Hot weather, firm going and national hunt racing don’t really go together but an excellent crowd bathed in the heat on Sunday in Market Rasen.
In the first race, jockey Dougie Costello took a bad tumble two out on Red Torture in the opening hurdle, won by Marmas (6/4) trained by John Mackie and ridden by Brian Hughes.
The horse had his first win over hurdles after showing some decent form on the flat. Costello was taken to hospital.
Racecourse managing director Pip Kirkby said: “Dougie Costello was taken to Lincoln Hospital after his fall. He is conscious though in pain.”
It was later reported that he had suffered a punctured lung.
The second race was the Manny Bernstein Freephone Handicap Chase. Trainer Nigel Hawke brought Mister Wiseman (9/1) the long journey from his Devon yard and was well rewarded by the efforts of his front runner under Tom Scudamore.
The 11-year-old is down to a career low mark with no real form recently.
Here with blinkers applied there was no doubting his effort, with Hawke stating: “It’s been worth the journey this time. He’s come and done the job in a head to head battle.”
Citrus Mark (6/1) was the one to just get beat – the official distance a neck.
The ‘mannybernstein.co.uk Beginners’ Chase’ looked to be in the bag for the front running Lemon Drop Red with Liam Treadwell up. That was until he was badly hampered and brought down two out by a loose horse.
That meant Foreverpresenting (16/1) gave Brian Hughes a double after being left in front.
The feature chase was the Elisabeth Noble Memorial Handicap Chase and Paddy the Hare (11/2) under Tom O’Brien saw off his rivals. He won for the first time at Uttoxeter last month after having cheekpieces fitted and defied a 7lb rise in this higher grade contest.
But he remains lightly raced and will doubtless progress.
Feature hurdle was the Don Noble Handicap Chase. There was a collectors item in this as First in the Queue was indeed that at the final fence and he had the 18 times champion jockey on board.
He can’t be caught now was the obvious sentiment as the ‘queue’, was several lengths adrift headed by Va’vite (14/1) under Paul Moloney. The jockey however clearly sensed McCoy’s mount was tiring and began the chase. For once the champ’s mount got caught – the distance a neck at the post.
Compton Blue (8/10) with Killion Moore riding took the penultimate race, the Tom Halliday Memorial Handicap Chase, providing a win for trainer Alan King, while the final race, a handicap hurdle for amateur riders, saw 7/2 favourite Pobs Trophy show her rivals a clean pair of heels under jockey Becky Smith.
All eyes now turn to the big meeting in two weeks time featuring The Summer Plate and the Journal Ladies Day on Saturday July 20. Racecourse Chairman Colin Booth has also confirmed that the traditional Ladies Night will be on
Saturday August 17 as one of the Rasen Rocks feature nights.