The latest County Raceday meet provided some small fields, but real quality racing at Market Rasen racecourse last Thursday.
The card featured the second running of the Bud Booth Mares Steeplechase, one of a growing number of listed races at the course, named after the course’s long-serving Chairman of the Board of Directors who retired last year.
The £30,000 race, run over three miles, was won in style by the relatively inexperienced chaser Mia’s Storm.
Sent to post at 9/4, the seven-year-old had to follow in the wake of last year’s winner Desert Queen who was 19 lengths ahead on the first circuit.
Wayne Hutchinson was on board the winner for trainer Alan King and maybe the key for punters was in Hutchinson coming to ride in just one race.
Desert Queen was beaten two out as Hutchinson found plenty left in the tank for what turned out to be an easy run to the line after some superb jumping.
Hutchinson said: “She had a good win at Chepstow before coming here.
“She was asked one or two questions down the back straight, but this is a quality track and she proved her jumping ability. We always thought she would make a better chaser than hurdler.”
Desert Queen finished third and maybe it was the 4lb penalty which told in the end on the good-to-soft ground.
The 1stsecurity solutions.co.uk Handicap Chase (10,000) carried a decent prize, but was in contrast a Class 4 race.
It was won in equally impressive style by Shady Glen with Kielan Woods in the saddle.
Paddy Brennan, a former top jockey now doing travelling head lad work for winning trainer Graeme McPherson, said: “I was really pleased with him today; they went a good gallop which suited.
“It was often a lucky track for me, it’s a fair track and well looked after. It’s good jumping ground.”
Inevitably Dan Skelton again made his mark with two winners.
This season’s leading trainer nationally is now approaching 100 winners and here Nube Negra (15/2) took the second race, a junior hurdle, while even money Pretty Reckless proved anything but with a confident performance in the two-mile chase.
Both had the trainer’s brother Harry Skelton up top.
An odds-on favourite to win on the afternoon was Redemption Song (4/5), whose speed impressed enough to take the Sherwood Marquees Mares Maiden Hurdle.
My Snoozy, despite the fading light, kept himself awake long enough to win the Class 4 hurdle, the last race on the card.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Thursday, November 23 which will again feature a top quality race, a £25,000 Handicap Hurdle.