Sunday’s meeting at Market Rasen saw some competitive racing not least in the afternoon’s £10,000 feature race.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy gave the Philip Hobbs trained Thunderstorm (6-4F) a splendid ride in the Calvert’s Carpets and Flooring Handicap Hurdle.
The eight-year-old had 20 months off before returning at Plumpton a month ago and registering the first of four successive wins, ending with this effort here.
For McCoy it was the 163rd winner of the season as he moved his mount up through the gears from two out to land the prize.
The Class 4 ECS Hawksy’s Handicap Steeplechase saw only five runners go to post. McCoy was on top weight and 9/4 joint favourite William Money.
After faltering on the second circuit, McCoy roused the six-year-old two fences out and took the last in impressive style looking set to catch the long time leader Sawpit Supreme (5-1) with Tom Phelen on board. The latter has a reputation for flattening out late on in races but held on by a length from his rival.
The third big race of the afternoon was the Class 3 Ted Munnelly Memorial Chase. Four Jacks (10-11F) trained by Tim Easterby was sent off odds on favourite with Ifyouletmefinish seemingly his most likely rival.
When the latter blundered and fell on the second lap, the favourite always looked likely to land the prize and was 49 lengths ahead at the post.
Jockey Brian Harding needed binoculars to see the distant Brief Mark (28-1) the only other finisher.
Timesishard (2-1),a six-year-old trained by Graeme McPherson and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, took the opening novices hurdle.
After being out of his depth in a Grade 2 at Warwick last time out, this was a more suitable race for the winner and he saw off nearest challenger Fiddlers Bid (4-1).
Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Combustible Kate in the second race, but she was well back.
The trainer admitted after the race that the seven-year-old struggles on heavy ground and will be targeted as a summer jumper again this year.
Will Kennedy had the ride on the winner Crafty Roberto (14-1) in this handicap hurdle. The horse is still not on a bad mark on the pick of last season’s best and he scored by two lengths in the 14 strong field.
Another local horse in this was Tayarat, trained by Michael Chapman at Woodlands across Willingham Road. He also ran unplaced.
Keeverfield (9-1) is a multiple point to point winner with one win before under rules. He was impressively ridden by Samantha Drake in the sixth race, another handicap chase, while the bumper at the bottom of the card was won by a 66-1 shot,the bet of the day, trained by Tim Walford and ridden by Dougie Costello.