Two local trainers had their moments on Sunday at Market Rasen but neither Rasen handler Michael Chapman nor Brigg’s Nick Kent could get a winner.
Both had to be content with seconds.
After a month allowing the track to recover from a hectic summer programme, it was back to the more traditional format of winter national hunt racing.
Relatively small fields went to post in the afternoon’s three chases and in the ‘Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Chase’ only seven went under starter’s orders. The favourite Val D’Arc fell on the second circuit and coming to the last fence Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman’s The Society Man had a share of the lead.
Jockey Joe Cornwall was looking for a big jump, but with his mount tiring he was thrown out the saddle leaving Kielan Woods on Abkaim (11/2) in the lead. Favourite Val D’Arc had also taken an earlier tumble and after the fall of the local horse to big groans in front of the stands, the winning eight-year-old trained by Pam Sly had an easy run in.
The ‘Rasen Mail Novices Chase’ produced a win for 2014 Grand National winning jockey Kieron Aspell on Cloudy Bob (7/2). The six-year-old won a handicap hurdle here back in November last year, but has since been sent chasing by trainer Pat Murphy. His record over the bigger obstacles did not inspire confidence but he produced the goods here, jumping far more impressively than his rivals.
In second place, though always held by the winner was Chapman’s six-year-old Viva Steve.
Brigg trainer Nick Kent was far from happy with Around a Pound’s behaviour when he took him to Fakenham a week ago. There he was tailed off, but here he finished second on his local track in the sixth race, a handicap chase.
Speaking from the winner’s enclosure Kent said: “He just did not perform at Fakenham and he is a bit naughty-even a bit of a rogue. Here he switched off before the final bend and left himself short.
“Henry got him going again but he had left himself far too much to do. He went passed a few in the straight to finish second but could not get near what was a decent winner. He will win a race before long again though, “said Kent.
The ‘decent winner’ was 13/8 favourite Big George.
The afternoon’s racing, Armed Forces Family Day, was preceded by a two minutes silence in memory of the fallen after which jockey Gavin Sheehan took the first two hurdles.
The ‘Watch Racing UK in Sky Juvenile Hurdle’ was won by 4-1 shot Blue Atlantic, who had won on the flat in fine style at Beverley in the summer. After being held up on the first circuit Sheehan produced his mount three out and the three-year-old responded in style for this first time win over hurdles.
Sheehan was on board Andi’Amu in the second race a Class 4 maiden hurdle. He made all but tiring on the good to soft going, the four-year-old had to work hard to get up despite a blunder at the last.
In the third race Master Neo had made the long journey from the Devon stables of Nigel Hawke. James Best was on board the 7/2 shot who was a comfortable winner.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Thursday November 20.