Pembrokeshire trainer Peter Bowen chalked up another notable win at Market Rasen with Friday’s feature race.
Bowen travels the length and breadth of the UK in search of his winners, but with several big money winners on Summer Plate day over the years, he may just have been getting his eye in for this year’s big race.
The Victor Lucas Memorial Handicap Hurdle was fourth race on the card and is held annually to the memory of a man whose initiative and drive was largely responsible for the restoration of the course after the Second World War.
Bowen saddled the seven-year-old Souriyan, who was sent off at 9/1 for the £7,500 feature race, and had his son Sean, this year’s Market Rasen Racecourse Young Ambassador, on board.
The latter got his horse up to win by a head from the 10/3 favourite Theatrebar, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton.
The runner-up in a decent field of eight runners, clearly has another win in him.
The Lucas Machinery Handicap Hurdle, second on the card, was a Class 5 race for conditional jockeys and amateur riders.
It was won by 12/1 shot Great Colaci, a five-year-old who was a three-time winner on the flat, but had previously shown little over hurdles.
That was put right in some style to see off Pronto Tonto (9/1) and the fast-finishing Emmas Dilemma.
A decent-sized crowd enjoyed the spring sunshine, a far cry from the cold of Boxing Day in 2016 when Gonalston Cloud had won the Clugston Lincolnshire
National with some superb jumping.
Now reaching the veteran stage, the 11-year-old, trained by Nick Kent at nearby Newstead, was sent out again in the Jean and Byron White Memorial Chase.
Kent had seen his star horse win at Wetherby last month and also run second at Market Rasen, and the grey was well-placed on the first circuit before falling away to finish down the field.
The race was won by 10/1 shot Shady Glen, ridden by Kierlan Woods.
Other highlights saw champion jockey Richard Johnson land a winner when he got Monthyne (3/1) up by a neck in the sixth race.
The Skelton duo of trainer Dan and jockey Harry had their inevitable visit to the winners enclosure when Tokay Dokey (11/2) took the bumper at the end of the card.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Sunday.