Market Rasen Racecourse marked the Queen’s 90th birthday with its first evening meeting of the summer which attracted a good crowd and decent fields.
There was plenty of competitive racing, not least in the second race, the Mares Handicap Hurdle, where Grimley Girl (9/4), ridden by Danny Cook, came through with a fine turn of speed after the last flight to register her second win at Market Rasen.
The opening hurdle had been won by Querry Horse (5/2) whose previous form was more than useful for Jack Sherwood’s Upper Lambourn yard.
The feature chase, the Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Chase saw Volcanic Jack make the trip across the Willingham Road from trainer Michael Chapman’s Woodlands stables.
Jack was tailed off by the second lap, however, and needed binoculars to see the action up front where Lemons’ Gent, from Paul Webber’s Banbury yard, had Gavin Sheehan on board.
After making all, the 9/4 shot eased home by six lengths having jumped very well and barely touched a twig on his way round.
Racegoers had to wait until the final two races for some more local interest as Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Hillview Lad.
He recently ran well at Wetherby over the smaller obstacles where he managed to get on to some firmer ground.
Michael Chapman saddled Duc De Seville, whose form has been disappointing on the flat and over hurdles, and both local horses were well back in a race won by 16/1 shot Pass on the Mantle, under jockey Mark Grant.
Another to make all was Call it On in the fourth race.
The Philip Kirkby-trained horse rattled up a trio of wins on the flat at the end of last summer and made a winning return to hurdles when last seen at Wetherby in November. This was another impressive showing under Adam Nicol.
Nettleton handler Olly Williams saddled Xenophon in the sixth race, a two-mile seven-furlong Class 5 Chase.
Kent sent out Combustible Kate, a hurdles winner in the past, but neither featured at the business end of the race.
The next meeting at Market Rasen takes place on Friday, May 6, and is the first of the new 2016/17 season, a summer which will again feature some big meetings at our local track.
The 2015/16 National Hunt season finished at Sandown on Saturday with jockey Richard Johnson the runaway winner of the jockey’s championship.
In his programme notes, Market Rasen Racecourse chairman, Colin Booth, said: “Richard is an outstanding ambassador for his sport and it has been a privilege to see him in action here at Market Rasen on a regular basis.”