SUSSEX RACING: VIDEO - Raise a glass to Champagne George at Fontwell

Champagne George was the toast of Fontwell - and Neil Mulholland’s yard - after winning a thrilling final race at Fontwell’s latest midweek card.

Noel Fehily on the five-year-old grey, the 8/11 favourite, was pushed right to the line by Marc Goldstein on the Sheena West-trained Not Another Muddle but held on to win the Krzysztof lastminute.com Klactk Standard Open National Hunt flat race by a length.

It completed a quickfire double for west-country trainer Mulholland after the David How Much Lever Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Chase was won by Martin McIntyre on evens favourite Matrow’s Lady.

There was a small but hardy crowd at Fontwell for a meeting which, as the afternoon went on, saw sunshine after rain that had left the going soft, heavy in places.

The card opened with success for Lewes-based trainer Suzy Smith, who saw 5/4 chance Clondaw Cian impressively take the Patrick Your 2 Weeks Late Murphy Novices’ Hurdle.

Gavin Sheehan rode Bells’n’Banjos (5/2) to a 14-length victory in the Chancellor Of The FormChecker Handicap Hurdle for Warren Greatrex, while the Brooks Macdonald Novices’ Handicap Chase went to Showboater, the 11/8 favourite ridden by Nico de Boinville.

The sun came out at Fontwell

The sun came out at Fontwell

Arquebusier (7/1) was the biggest-priced winner of day, taking the George Rogers Memorial Handicap Hurdle under James Banks for Emma Baker.

There are just two more meetings this year at Fontwell – the Festive Jumpers raceday on Tuesday, December 8, and then one of the track’s annual highlights, the big Boxing Day card.

STEVE BONE

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