WITH driving rain and a stiff wind, conditions for Friday’s meeting at Market Rasen were more typical of mid-winter than mid-summer, however, An excellent card and good going produced some keen racing.
The opening novices hurdle, with a modest field, saw a win for 7-1 shot Saints and Sinners, who confirmed the promise of a recent Bangor second. Ivans Back (28-1) trained at Brigg by Nick Kent ran positively, leading for a while until headed three out and finishing third.
Kent was happy enough though with the efforts of his charge under Harry Haynes: “I was really pleased, his jumping is getting better and he stayed on well.”
He got headed down the hill but kept on and beat the favourite (Prompter 8-13F). Prompter is trained by Jonjo O’Neill and was ridden by Tony McCoy and for once it was a none too profitable afternoon for the high profile duo.
Talk of Saafend (6-1) gained a deserved win over hurdles in the ‘Dare to Share at Mama J’s Novices Handicap Hurdle.’ Under jockey Emma Sayer, the 7 year old tracked the leaders, led at the last and was driven clear.
Sayer said in the winner’s enclosure: “We thought it might be a bit soft. Instructions were to see how it looked after a lap. Market Rasen is becoming lucky for us, we have had a fairly good time here lately.”
Only five went to post for the ‘rewards4racing.com Beginners Steeplechase. Prince of Denial won here last November over hurdles and was alongside when leader Eddie G took a nasty tumble at the last. Left clear under Richie McLernon, he was driven out to the line in front of Mr Nosie (10-11F) under Dougie Costello.
Greyfriars Drummer (7-2) trained by Charlie Mann defied a 5lb penalty for a Southwell win to take the ‘racinguk.com Every Friday Handicap Hurdle’. Leading at the last, 7lb claiming apprentice Gavin Sheehan drove the four year old on to get up ahead of 11-8 favourite Diamond’s Return. McCoy never got Mickmacmagoole going, but the 10 year old has had a pretty good career, even winning at Ffos Las last time out.
The fifth and sixth races contained drama aplenty. Airmen’s Friend (18-1) with Sam Thomas on board completed a double for Mann, when Whistling Senator took a bad tumble under McCoy at the last when challenging. The winner has looked a transformed horse since switching to fences and donning cheek pieces.
The sixth race was a 2m 5f handicap hurdle won by King Mak. Drama came at the final flight when Dipity Doo Dah was leading and King Mak in third landed awkwardly, with Kyle James losing both irons. But he recovered and drove King Mak (4-1) up to the line, just heading Dipity Doo Dah. There was a stewards inquiry, but the result stood.
The bumper at the end of the card proved an easy win for 3-1 shot The Ferick under jockey Brian Hughes.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Friday, June 22, with the first race at 2.20pm.