Cheltenham hopeful takes Fontwell’s richest race

Lil Rockerfeller justified his favourite’s tag to land the most valuable race ever run at Fontwell Park.

The Neil King-trained five-year-old came in nine lengths ahead of his nearest rival to take the totepool National Spirit Hurdle, a race worth £80,000 in prize money, £30,000 up on last year.

That cash boost helped secure a strong field of nine for the contest, the highlight of an excellent afternoon’s racing watched by a large crowd.

Trevor Whelan rode Lil Rockerfeller to a comfortable win and trainer King said a race at next month’s Cheltenham Festival was a possibility, with Punchestown and Aintree other routes being considered. See the win in our video. above.

If he does go to the festival, the World Hurdle and Coral Cup are the two possibilities.

He praised Fontwell for upping the prize money and said it was probably his biggest victory to date as he tries to make a big impression with his string.

Lil Rockerfeller is No1 at Fontwell

Lil Rockerfeller is No1 at Fontwell

Elsewhere on the seven-race card it was a good day for some of the other favourites - three of whom won after being tipped on this website.

Orbasa (1/5 fav), ridden by Noel Fehily, took the toteplacepot Josh Gifford Memorial Novices’ Chase for Paul Nicholls before Thinger Licht did the same for Harry and Dan Skelton as 5/2 favourite in the totequadpot Handicap Chase for the Certain Justice Challenge Trophy.

Philip Hobbs’ Mendip Express completed our hat-trick as 4/9 market leader in the totetrifecta Foxhunter Trial for the Whitelaw Challenge Cup.

King Cool was an 11/4 winner of the toteexacta Supports The Racehorse Sanctuary Novices’ Hurdle for Sussexs best-known racing family the Moores, with Jamie and Gary traming up for another Fontwell success.

Wells De Lume won the totepool Like Us On Facebook Handicap Hurdle at 7/2 with Richard Johnson on board for Charlie Longsdon, and the afternoon ended with a 6/1 win in the mytotepool.com Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race for Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon’s King Uther, steered home by Tom Cannon.

See the Chichester Observer on Thursday for all the latest fom Fontwell, including a look ahead to their March 9 Cheltenham preview day.

STEVE BONE

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