It’s been a long wait since his last success, but Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman celebrated a winner in Sunday’s race meeting .
Ridden by Joe Cornwall, Epee Celeste, sent off at 20-1, had been brought across Willingham Road from Chapman’s Woodlands yard and she impressively claimed the Rasen Roof Handicap Hurdle, the sixth race on the afternoon’s card.
Cornwall kept his mount mid-division for much of the 2m 3f race before taking the lead before the last. The eight-year-old ran on strongly in the run in to score by six lengths.
A delighted Chapman said: “The horse was owned by Nigel Twistan-Davis and one day Sam his son said his dad wanted rid of her. And so I bought her for £10,000. She had won a race at Stratford. She ran well here and I hope to take her to Cartmel now in May.”
Another local trainer Nick Kent had made the slightly longer journey from his Newstead yard near Cadney with the fancied Ivans Back (6/1) and his charge stayed on for a game third, but could not find the pace to win when coming to the last flight well placed.
Thankfully, unlike many meetings countrywide in the past few weeks, Market Rasen’s Sunday meeting had survived the deluge. The bad weather though deemed the chase course was unfit for racing and the card was an all hurdle one.
The two feature races were the £5,500 1st Security Solutions Handicap Hurdle, the third race, and the following £5,700 novices hurdle.
New Year’s Eve, the 13/8 favourite, took the first of these in what turned out to be a race between the winner and Rumble of Thunder (11/2).
The winner had won impressively in his last two starts in novice company and here had to see off his more experienced rival. Jack Quinlan was on board the winner and the six-year-old should progress in handicaps.
Kilcooley, the 7/4 favourite, was very impressive in winning the other feature, the Late Great Ted Munnelly Memorial Novices Hurdle by 13 lengths.
Noel Fehily was on board the Charlie Longson trained five-year-old, who had won previously in a bumper at this track but was operating over hurdles for the first time in this race.
Jonjo O’ Neill’s Join the Clan (11/4) had highly rated 5lb claimer Maurice Linehan on board in the fifth race, a handicap hurdle. Seen by some experts as the successor to A.P.McCoy, Lineham rode the five-year-old impressively. He held his mount up just behind the front running 5/2 favourite Theatrebar and timed his run perfectly, taking the lead two out. The winner had been stepped up to three miles and looked well bred for stamina, and so it proved in the testing going.
The meeting had opened with a win for the Brian Ellison trained Maison de Ville (4/1). It was an impressive win on his first outing since moving to Ellison’s yard, especially as form over hurdles and in bumpers had been modest in the past.
Run Ructions Run, the 6/4 favourite, won the second for Malton trainer Tim Easterby.