By Peter Moore at Fontwell Park 12th December 2023
On Christmas Jumper Raceday, there was no stocking fillers before the big day in terms of the weather.
Heavy rain dominated Monday’s seven race card, but despite the appalling weather there was a special early Christmas cheer for one owner in particular.
Winning owner, part owner of Clarence House Chase winner Editeur Du Gite, Trevor Jacobs was celebrating once again after the Gary Moore trained Soigneux Bell pulled away from the field to record an eleven lengths victory in the juvenile hurdle.
Jacobs, was placed in an induced coma and spent 16 months at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Portsmouth.
He was unable to hold back the tears after his runner struck at the odds of 5-1 under Caoilin Quinn.
“I’ve been crying my eyes out,” Jacobs told Sky Sports Racing. “I’ve had lots of horses but I’ve been in hospital for 16 months and lying in bed thinking I’m going to buy another one, and I bought this fella.
“I’ve finally seen him and he’s run fantastically. It’s great to be here, it’s an achievement. My family are here too and I just wish I could have brought the nurses who have looked after me all this time. They’ve been fantastic, the whole NHS. Until you’re in it you don’t realise how good it is, but it’s like a second home now after that long.”
It was also a good day for the leading jockey in the national hunt jump jockeys championship Sean Bowen who picked up a double with Herakles Westwood and ThirtyFour Thirty in the last race on the card.
GoodFridayFairy was the only runner to finish the course in testing conditions in the 2m 3 and a half furlong handicap chase when he came home the sole finisher with Rex Dingle on board after the other four runners pulled up before the last.
The opening race off the afternoon saw the Paul Nicholls trained Quel Destin comfortably seeing off the odds on favourite Zhiguli.
Favourite backers were successful in the third race on the card when Flintara was a comfortable winner of the 3m 2f novices Handicap Steeple Chase by no less than 30 lengths from top weight It’s Easy.