HORSERACING: Double delight for Wadham and Aspell at Market Rasen

Runners take a fence in the Victor Lucas Memorial Handicap Chase at Market Rasen on Saturday with the winner Dont Tell Sailor right.
Runners take a fence in the Victor Lucas Memorial Handicap Chase at Market Rasen on Saturday with the winner Dont Tell Sailor right.

It was double delight for trainer Lucy Wadham and jockey Leighton Aspell in the first two races at Market Rasen on Saturday.

Aspell later upgraded that to a treble.

In the opening novices hurdle Watered Silk showed his win here in the last meeting was no fluke.

The 13-8 favourite has some useful flat form behind him and, after a poor start, is seemingly taking to hurdling now on the firmer ground.

His trainer said: “He likes good ground,when he had his first two runs over hurdles it was too soft for him.

“The ground is all important really.”

In the second race trainer and jockey again teamed up to give Brunton Blue the follow up win and the double by eight lengths.

Sent to post at 8-1, the winner was left clear when there was a faller two out,and the winning distance was eight lengths.

Many were impeded by the faller, they then had some catching up to do and never really threatened as the Newmarket trained horse romped home.

Lucy Wadham said: “He is a very game horse,having started hurdling late in life.

“It’s been a difficult time with the weather this spring to get the horses on the grass but the facilities at Newmarket are fantastic and that helps greatly.”

The third race and first chase of the afternoon was the Victor Lucas Memorial Chase,calling to mind the long and distinguished association between the course and the Lucas family.

The race produced an impressive ride from 7lb claiming jockey Conor Ring on board Dont Tell Sailor (2-1f) who just got the seven-year-old up from the strongly challenging Ifonlyalfie.

The winner has shown 
very moderate form this season but has dropped in the handicap and a return to sound ground certainly seemed to help.

“After a dead heat last year it was good to get a winner this time,”said racecourse director Jean Lucas.

In the BDN Construction Novices Handicap Chase Flaming George (15-8), under Aspell, led almost from start to finish. In truth it was a jumping lesson for the rest from this bold front runner in a poor field of four in which Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman’s Xenophon was never in the hunt. The win was the third of the afternoon for Aspell.

Brigg trainer Nick Kent was optimistic Combustible Kate (8-1) would give a good account of herself in the SEP Events Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.

He said: “It’s the first time she has really had the ground,the going will certainly suit her.”

So it proved and the seven-year-old mare led them for much of the race, only to be caught after the last by the faster finishing Knockanarrigan, trained in Ireland by John Joseph Hanlon and ridden by Michael Nolan.

The course had declared the winning jockey would be the latest recipient of the Tom Halliday Memorial Scholarship given in memory of the young rider who sadly died after a fall at the course in 2005.

The winner receives sponsorship for the year from the course,and advise sessions on such things as schooling,nutrition and the media.

The Conditional Jockeys chase saw a win for Diamond Frontier (100-30) with John Dawson on board. The front runner got up by half a length from Riguez Dancer, who has been out of sorts of late, while the bumper at the bottom of the card saw Oscar Hoof the odds on favourite romp home by eight lengths.

The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Friday week, May 10.