A small crowd on a cold afternoon was rewarded with some excellent racing in Thursday’s meeting at Market Rasen.
The highlight on the card was the fourth race, the £25,000 PHS Besafe Bright Gear Workwear Handicap Hurdle. The 2009 Grand National winning combination of owner Vilda Bingham, trainer Venetia Williams and jockey Liam Treadwell teamed up again with the six year old Free to Dream.
The 9/4 favourite produced a fine display of hurdling and won easing up to build on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham last week, when he finished fifth in a quality race.
Scamblesby trainer Steve Gollings saddled two runners in the opening novices hurdle and his five-year-old Makemeafortune was sent off favourite.
Well placed just in behind the leaders at the turn into the straight jockey James Reveley might have fancied his chances, but the soft going probably took its toll and it was the Donald McCain trained and Henry Brooke ridden Howaboutnow (3/1) who showed his rivals a clean pair of heels on the run in to win by three and a quarter lengths.
The second race was the first chase of the afternoon with only four runners, but it provided Henry Brooke with his second win, this time on board the 2-1 favourite Corrin Wood, also trained by McCain who was four lengths clear when the winning post was reached. The six-year-old did well over hurdles last term but as a point to point winner should make progress over fences.
Brooke said: “He is a grand horse and we thought he would run well as he has done well at home.”
Baby Shine, the 7/4 favourite, was four lengths adrift. Gollings saddled Walkabout Creek, who was a decent fourth on his Carlisle chase debut but was 55 lengths adrift of the second.
The third race was a Class 3 handicap chase which was a qualifier in the Jockey Club Grassroots Jump Series.
Lambourne trainer Jamie Snowdon has his horses in fine form at the moment and was well rewarded for the long journey when Present View the 13/8 favourite scored under Brendan Powell.
Snowdon said: “He is a smashing horse, though it has been a work in progress with him. He thought he was the king when he came to us and we had to teach him how to win on the racecourse.
“He has never run a bad race and now after this he hopefully will have nice things to build on. It’s good when the stable hits form but I have a great staff at home.”
Wily Fox had a two from two record at the course prior to his run here in the fifth race, a handicap hurdle. Trainer James Eustace had brought him from Newmarket to try for a hat-trick, but it was Cloudy Bob, the 5-2 shot, who saw them off without too much trouble. Colin Bolger was on board the six-year-old who has not won since a handicap hurdle at Warwick in February.
The sixth race was a handicap chase where Molko Jack, (4/1) the bottom weight, won convincingly with Kielan Woods up. The horse ran second here last time out, having ended a long losing run at Southwell before that. In truth though this was a moderate field and the
winner will need to improve further to register any more success.
The next meeting is Thursday December 5.