You can bank on Banks at Fontwell

A double for James Banks was the highlight of Fontwell Park’s first evening meeting of 2013.

Banks, who’s not a rider seen regularly at Fontwell, was first past the post in the 32Red Handicap Chase on 3/1 contender Haar, trained by Andy Turnell. He followed it up in the 32Red Casino Handicap Chase with a win on Top Benefit (6/1) for Richard Harper.

There was a good crowd at Fontwell to enjoy a sunny evening of racing, followed by live music fro, Abba Magic, and they saw three of the seven contests won by the favourites.

David Bass rode Double Handful (11/4F) to the win in the Paul “Spinner” Smith Love Life Memorial Handicap Hurdle for Lawney Hill; the Handicap Chase was taken by Leighton Aspell on the 9/4 Oliver Sherwood-trained market leader Fiftyonefiftyone, and Ian Popham rounded off the card by taking the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race on On The Buckle (7/2F), trained by Victor Dartnall.

The meeting opened with a win for trainer Charlie Longsdon, who saw Richard Johnson guide Catch The Rhythm (4/1) home in the £32 Bonus At Maiden Hurdle.

Biggest-priced winner of the evening was 14/1 shot Sapphire Rouge, who won the Handicap Hurdle under Kevin Jones for trainer Seamus Mullins.

See reaction and pictures from the meeting in the Observer next Thursday.