Could Moore end crazy week with Fontwell Southern National win?

Fruity O'Rooney could be centre of attention at Fontwell
Fruity O'Rooney could be centre of attention at Fontwell
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A BUMPER crop of entries has been revealed for Fontwell’s Southern National this Sunday – a race Sussex trainer Gary Moore is aiming to win to round off one of the most eventful weeks of his career.

Lower Beeding handler Moore has two horses in the frame for the totepool-sponsored £20,000 contest, which is the track’s second biggest contest of its annual calendar.

One of those is Fruity O’Rooney, the old stager and Fontwell favourite who has a race named in his honour later in the afternoon as he nears retirement. The other is Reblis, a five-time chase winner who will be ridden by Josh Moore.

Victory in the Southern National, which goes off at 1.50, would be a fairytale end to a week-and-a-half in which Moore has landed in hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung after being kicked by a horse and has celebrated a 1,500/1 treble.

Also in the frame for the gruelling three-mile, three-furlong national – due to be shown live on Channel 4 – is last year’s winner, the Venetia Williams-trained Gorgehous Lliege.

Top-rated horses still in the frame ahead of final declarations include Jim Best’s Gas Line Boy, Lucy Wadham’s Wiesentraum and Charlie Longsdon’s Peat The Feat.

Top-rated horses still in the frame ahead of final declarations include Jim Best’s Gas Line Boy, Lucy Wadham’s Wiesentraum and Charlie Longsdon’s Peat The Feat.

Other highlights of Sunday’s card include the Fruity O’Rooney Heart of a Lion Maiden Hurdle, which has attracted 24 entries.

The action starts early – at 12.45pm – with the toteplacepot Novices’ Handicap Hurdle and concludes with the totepool Racing’s Biggest Supporter Handicap Chase at 4pm.

In total there were 113 entries for the seven races ahead of the last cut-off.

The current weather forecast is for a dry couple of days leading up to Sunday’s meeting, when a large crowd is expected.

STEVE BONE

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