Sage Advice issued to Fontwell Park punters

They go over the sticks at Fontwell on Thursday afteroon / Picture: GettyThey go over the sticks at Fontwell on Thursday afteroon / Picture: Getty
They go over the sticks at Fontwell on Thursday afteroon / Picture: Getty
The word ‘abandoned’ has been synonymous with Fontwell in the past few weeks, so let’s relish the return of National Hunt racing to the West Sussex racecourse. Here are my selections for the day.

The Juvenile Hurdle (2:48) presents an intriguing four runner affair, with both Hystery Bere and SAGE ADVICE holding strong claims.

It is a classic conundrum for a juvenile race - should we opt for the more exposed and proven performer, or side with the lightly raced contender where improvement is all but certain.

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Whilst they are hard to separate, we will opt for the latter and the Newland-trained Sage Advice following a promising second at Warwick two weeks ago.

The son of Make Believe went off a short priced favourite and was keen early in the race, jumping as you’d expect from most juveniles to on their third race over hurdles. Although he was never fluent over the obstacles, including a bad mistake three out, he stayed on well and will undoubtedly come on for that run.

If he improves in the manner that he threatens to, then favourite backers may get off to a successful start with Dr Richard Newland’s four-year-old.

Selection: SAGE ADVICE 11/10

With bottomless conditions and a gruelling home straight to contest with, stamina is key to unlocking today’s winners, so KENNY GEORGE may be worth siding with in the Handicap Hurdle (3:58).

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The Sheena West-trained six-year-old has already demonstrated that tough conditions around Fontwell are no issue, boasting figures of 4312 at the track, and his recent battle over course and distance puts him in good stead to land the spoils here.

Racing very wide, the son of Mawatheeq sat just off the lead and jumped very well throughout the entirety of the affair, looking poised to mount a strong challenge to Anthony Honeyball’s Lily The Pink three flights out.

When he inevitably appeared to be weakening behind the strong travelling favourite, he cleared the final two obstacles well under pressure, showing a gritty attitude to push the eventual winner all the way to the line.

The two leaders drew thirty-three lengths clear of the next rival, and a 2lb rise may be kind following that performance.

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Of the rest, Alkopop and Call Of The Dogs both look guaranteed to stay having raced over three miles in their career, and should they go off at a strong gallop it will undoubtedly play into the formers’ hands.

Robert Bevis’ eight-year-old, Unblinking, is also an intriguing candidate after a creditable run when finishing sixth of fifteen on his last appearance. He jumped well and got no luck in-running, being hampered three times on the final circuit.

Considering the circumstances, he may be overlooked and could hit the frame at a ridiculous price.


Away from Fontwell, SONG OF THE HUNTER is a fascinating contestant in the Greenwich Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (1:20) at Sandown, following his second in a handicap at Warwick just three days ago.

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Settling prominently, the Johnny Farrelly-trained seven-year-old travelled strongly into the race before blundering two out, ultimately finding the well-handicapped Orkan too good.

Intriguingly, his only win over hurdles came after just a twelve day rest, so a quick turnaround shouldn’t be a problem, and considering he didn’t jump well under pressure he stayed on gallantly to stretch clear of his next rivals.

With Kevin Brogan in the saddle he may mount a strong challenge to Will Sting, who has the burden of twelve stone on his back.

Selection: SONG OF THE HUNTER 11/2 EW

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