“I just love coming here!” Grand National winning trainer Dr Richard Newland admitted as he added another winner to his 2014 at Rasen.
Mart Lane had Daryl Jacob on board in Saturday’s £50,000 Class 1 ‘888sportHandicap SteepleChase’ and the nine-year-old, an 8/1 shot, put some indifferent form behind him to claim the prize, getting up by 2 and a half lengths from Dursey Sound (8/1), who had 19 times champion jockey Tony McCoy on board.
Dr Newland had claimed the Grand National with Pineau de Re in April and then took a helicopter to Market Rasen the following day to add two winners to his collection. This though was a bigger prize and from the winner’s enclosure the ecstatic trainer said: “I love it here at Market Rasen.
“It is a great course and I always get a fantastic welcome. The mid-summer meetings here are a real highlight.”
He was also delighted with the horse and the ride Jacob gave him: “We lost our way a little with this horse last year, but he ran well at Wolverhampton and so I decided to bring him here. Daryl gave him a great ride, he has come back from horrific injuries.”
Newland told the crowd that his Grand National horse would, all being well, be looking at a race before the year is out and that he plans to run him again in the big Aintree event next year.
Daryl Jacob is a popular jockey, much admired for the way he has battled back from his injuries this year.
He said: “Riding nice horses like the one today in good races is what we dream of as jockeys. I had to be patient with him today but I had confidence he would get there.
“I kept positive while I was out so long injured, but it’s great to be back fit and well.”
The other Class 1 listed race was the second on the card, the £35,000 888sport Handicap Hurdle won by bottom weight the 6/1 shot Exitas, with the rising star of the weighing room Conor Shoemark on board.
The former bumper winner was still in at a useful mark despite scoring at Uttoxeter a week, ago but trainer Phil Middleton thought the long trip from Aylesbury was well worth it, especially after an easy six length win.
“It’s a big thrill for me and I expected him to win. Maybe the handicapper will step in now and we will have to give him a break and school him over fences. He may go in for a Cheltenham handicap in the spring.”
Shoemark said: “I loved every minute of the ride, he travelled strongly and I managed to get through a small gap and he just picked up from there.
“He is a great jumper and will make a good chaser in the future, there is some big races in him.”
Interestingly the first four home in the race were all among the bottom five in the weights.
David Pipe’s debutante Unanimate (9/4), who had Tom Scudamore on board, ran out an impressive winner of the opening race, the juvenile hurdle pulling five lengths clear of the previously unbeaten Full Day. He will be another to watch in the future.
Long Wave, trained by Charlie Longsdon, has been steadily improving over fences, and got up by a 1/4 length with Charie Deutsch up, in the handicap chase that followed the big races. He nosed in front of Spoil Me, who had McCoy on board. Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman saddled The Society Man but he finished down the field.
McCoy got his winner in the bumper at the bottom of the card on board Arabic History, sent to post the 7/4 favourite. The front running Get Home Now provided a win for South Wales trainer Peter Bowen in the Class 4 Handicap Hurdle.
So ends the 2014 season of summer jumping at Market Rasen with the next meeting not until November. Retiring on the afternoon was long serving Tony Edwards, Weighing Room Officer since 2001.
“It was his job to look after the jockeys, get the silks ready, make sure they were ready on time and he was endlessly cheerful,” said General Manager Pip Kirkby.