FONTWELL SUNDAY: SIMON NOTT headed to Fontwell Park in Sussex on Sunday for the Star Sports sponsored card. A huge crowd attended, bathed in glorious late summer sun but being Family Fun Day were they also punters? …..
It’s been a while since I attended Fontwell, the last time would have been working for Ivor Perry in the ring back in early 2008. I always used to like to visit the course so looked forward to today. It was an extra treat to arrive from Devon and find the course bathed in sunshine, perfect for family fun day. I spoke to James Stokes betting under the Kalooki banner. It was his first time betting on course. He reported business as good and that he was ‘very pleased’.
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He was luckier than his next door neighbour who laid £1500 the first winner Evan Williams’ 6/5 favourite Skewiff. The jolly got up to win in the last stride after looking an unlikely victor turning for home. Evan told me afterwards that he was very confident the mare would win just as long as she jumped OK because her fall last time out had shaken her up. He added it’s difficult to regain a mare’s confidence as they can be overschooled.
2:40 starsports.bet Juvenile Hurdle
The second heat was a seven-runner affair with an odds-on favourite. Glutonforpunishment was backed from 1/2 in 4/11 including a £1200 on course. Turning for the home the jolly looked in big trouble, the writing was in the wall for favourite backers and so it proved, the favourite was no match for the winner Zeb Spirit and Local Affair the runner-up. The bookies, at least the ones that got the jolly money in the bag were happy again. Kalooki, sadly weren’t in that number, the jolly was a winner in their book.
The owners were delighted, hopeful rather than confident of a victory before the race. As there appeared to be no pace in the race the plan was to make all and it worked a treat, the rest of the field didn’t see which way the gelding went. Owner Andrew Brooks was thrilled with the performance and said we might see the winner again in a couple of weeks.
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Moving Up the line in the ring the bookies were so happy. They were still smiling but business was reported as very small. Bo Brown was more specific saying that he’d taken more money on one race at Salisbury than he had all day today. Not being able to take it means you can’t lose much either so when the even money into 4/6 favourite, Philip Hobbs’ trained Pointed And Sharp, won as it liked – not too much harm was done to the coffers of the layers so some of them got away with it.
Talking of Philip Hobbs, I passed their box on the A303 then proceeded to take my decades old route via Salisbury racecourse. When I got on the M27 after only the regulation hold-ups at lights etc en-route they were in front of me. I was flabbergasted, if you were driving that horsebox please let me know how you did it!
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Betting for the next heat was interesting, the one they appeared to want to be on was Voodoo Doll 10/1 last night backed into 7/2 on course and mentioned as one of the Starters Orders lunchtime movers on this site. The one ‘they’ didn’t want to be on was Jamie Snowden’s charge Chapmanshype which drifted from 9/4 to 3/1. If ever there was proof ‘they’ don’t always know it was this one, the latter hosed up providing jockey Gavin Sheehan with a double.
Talking to owner Hew Glyn Davies he told me that they were hopeful of a good run. In case you are wondering YES he is named after THAT Matt Chapman. As for future plans maybe another race depending on the ground before a holiday in a field for the winter.
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Jo Williams of the Ivor Perry firm was explaining to me how tricky an each-way race the fifth was. It was even more tricky given the front two in the betting were hard to lay. Needless to say betting to 100% on the places they were treading carefully, Jo added ‘this isn’t too bad, sometimes in a race like this the places are 93%.’ Of course many of the crowd today would be blissfully unaware.
At the off Archimento was nibbled which ensured Oliver Sherwood’s gelding would go off favourite. ‘They’ got it right this time, the 7/4 jolly stayed on well to win by 11 lengths.
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The last of the ‘Star’ sponsored races on the card saw a short-priced favourite in David Bridgwater’s Downloadtheapp opening at 6/5. I’m not sure which one they mean but you can download ours CLICK HERE
Betting was described as ‘uneventful’ and ‘small’ which for many bookmakers was another Godsend as they couldn’t do too much damage when the jolly obliged without too much ado.
Over on the Kalooki pitch they were happy with their purchase despite today’s family fun crowd hardly lumping on. ‘It bodes well for winter’ the general consensus. As Simon Banks Chief Executive of Star Recruitment presented the winners prize (pictured below) I was heading back down to Devon, I wonder what the Hobbs route was…
Back tomorrow at Newton Abbot.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring