Plenty of Grand National interest at Rasen races

A fine jump on his way to winning, by Discay under Sam Twiston-Davies. EMN-161104-113127002
A fine jump on his way to winning, by Discay under Sam Twiston-Davies. EMN-161104-113127002
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History repeated itself at Market Rasen races on Sunday with celebrations for a former Grand National winning trainer.

Thoughts of the previous day’s big race at Aintree were never far away at Rasen, and there were also reflections on the 2014 race and its winning trainer Dr Richard Newland.

Runners in the parade ring before the third race. EMN-161104-113137002

Runners in the parade ring before the third race. EMN-161104-113137002

Two years ago he arrived at Rasen’s Sunday meet by helicopter, the day after training the National winner. Returning two years on he was soon celebrating again with a double within the first three races.

Newland’s first winner came with Young Dillon (5/4f) in the second race on the card, the racinguk.com Maiden Hurdle.

The seven-year-old was a bumper winner when trained in Ireland and has been placed in two recent runs out of Newland’s yard.

Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman saddled the six-year-old Dark Diamond here who finished mid-division. The horse was a modest fibresand winner on the flat, but had not been seen over hurdles since early 2015.

Jockey Richard Dunne relives his third place in Saturdays Grand National to Market Rasen Racecourse presenter Mike Vince. EMN-161104-113147002

Jockey Richard Dunne relives his third place in Saturdays Grand National to Market Rasen Racecourse presenter Mike Vince. EMN-161104-113147002

Newland and Sam Twiston-Davies teamed up for that first win easily enough and then teamed up again when Newland saddled Discay in the first chase of the afternoon.

Under Twiston-Davies, he made all and finally won by 18 lengths easing up.

“After his win on the flat he won three hurdles and now has gone chasing, Newland said.

“He struggles a bit on the heavy ground, but he jumped round okay today.”

Falling at the last in this race was jockey Richard Dunne who had ridden Vics Canvas the 100/1 third-place finisher in the Grand National on Saturday.

He relived the greatest day of his racing career when interviewed by racecourse presenter Mike Vince:

“I thought I had fallen early on, I took a fence uncomfortably, but somehow I found a leg and then he did what he does best and got into a rhythm.

“We were headed going into the elbow and by the end he had not really got anything more to give. But I shall always remember the day. To come third in the National is really great.”

Colleagues gave Dunne a standing ovation when he entered the jockey’s room at Market Rasen, but his luck was to change on Sir Pitt who, when well placed at the last, blundered and his chance was gone.

The day’s opening race, the Racing UK Day Pass Novices Hurdle was won by Dream Berry (7/4) under Champion Jockey-elect Richard Johnson, riding for top trainer Jonjo O’Neill.

The £12,000 feature race, the Racing Uk Now in HD Chase, saw an impressive display of jumping by Under the Phone with 3lb-claimer Conor Shoemark on board. The Irish-bred horse confirmed its promise after a fine second at Doncaster in February.