Focus on Fontwell: It's Oktoberfest time again

The fifth running of Fontwell Park's two-day festival is just around the corner and it is set to be the best one yet, writes Max Roberts, marketing manager at Fontwell Park.

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Workbench is bidding for a Fontwell festival hat-trick / Picture by Nigel BowlesWorkbench is bidding for a Fontwell festival hat-trick / Picture by Nigel Bowles
Workbench is bidding for a Fontwell festival hat-trick / Picture by Nigel Bowles

Fontwell Park’s evolution over the past decade has been phenomenal, and this double fixture has been popular since being added to the fixture list in 2011.

The festival was introduced to provide higher-class racing after construction of the Premier Grandstand in 2010, aiming to attract top horses to the course with the introduction of two class-two races across the festival.

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The Fuller’s London Pride Cup is the class-two feature race of the day and has been won the previous two years by the Skelton-trained Workbench.

Now Workbench is looking for a cup hat-trick and will be ridden by the trainer’s brother Harry Skelton in the 4pm race. However he could face stiff competition from horses like David Bridgwater’s Theatre Flame.

Southern Water Saturday keeps the racing going with 101 horses entered ahead of final declarations, including 24 in the first race.

It’s always followinmg the jockeys and trainers in fine Fontwell form.

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The tables for the track’s 2016-17 season so far show Richard Johnson the top rider, followed by Jamie Moore, David Noonan, Denis O’Regan and Tom Cannon, with Mulholland the top trainer, ahead of Seamus Mullins, Gary Moore, Anthony Honeyball and Jamie Snowden.

It’s not just horses racing on the Saturday as the popular mascot race returns for its tenth anniversary in support of the Children’s Trust.

Saturday also features free entertainment for children including a mini fun fair, face-painting, pony rides and a bouncy castle.

Racing will be followed by live music on the big stage from Rolling Stones tribute act The Rolling Clones, plus there is the return of the very popular Spirit FM disco.

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Both days of the festival are themed to Oktoberfest, first tried with great success at Fontwell in 2015 as a huge lapped up the Bavarian-themed fun.

This year across the two days Fontwell Park have gone all out to make the event a can’t-miss fixture in the racing calendar.

A record number of pop-up bars will be put up to compliment those already in place. One is so big it has been lifted into place by crane.

The drinks list is impressive! Along with the usual stock, Fontwell will be offering German favourites Veltins, Erdinger, Liefmans (fruit beer) Grimbergen, German Pale Ale plus more.

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An oompah band will keep the atmosphere going with their traditional music.

Get your tickets now at or on the gate.

Sports editor Steve Bone’s tips for Friday: 2.15 Hollywood Ken, 2.50 Clean Sheet, 3.25 Excellent Team, 4.00 Notarfbad, 4.35 Schindler’s Prince, 5.10 Theatrical Star.

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