Black Church worth a bet at Fontwell


RICHARD ROWE can end his unusually long Fontwell drought by scoring with Black Church today. The 37 year old was a frequent visitor to the winner's enclosure at the Sussex track in his days as stable jockey to Josh Gifford who is head and shoulders the most successful trainer there.

And he has been back many a time since he switched jobs and took out a licence himself in 1992. But Rowe has been out of luck on his regular trips to West Sussex this term and is still looking for his first winner from 11 runners.

Black Church should end the search in the Bognor Regis Handicap Chase. The 11 year old is a dependable chaser, albeit of modest ability, who gives his running more often than not and has run good races to be placed on three of his last four completed starts.

That sets him apart from today's rivals, most of whom come into the race on the crest of a slump.

If the consistent Black Church reproduces his recent form, which seems more than likely given his record, he should register his first win of the season.

Neat Feat is worth persevering with in the preceding St rebel Boilers And Radiators Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

The gelding has yet to reproduce over hurdles the sparkle he showed in landing National Hunt Flat races at Worcester and Sandown last season and has been placed just once from four starts.

But he has been set some stiffish tasks in novice company and looked to be getting the hang of things when fifth in a fair event at Sandown last time.

David Elsworth looks to have found him a better opportunity for success here, with the step up to two and a quarter miles likely to suit his runner ideally.

Neat Feat makes his handicap debut on the mark of a modest hurdler and should be more than good enough.

Hudson Bay Trader can continue Peter Beaumont's fine run of form by landing the Melton Handicap Hurdle at Newcastle.

And Mary Reveley has found useful hurdler Turnpole an ideal opportunity to make a winning debut over fences in the Kenton Novices' Chase.