They came from all over the country for the Betfred Summer Plate and the Journal Ladies Day, but it was a local horse that won the big feature race on Saturday’s card at Market Rasen.
The biggest and richest meeting of the year at our Lincolnshire course saw Local Hero (9-2,) trained by Steve Gollings at Scamblesby and ridden by conditional yard jockey Paul Bohan, grab one of the two big prizes, The Betfred Bonus King Summer Hurdle.
Hurdling fluently Bohan mounted his challenge two out to see off his 15 rivals.
Gollings was delighted. He said: “He ran at Newmarket and did not run well on ground that did not suit, so we decided not to go to Ireland with him but to bring him here to Market Rasen instead.
“He jumped superbly and I just kept my eye on him in front rather than looking behind to see what was coming.”
The winning jockey, whose ability to claim a 10lb allowance was crucial added: “He made lots of ground up with his excellent jumping.
“He stays well and I owe a lot to Mr Martin the owner and to Steve Gollings for trusting me with the ride.”
The other feature race, and Market Rasen’s richest race of the year, the Betfred Summer Chase, saw 9-1 shot I have Dreamed blunder a little at the last, but just hold on from the Peter Bowen trained Al Co (5-1F), who seemed to leave his challenge late.
The winner has been successful three times in hunter chases, but this was his first start for trainer Lawney Hill and the horse looked well treated by the handicapper on his first start for the new yard.
Jockey David Bass said: “He nearly messed up at the last and it was a long run in from there. He was travelling ok and jumping well. At ten years old he has been round quite a bit and knows how to handle himself.”
Mrs Hill added: “He went in front two out and got himself out of trouble after making no stride at the last. Everything went to plan.”
Pembroke trainer Peter Bowen who has dominated this contest in recent years had planned this race for Al Co but he could not quite get on terms with the winner despite finishing fast under Dougie Costello.
The opening race on the card, a juvenile hurdle, was won by the Mick Channon trained Ctappers (3-1), who had Will Kennedy on board. He showed up usefully over course and distance last month and stuck to his task well against a number who were jumping newcomers.
Top trainer David Pipe saddled the first two in the second race with Premier Dane, who had Tom Scudamore on board, getting up from Raslan under Timmy Murphy.
Raslan, sent off at 14-1, is a more than capable front runner when in the mood, but the market was the key as the winner was backed down to 13-2.
It was the ten year olds first run for more than a year, his first run for six years over hurdles and a first trip out for the Pipe yard since a move from Nicky Richards. Given his absence he was on a fair mark though, but still may have another win or two in him.
Outsider Forgotten Symphony (33-1) was the gamble of the day, scoring under Miss H Bethell in the B Eyre and Son Ford Novices Hurdle, while the sixth race, a handicap chase, gave Bass and Hill a double as 9-2 shot Bellaboosh showed his rivals a clean pair of heels.
It was a big day for them and for the lesser known jockeys against the likes of Tony McCoy and Richard Johnson, and it was a big day too for Gollings and his Local Hero!