A double for champion jockey AP McCoy was the highlight of Friday’s meeting at Market Rasen.
But it was not all plain sailing for the champ as punters clearly expected him to have rather more visits to the Number 1 spot in the winner’s enclosure. Several other fancied mounts came unstuck, one dumping McCoy unceremoniously on the ground.
Feature race of the afternoon was the £25,000 Weatherby’s Printing Handicap Chase. That Anquetta (10/1) is trained by top handler Nicky Henderson was enough of a clue to picking the winner. Noting Sam Waley-Cohan’s only ride on the afternoon was another give away for punters. Thereafter it was all about the Irish bred 10-year-old’s impressive jumping, he barely touched a twig before being driven out by his charge to get up on the post.
Pulled up at Aintree last time, the going here (good, good to soft in places) suited the winner and the win re-enforced his effectiveness over the 2 mile 4 furlong trip.
Waley-Cohan said after the race “he jumped beautifully!”
Scamblesby trainer Steve Gollings saddled Conquisto and had booked McCoy to ride, but the 7/1 shot, who won at Aintree in the autumn, was very disappointing, struggling from a long way out.
McCoy opened up in the Caravan Site Novices Hurdle seeing Mr Shantu through to an easy win. The five-year-old was backed down to 11/4 favourite on his handicap debut. He should have plenty of scope for further improvement and to stay further than the 2 miles and 3 furlongs of this win.
McCoy had to settle for second in the Class 4 RacingUK Handicap Hurdle which followed. He held up Tiradia in the rear but was headed at the last flight by Gold Futures (100/30) who had Brian Harding on board.
Michael Chapman’s Woodlands stable has produced several winners lately, including Epee Celeste, a winner at Fakenham earlier in the week after previously scoring twice at Market Rasen this year.
All Chapman’s four runners made an impact without getting to the post first. In the third race, a handicap chase, Chapman saddled Tayarat who was a surprise winner at Rasen last month and followed that up with another win at Southwell shortly afterwards.
Here he had to settle for third as McCoy won on the 5/4 favourite Old Pals Act. Tayarat, sent off at 7/1 stayed well though and in fourth place was Chapman’s The Society Man, who showed up well in only his second run after a year off.
McCoy had the ride on Touch Back, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, but he could only manage second in the fifth race, a handicap hurdle.
The inconsistent San Telm (7/1) was the winner, jockey Joshua Moore seeing off a typical driving run by McCoy after the final flight.
Though Chapman’s six-year-old Xenophon (8/1), owned locally by Milson Robinson, has not won since July 2011, he has been in good form this spring and stepped up to finish behind the progressive chaser Presenting Junior in the Watch RacingUK Handicap Chase.
Graham Watters was on board the winner for trainer Martin Todhunter while Joe Cornwall again had the ride for Chapman’s Horse.
McCoy and odds on favourite Bringewood Belle parted company a long way out.
Knight Bachelor won the bumper at the bottom of the card and should be progressive for this win. Barton on Humber based owners syndicate Middleham Park Racing had local eyes focussed on the debut of Towering, who finished third with McCoy on board to end a busy afternoon.
Meetings come thick and fast at Market Rasen this summer and the next is this Sunday, May 18, when the gates open at 12noon.