Fourth Act helped trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Harry Cobden cap an excellent weekend at Fontwell Park.
The nine-year-old son of King’s Theatre won the ‘Marigold Somerset At 90’ Handicap Hurdle by more than four lengths on testing ground.
It marked a superb return to the smaller obstacles for the bay gelding, who recently had a wind operation.
And for trainer Tizzard and jockey Cobden, it followed up their superb success with The Dutchman in the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
Fourth Act won by more than four lengths from Theo’s Charm to justify his status as the 15/8 favourite for the feature contest – one of five winners tipped on the Observer website on the morning of racing.
Lisp kicked off the rain-drenched card by cruising to victory in the Call Star Sports On 08000 521321 Novices’ Hurdle in the hands of Wayne Hutchinson.
Alan King’s talent, second to Jukebox Jive at Fontwell in November, was sent off a red-hot 1/6 favourite and triumphed by seven lengths from Angel of Harlem.
Jeremy Scott’s 2/1 favourite Native Robin was a six-length winner of the starsportsbet.co.uk Handicap Chase – a qualifier for the Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series – under Nick Scholfield.
Tom Scudamore steered Neil Mulholland’s Mount Oliver to a seven-length victory in the Happy Birthday Mike/Moira Darvill Remembrance Handicap Chase at 11/2.
Melrose Boy, the 1/10 favourite, took the Injured Jockeys Fund Novices’ Hurdle in the hands of Noel Fehily, for trainer Harry Fry.
Young James Bowen guided Atlantic Roller to a 6/4 win in the Racing Welfare Handicap Chase for Chris Gordon.
The bumper went to Emma Lavelle’s 7/2-shot Fontsanta (Leighton Aspell).
* They race again at Fontwell this Sunday.
A six-race card begins at 1.30pm with the Call Star Sports On 08000 521321 “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle and runs until 4pm and the starspreads.com Handicap Hurdle.
There’s a nice even spread of fixtures at Fontwell over the first few months of the year.
February brings winter afternoon racing on Thursday, February 15, and the big one – Totepool National Spirit Hurdle day – on Sunday, February 25.
Stick with the Observer for previews and reports.