The Don Noble Bookmakers Day drew a splendid crowd to enjoy a seven-race card and two pony races at Market Rasen on Sunday.
The course was bathed in summer sunshine as it looked forward to the big Summer Plate meeting on Saturday, July 18.
Feature races were the Class Two £9,700 Mannybernstein.co.uk Handicap Hurdle and the £6,400 Don Noble Betting Handicap Chase.
Aalim (9/2) won the feature hurdle race, and it was an impressive effort. Having run a decent race for second at Market Rasen last time out, the John Ferguson-trained five-year-old, with Aiden Coleman on board, went one better in a more competitive field. The result completed a double for the trainer/jockey duo on the day.
The winner had to battle hard to see off Aviator who went down with all guns blazing under Jack Quinlan. The 7/4 favourite Teak had Richard Johnson in the saddle and some decent flat form going into the race, including a third at Royal Ascot last time.
But after being held up on the first circuit, he never got close enough to challenge.
The opening Don Noble Novices Hurdle saw Coleman get his first winner as he teamed up with the favourite Nabucco (4/9f), also part of Ferguson’s stable string who are in excellent mid-summer form.
The dual-listed flat winner took well to hurdles at Aintree last month and this was a decent follow-up.
The Beginners’ Chase which followed saw some decent jumping from both Enchanted Garden, the 11/8 joint favourite ridden by Brian Hughes, and the other joint favourite Dino Mite. But the former never really looked troubled.
Michael Chapman brought Volcanic Jack across the Willingham Road from his Woodlands stable. The seven-year-old had Joe Cornwall up and came a decent third to follow two similar place efforts. Joe Cornwall was on board.
Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Ivan’s Back, sent off as the 3/1 favourite in the feature Manny Bernstein Handicap Chase.
The 10-year-old though was never really fluent with his jumping, but managed a decent third. Will Kennedy rode Mac’s Grey (9/2) to victory by a nose over Paddy Mulligan (7/1) to deny the Ferguson/Coleman duo a treble.
Perfect Timing (6/4f) made all the running to claim the Don Noble Handicap Chase by six lengths with a really impressive display of jumping under jockey Noel Fehily.
He clearly prefers a clockwise track as he followed up a similar effort on his stable debut at Newton Abbot in May.