Market Rasen races: Richard Johnson wins feature race

Card Game returns to the winner's enclosure with Jamie Hamilton aboard after winning the second Race. EMN-160222-132146002
Card Game returns to the winner's enclosure with Jamie Hamilton aboard after winning the second Race. EMN-160222-132146002
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The country’s leading jockey Richard Johnson moved a step closer to his 200th winner of the season by landing the big prize at Market Rasen Racecourse.

It was all about the big £12,000 feature chase when Rasen staged its first Sunday meeting of 2016.

Richard Johnson after his 199th of the season on board Lockstockandbarrel in the feature race at Rasen EMN-160222-132159002

Richard Johnson after his 199th of the season on board Lockstockandbarrel in the feature race at Rasen EMN-160222-132159002

Only four runners went to post after two late withdrawals in the 32Red Novices Steeplechase. The one to watch was clearly the seven-year-old Lockstockandbarrel (11/8f) trained by Jonjo O’Neill.

The country’s leading jockey Richard Johnson, on 198 winners for the season, had travelled from the West Country for his only ride of the afternoon. Two weeks ago at Chepstow, the horse probably needed the run but he jumped well here from the off, despite being held up on the first circuit by the jockey.

Once the fancied Deep Trouble had taken a fall on the far side, Johnson eased his mount through the gears to secure the big prize of the afternoon in impressive style.

In the 32Red Handicap Hurdle Class Three section, Cotillion (3/1) and Toby Wheeler combined to good effect to give Alvechurch trainer Ian Williams a win.

Another handler with a good record at Market Rasen is Malcolm Jefferson and his Card Game proved a decent gamble for punters at 6/1 following up a win at Sedgefield last time out.

Shortest priced winner of the afternoon was Chocca Wocca (8/15) in the opening Mares Novices Hurdle.

Disappointingly, this was a low key meeting before a small crowd and there was a total absence of runners from any Lincolnshire stables.

But there was some news from the local stables last week as Brigg trainer Nick Kent announced that Ivans Back has been retired, two weeks after the horse ran at Market Rasen.

Kent said: “He was a game horse and he loved training and racing, but he has burst a blood vessel again on his last outing here at Market Rasen.

“He is 11 and after discussions with the owners we have decided he will be retired.”

* The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Sunday, March 13.