Outsider Bouggler at 22-1 was a surprise victor in the £50,000 Grade 1 handicap chase at Saturday’s Totepool Day meeting at Market Rasen.
The other highlight was a treble for one of national hunt racing’s rising stars, Cotswolds trainer Charlie Longsdon.
Bouggler, a one time smart hurdler had shown ability over the bigger obstacles, but this was his biggest prize to date. After five months off he had a warm up on the flat before his Rasen date.
Aiden Coleman on board always kept him handy, but by the last three fences it was a two horse race with bottom weight and 25-1 shot Rob Conti under jockey James Best. Bouggler saw off his main rival and the final obstacles to be eased home by Coleman.
He said: “He travelled well and gave me a lovely ride. He jumped fantastic and showed he stays three miles. I knew he would keep going.
The winner is trained by Emma Lavelle at Andover.
The meeting had opened with the Totejacket Juvenile Hurdle where top trainer Nicky Henderson saddled the winner,three-year-old Royal Irish Hussar.
Handled by Aidan O’Brien on the flat, this was a good debut for the horse over hurdles. Sent off at 15-8 he had David Bass up.
The second race, a handicap hurdle class 1 listed race, saw Sam Twiston-Davies on Ahyaknowyerself get up by 14 lengths. Trained by Richard Newland the seven-year-old had been a fast finishing fourth last time out at Stratford.
Twiston-Davies said: “He liked the ground today and travelled well. He gave everything and in the end it was very easy. They went a good gallop. Today was the target for him, he jumped nicely.”
In the fourth race, the combination of trainer Charlie Longsdon from Chipping Norton and Irish jockey Noel Fehily delivered Little Chip (3-1f). Rasen favourite O’Crotaigh ran well in second place but was 17 lengths adrift of the winner, but 16 lengths clear of Hodgson in third.
The Class 4 Handicap Chase (£8,000) saw Champion Jockey Tony McCoy on the John P McManus owned and Jonjo O’Neill trained Amuse Me, which finished fourth.
In truth the seven-year-old never threatened after going into the race in indifferent form. For once in an afternoon’s racing McCoy drew a blank.
Longsdon and Fehily teamed up again with Spirit of Shankly (5/6f) in the Emerald Green Feeds Novices Hurdle. The five-year-old reportedly bled when a beaten 1-6F here in March. Back to health and fitness, the winning distance here was 3 1/4 lengths after Fehily timed his run perfectly from two flights out.
The sixth race was a class 4 juvenile hurdle with a total prize money of £8,000. It was won by 4-1 shot Marmas ridden by Brian Hughes. On an afternoon where local trainers in general did not have runners, Michael Chapman brought Galley Slave across the Willingham Road from his Woodlands stables, but he ran unplaced.
The bumper at the bottom of the card for conditional jockeys and amateur riders saw trainer Longsdon complete his treble with the 5/6 favourite Long Lunch.
Market Rasen now has a month out as the ground recovers from the hectic summer season. The next meeting is the Armed Forces Day on Remembrance Sunday, November 10.