.

The Alconbury brook has burst its banks and areas of the home straight are flooded.

Friday’s jumps card at Kempton is also in doubt due to the lake bend being waterlogged.

Officials are expecting up to 25 millimetres from a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. Minimum temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday could go down to -5C, with a maximum temperature of +2C.

Brewin’upastorm set for National Spirit date

The National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell is next on the agenda for Olly Murphy’s Brewin’upastorm.

Having disappointed on his first two starts of the season over fences, the eight-year-old was switched back to the smaller obstacles at Taunton last month and could hardly have been more impressive.

Murphy has not given his charge any entries for the Cheltenham Festival at this stage – and hopes to have a clearer idea of where his charge might head in the spring after he tests the water at Grade Two level on February 28.

He said: “The plan is to go for the National Spirit at Fontwell next. He is in good form and he has come out of Taunton really well – hopefully that will have done his confidence the world of good.

“We will stay hurdling for the time being and see how high we can go over hurdles.

“We know he has a good level of ability, but it was a good performance at Taunton.

“He is not a very big horse, so I was impressed with him carrying that sort of weight in a handicap.

“He did beat older horses, but the manner in which he did it was smart and he can only improve from that.”

Pipe delight as Umbrigado gets off the mark over fences

David Pipe was delighted to see Umbrigado make it third time lucky for the season with a battling victory at Fontwell.

Having made a promising start to his season when runner-up in a competitive handicap hurdle at Haydock, the grey was well fancied to make a successful debut over fences at Uttoxeter last month, but ultimately proved no match for marginal favourite Northofthewall.

Ridden by Tom Scudamore, the seven-year-old was the 1-2 favourite to go one better in the Subscribe To attheraces On Youtube Novices’ Chase – and as the betting predicted, it turned into a straight shootout between Umbrigado and Up The Straight.

Odds-on backers were made to sweat, with Up The Straight refusing to go down without a fight, but Pipe’s charge dug deep in the testing conditions to prevail by three and a half lengths.

Pipe said: “I thought the betting was probably wrong beforehand as I didn’t think there was much between them (Umbrigado and Up The Straight) – there was only 3lb between them on ratings.

“Our horse has jumped and found for pressure and I thought it was a good performance.

“We’ll probably try to find another low-key race for him. He doesn’t mind this ground we’ve got at the moment, which is a big plus.”

Trainer Anthony Honeyball and conditional jockey Ben Godfrey combined for a treble on the card, with Gustavian striking first in the ‘Off The Fence’ On youtube.com/attheraces Handicap Hurdle.

FonBen Godfrey riding Lily The Pink (right) at Fontwell twell Park Races – January 14th
Ben Godfrey riding Lily The Pink (right) at Fontwell (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

It was hard work for the 6-4 favourite under a big weight, but he eventually reeled in Hasankey on the run-in and passed the post two lengths to the good.

“I was really pleased with him and if you’d seen his other races, today was probably easy viewing – I think he’s learning that he’s not as fast as he thinks he is! said Honeyball.

“Back over an extended two miles in heavy ground really suited him, the tempo was better for him as he can cruise, but he’s a bit one-paced. It’s all about picking the right race, right track and right ground for him.”

Honeyball and Godfrey were on the mark again an hour later, with 9-4 shot Lily The Pink proving strongest in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap Hurdle, before the hat-trick was completed by Swincombe Fleat (7-2) in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Maiden NH Flat Race.

Ben Godfrey and Swincombe Fleat come clear in the bumper
Ben Godfrey and Swincombe Fleat come clear in the bumper (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On the latter, Honeyball said: “She’s really well related, but just went through the motions a bit on her debut at Ffos Las.

“Today she was a bit more lit up and had her racing brain on. Ben was able to sit handy and she was getting a fair bit of weight, too.

“Her dam (Swincombe Flame) won a Listed bumper at Sandown and I think we’ll probably end up there as the right horse (favourite) was second today.”

It was a first treble for Godfrey, who is now down to 5lb from 7lb.

“He’s been grafting away and has some great fun riding for the owners of Lily The Pink (Wessex Racing Club) and rides all their horses,” said Honeyball.

“We’ve gradually given him more opportunities. He’s a lot like Rex Dingle, he’s light, great to deal with and it’s no hardship giving them rides.

“I think he’s down to 5lb now but we’ve plenty of winners to use it up.”

Nassalam set Grade One assignment after Fontwell cruise

Nassalam is set to go for Grade One honours in the Finale Junior Hurdle at Chepstow later this month after confirming the impression of his debut display in Britain with a second wide-margin success at Fontwell.

Appropriately running in the One More For The Moore’s Juvenile Hurdle, the Gary Moore-trained three-year-old never gave those who were tempted by a price of 1-12 an anxious moment as he sauntered to victory.

Nassalam had won by 59 lengths on his first start for the West Sussex-based handler, also on this course, since his move from Guillaume Macaire in France.

This was just as impressive as he staked a big claim for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, for which he is a general 14-1 chance.

Holding a narrow lead from the outset, Jamie Moore gradually increased the tempo and the pressure on the opposition.

Nassalam’s jumping was slick, although he did jump slightly to the left. He pulled away at the business end to score by 49 lengths from 200-1 shot Zellerate.

The winning trainer said: “I’m very pleased. As long as he got round he had nothing to beat, but it was very straightforward. It’s not the way to make the running, but he kept it simple.

“He’ll run in the Finale at Chepstow just after Christmas. That’s where he goes next.”

Trainer Gary Moore was delighted with the winning performance of Nassalam at Fontwell
Trainer Gary Moore was delighted with the winning performance of Nassalam at Fontwell (Simon Cooper/PA)

The winning rider was also impressed with the performance.

“The last day I was coming back from an injury and I thought we had a good chance and today I thought I’d just enjoy it. These are the horses you want to be riding,” he told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s jumped brilliant. I’m grinning. I really like this horse. I know the opposition wasn’t the best, but it’s just the way he does it. It’s all very easy for him.

“When he schools at home the first couple of hurdles he’s exuberant. I said to dad he’s improved since his last run. He’s got a lot fresher at home.

Jamie Moore and Nassalam clear the last
Jamie Moore and Nassalam clear the last (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He felt on top of the world today. He’s a lovely little horse – he’s like a baby Sire (De Grugy) with the face on him.

“He hasn’t beaten much so far, but they can only win. I gave him a squeeze after the last and there was plenty there.

“You can’t compare him with Goshen, but he’s another nice horse we’ve got hopefully. He’s had two nice runs so we can step him up in grade now and see what he can do then.”

Moore senior reports Goshen – who had last season’s Triumph Hurdle at his mercy before his heartbreaking exit at the final flight – to be on course for the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham following a pleasing workout on Tuesday.

Joshua Moore riding Bridle Loanan
Joshua Moore riding Bridle Loanan (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He worked today. All good. I was very pleased with him,” he said.

“At the moment he’s going to Cheltenham, definitely.”

The Moore stable completed a Fontwell double when Bridle Loanan (3-1 favourite) took the Thank You To The Cisswood Team Handicap Chase in the hands of Joshua Moore.

Call Off The Dogs (9-2) then made it a hat-trick when giving Jamie Moore a brace in the Christmas Offers At Champagne Piaff Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

Nassalam impresses in Fontwell stroll

Nassalam confirmed the impression of his debut success in Britain with a second wide-margin success at Fontwell.

Appropriately running in the One More For The Moore’s Juvenile Hurdle, the Gary Moore-trained three-year-old never gave those who were tempted by a price of 1-12 an anxious moment as he sauntered to victory.

Nassalam had won by 59 lengths on his first start for the West Sussex-based handler, also on this course, since his move from Guillaume Macaire in France.

This was just as impressive as he staked a big claim for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, for which he is a general 14-1 chance.

Holding a narrow lead from the outset, Jamie Moore gradually increased the tempo and the pressure on the opposition.

Nassalam’s jumping was slick, although he did jump slightly to the left. He pulled away at the business end to score by 49 lengths from 200-1 shot Zellerate.

The winning rider was impressed with the performance.

“The last day I was coming back from an injury and I thought we had a good chance and today I thought I’d just enjoy it. These are the horses you want to be riding,” he told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s jumped brilliant. I’m grinning. I really like this horse. I know the opposition wasn’t the best, but it’s just the way he does it. It’s all very easy for him.

“When he schools at home the first couple of hurdles he’s exuberant. I said to dad he’s improved since his last run. He’s got a lot fresher at home.

Jamie Moore and Nassalam clear the last
Jamie Moore and Nassalam clear the last (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He felt on top of the world today. He’s a lovely little horse – he’s like a baby Sire (De Grugy) with the face on him.

“He hasn’t beaten much so far, but they can only win. I gave him a squeeze after the last and there was plenty there.

“You can’t compare him with Goshen, but he’s another nice horse we’ve got hopefully. He’s had two nice runs so we can step him up in grade now and see what he can do then.”

Dharma Rain awarded Fontwell prize after mass disqualification

Dharma Rain was declared the winner of the final race at Fontwell after the first six horses home were all disqualified for failing to jump the third-last hurdle.

Nine horses went to post in the “From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast” Mares’ Handicap Hurdle and while Just Henny came home first, the race was awarded to Dharma Rain, who was seventh of eight finishers, but the only runner to complete the course.

Winning jockey Jack Tudor felt the situation had been “unclear” during the race, with the racecourse’s groundstaff appearing to be in the process of dolling off the third flight from home on the final circuit due to a stricken horse.

The first seven riders seemed to think the markers were in position and duly veered around the hurdle, although Tudor, who was at the back of the field, was not sure and jumped the obstacle, resulting in victory for Clare Hobson’s runner.

“It was made very unclear, it wasn’t done brilliantly at all. It looked as if the markers were in the correct position, it was a 50-50 call, but I went with my gut instinct,” Tudor told Sky Sports Racing.

“I jumped it, but it was very unclear. The others missed it, but I could see that the markers were behind the hurdle, so I went with my gut instinct and jumped it – but it was very unclear.”

Page Fuller, who was in the leading group on her mount Queen Among Kings, added: “The horse broke down at the hurdle, I was further back in the field and from where I was, the markers looked like they were in the hurdle.

“But once we’d gone round the hurdle, you could see they were past the hurdle. There was a flag being waved and the markers looked as if they were in the hurdle, but until you got around the hurdle, you couldn’t see they (markers) were behind.”

The stewards inquired into the race, interviewing Tudor along with fellow jockeys Jerry McGrath, Brendan Powell, Lucy Gardner, Harry Reed, Tabitha Worsley, Niall Houlihan and Fuller, plus the clerk of the course, the racecourse head groundsman and an additional member of the groundstaff.

Having heard all the evidence and viewed recordings of the incident, the stewards revised the placings to make Dharma Rain the winner and only finisher, with all other runners, barring Bluebell Sally who was pulled up, disqualified for taking the wrong course.

However, no penalties were imposed on any riders as the stewards took into account “the poor visibility, and the illusion that the chevrons had been placed in the hurdle – which was caused by the chevrons being carried across the course behind the hurdle, which gave riders’ cause for concern for the safety of all involved”.

A report will be forwarded to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority.

Scholfield suffers broken leg in freak Fontwell fall

Nick Scholfield is hoping he may yet be able to return in time for the busy Christmas schedule after breaking his leg in a freak incident at Fontwell.

The multiple Grade One-winning jockey suffered the injury on Friday when he was cannoned into by a loose horse as he crossed the finishing line in fourth on Shintori in the Star Sports Owner’s Club £20K Guarantee Handicap Chase.

He was due to ride Champagne Court in the feature Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Saturday – but will be out of action for several weeks at least.

“I’ve fractured my tibia,” said Scholfield.

“I hope I can get back as quickly as possible – if I could do it in six weeks, that would be what I’m hoping.”

Go Steady had unseated his jockey Bridget Andrews at the third-last, but then ran loose before careering into Scholfield.

He admits his frustration at the injury, just as the new National Hunt season begins to step up a gear, but acknowledges many others are encountering far more trying times during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“In these times, this is not so bad,” he added.

“It was unusual circumstances – something you don’t expect  – so it’s frustrating from that aspect.

“I’d crossed the line and finished the race on Shintori.

“I was just pulling up, and a horse that had fallen was galloping (loose) and it has just ‘T-boned’ my horse, and my leg was stuck in the middle, and it caused me to fall off.”