Locally bred Forest Bell made an impressive start to his jumping career, winning the maiden hurdle with Jeff Murphy. Forest Bell has won his last three starts in the Virginia bred flat race series and this was his first race over fences.
Lonesome Nun high kicked her way down to the start with Keri Brion for the novice rider flat race. Lonesome Nun and Keri came in second.
From 2002 to 2008, Sur La Tete was a multiple stakes winning steeplechase horse who retired at the age of ten to be a foxhunter. Apparently he didn't like standing at checks or cantering demurely behind the master and three years later he and Chris Read are racing together again.
Surprisingly, Sur La Tete was beaten by his stablemate, Humdinger. Humdinger was claimed away from Kinross Farm but has returned to Neil Morris for training. Although there are many steeplechase claiming races, horses are rarely claimed. Sort of like "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail" [Harry L. Stimson], I guess gentlemen don't claim each other's horses. Humdinger and Matt McCarron edged past Sur La Tete to win by a neck.
Jockeys frequently show the horses the fence before the race starts. For a moment, both jockey Paddy Young and I thought More Fascination was going to jump it from a stand still.
More Fascination must really have been ready to jump because he went on to win the open timber race, beating G'Day G'Day among others, seen here.