Big crowds flock to Fontwell festival

Action on day two of the Forces Festival at Fontwell   Picture by Clive Bennett

Action on day two of the Forces Festival at Fontwell Picture by Clive Bennett

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MORE than 6,000 race-goers enjoyed back-to-back race meetings at Fontwell Park’s Forces Festival.

It was the fourth year of the two-day October jump-racing extravaganza at the track and it has been declared a big success by racecourse bosses.

A crowd of 2,000-plus were treated to sunshine on Friday’s Fullers-sponsored card while double that number braved inclement weather on Saturday for the Southern Water Armed Forces charity raceday.

Simon Williams, executive director at Fontwell, said: “Our two-day Fontwell Forces’ Festival was an enormous success.

“The weather was kind on Fuller’s Friday which raised funds for their chosen charity, the Royal British Legion, while despite the poor weather conditions on Southern Water’s Armed Forces charity raceday, they managed to raise an impressive £51,000 for the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home.

Both days were supported by a numnber of jump racing’s leading owners, trainers and jockeys – and many of them went home having tasted a victory or two.

Observer sports editor Steve Bone’s tips for the two days yielded three winners and five runners-up.

See our video from day one’s feature race here

See a full report and pictures from the Forces Festival, plus a preview of Goodwood’s season finale, in the Observer - out on Thursday morning