Brigg trainer Nick Kent’s frustrations increased after going close at Market Rasen races for the second meet running on Friday.
Last month, Kent’s stable star Bowie only finished third after clattering a fence in the straight when looking set to win, and last Friday the 5/1 shot went to the last fence in the day’s feature race neck-and-neck with Shear Rock only to be beaten on the run-in.
Adam Wedge was on board the eight-year-old from Kent’s Newstead yard and he gave his mount every chance, holding him up early in the race, before challenging two out. Richard Johnson was on board rode the winner, the 11/10 favourite.
In the previous race, Kent saddled Ivan’s Back who despite nearing veteran stage at 10 still runs competitively. He could only manage a distant third, though, behind Great Link, the 6/5 favourite, in the Malton Marquees Handicap.
Risk a Fine (7/4f), ridden by Richard Johnson, was the first of the afternoon’s treble for Johnson who is just about everyone’s favourite to take the Champion Jockey’s title from the retired Tony McCoy.
He has been a regular runner-up to AP and already leads the field this season with more than 20 winners. He gave the front running Risk a Fine (7/4) his head and he made all in the Beginner’s Chase from the point of leaving the starters flag.
Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs clearly felt confident to send the horse on the long cross country journey to North Lincolnshire. His last win was in an Irish point-to-point but he has started his chasing career with some promise and his fluent jumping was key.
Set the Trend (2/1) went off favourite in the opening race of The Journal Preview Ladies’ Day and duly rewarded his backers.
Gavin Sheehan was on board the seven-year-old in the novices hurdle and he held on after a strong challenge before easing down to follow up a dual success over hurdles at Ludlow earlier this year.
Aviator (9/2) won the Brian Ayre and Sons Ford Novices Hurdle, with Jack Quinlan up.
The seven-year-old had a useful career on the flat and made the perfect start to his hurdling career at Fakenham in March. On Land Abloom (2/1f) won here in April and Neil King’s five-year-old followed that up with a second last time out.
Johnson completed his treble on Kiffinichen Bay (10/3), trained by Charlie Longsdon, in the sixth race, the Market Rasen Interactive Handicap Hurdle.