Alcala cleans up in £50k big race

Grey horse Alcala came through to win the big race, the �50,000 Summer Plate Chase EMN-170724-155042002
Grey horse Alcala came through to win the big race, the �50,000 Summer Plate Chase EMN-170724-155042002

A packed crowd enjoyed glorious summer sunshine and an afternoon of top quality racing at Market Rasen Racecourse with the richest jump meeting of the day.

Two Grade One races were the highlights of the Betfred Summer Plate Day card with 15 runners going to post for the Summer Plate Handicap Steeplechase.

A packed crowd enjoyed one of Market Rasen Racecourse's biggest meets of the year EMN-170724-155030002

A packed crowd enjoyed one of Market Rasen Racecourse's biggest meets of the year EMN-170724-155030002

A year ago the brothers Skelton – trainer Dan and jockey Harry – claimed both the Summer Hurdle and the Summer Plate on the same afternoon.

Red Tornado was the hurdle winner in 2016 and he was among the fancied runners who went to post for the Grade One listed £35,000 hurdle.

A gallant effort saw him finish second of the 10 runners behind the 4/1 favourite John Constable.

The six-year-old had won a decent race in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in the spring, and followed that up at Market Rasen in impressive style with Irish jockey Davy Russell aboard.

Winning trainer Evan Williams was delighted.

“He won the Swinton and we thought we would try again here with him,” said the Welshman. “All went well and the ground suited.

“He is a handicap horse and we shall now be looking to take him to Galway.”

The £50,000 Summer Plate Chase was won in impressive style by the French-bred 9/1 shot Alcala, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.

He had decent form over hurdles, but had developed impressive recent form after being sent chasing.

He just got up by three-quarters-of-a-length from Wadswick Court, while the Skelton’s challenger Shelford came in third.

Twiston-Davies said: “He got into a lovely stride and stayed on well.

“That was a new career-best for him and we shall also be looking at Galway next for him.

“We have really enjoyed today and it’s the second time I have won this race.”

There was some consolation for the Skeltons with a double in an afternoon of high-class racing.

They took the opening race, a Novices Hurdle, with the 2/1 shot Hestina who won by 12 lengths easing down, and followed that with a win in the fifth race, the Class Two £19,000 Jack Berry Handicap Hurdle, with the 7/4 favourite Whatzdjazz.

The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Sunday, August 6.