Market Rasen races: Richard Johnson and Tom Jones take centre stage

Top jockey Richard Johnson (leading) brings in Manhatten Swing after his win in Saturday's feature hurdle at Market Rasen. EMN-150817-103648002
Top jockey Richard Johnson (leading) brings in Manhatten Swing after his win in Saturday's feature hurdle at Market Rasen. EMN-150817-103648002

Tom Jones may have stolen the show, but there was a race meeting ahead of Saturday’s Music Night at Market Rasen.

Racegoers were probably outnumbered by music lovers, but the fancied horses in the opening hurdle were outrun by Mr Selby, a 25/1 shot from the Middleham stable of Philip Kirkby, who just got his nose up on the line.

On board was 3lb claimer Adam Nicol. He ran second earlier this month at Market Rasen, but this was a relatively modest Class 4 race and he will have to up his game to build on this win.

The second race was a hands and heels handicap and for once the bookies might have taken a hit when the Brian Ellison-trained and Harry Cobden-ridden Fair Loch (8/1) won by six lengths.

Thousands of punters, mainly ladies, would doubtless have fancied the only grey in the race, and he strode up the straight in fine style to rapturous cheers for his first win over hurdles.

Top jockeys Tom Scudamore and Richard Johnson rode the next two winners.

Scudamore was on the 9/4 shot Standing Ovation, from the Somerset stables of top trainer David Pipe, as he claimed the Class 4 Jane Clugston Challenge Cup Novices Hurdle.

The eight-year-old is a fairly useful chaser, but after two falls on his last three starts over hurdles, it was clearly a good move by Pipe to switch him back to the smaller obstacles to help him find his feet again.

Johnson rode Manhatten Swing to give in-form trainer Ellison and his Malton yard their second winner of the night.

Manhatten Swing had been third in a decent listed race here in July, and this Class 3 Handicap Hurdle was lower in standard, but a win is a win.

The fifth race was the Dennis Meech Memorial Handicap Hurdle.

Count Salazar (13/2) remains on a decent mark despite a win at Market Rasen last time out. Jockey Miss B. Hampson also claimed 7lb, and the 7/2 favourite Handmaid only lost on a nose after a determined battle between the duo.

The final hurdle was won by Western Way (9/1) on whom Denis O’Regan had the leg-up.

Michael Chapman’s Xenophon, trained at his Woodlands yard in Market Rasen, was well in the picture and led for a while before fading when the business part of the race was reached.

There were no chases on the night as course management are making improvements to the chase track ahead of the winter season.

The next meeting at Market Rasen is the Racing Prelude Day which takes place on Saturday, September 26.