A packed crowd edging above 8,000 enjoyed Market Rasen’s biggest meeting of the year on Saturday,the Betfred Summer Plate and Journal Ladies Day.
Two mega money races dominated the card, the £50,000 Betfred Summer Plate Handicap Chase and the £35,000 Betfred Mobile Lotto Summer Hurdle.
After all the hot weather there was a cooling breeze to help horse,rider and the crowd alike. The going was officially good-good to firm in places.
Bobowen (8/1), trained by Richard Newland with Sam Twistan Davies on board, managed to see off the rest in the chase. Tony McCoy’s mount, the joint 5/2 favourite Galaxy Rock, fell early on the first circuit, while another well fancied horse was Peter Bowen’s Dineur (6/1).
Bowen’s Pembrokeshire yard is in brilliant form at the moment. Although his seven-year-old ran a good race to finish fourth he could not really mount a strong challenge.
Richard Newland was delighted with his winner’s performance. He said: “We saw from the start he was going really well. Sam had the choice of rides and clearly chose right. It was a great win, ‘Bob’ has worked in the heat and looked good.”
Bowen, who heads this season’s trainers list with what he described as an unbelievable 38 wins, was philosophical that he could not win the summer plate for a sixth time.
He said: “Dineur ran a good race but could not quite get there. Market Rasen is a very lucky track for me, they really look after us here and I love the course.”
The Summer Hurdle ended as a two horse race. ‘Australia Day’ it certainly was not neither at Lords nor here. Paul Webber’s charge had won this race impressively three years ago and the front runner led for a long way. In the end though the race was a straight fight between joint favourites Coffee (9/2), ridden by Tony McCoy, and Sea Lord (9/2), ridden by Denis O’Regan. Sea Lord trained by John Ferguson, looked vulnerable to McCoy’s mount two out but found some extra to fight back and win by a length.
O’Regan said: “He has had some luck with one or two wins in the past and it’s good to get a real big one like this.
“John and the yard have done a magnificent job in preparing him. He has been a horse that has taken some time to find his confidence. It’s nice to take a win from McCoy now and again, but I felt I was on the best horse today.”
Footballer turned top trainer Mick Channon saddled the opening winner, Fitzwilly (10/1), who had William Kennedy up in the opening hurdle. Channon’s stable won the race in 2012. Lady golfers apparently cannot be members at Muirfield but they can beat their male counterparts in racing and Rachael Green proved it on board Man of Leisure (9/2) in the Betfred Handicap Hurdle.
Mighty Snazy (4/1) from Tim Vaughan’s Vale of Glamorgan yard put poor form behind him when he won a five horse Novices Hurdle, while General Miller (8/1) from top trainer Nicky Henderson’s yard was another to up his game in the Fussey Engineering and Fussey Piling Novices Chase.