A wet morning dampened the spirits of potential racegoers as Thursday’s meeting at Market Rasen was watched by the smallest crowd for some time.
Sunshine appeared though just as the runners were going to post for the opener at a meeting sponsored by 32Red.
Local handler Nick Kent brought Bowie, a former course and distance winner, from his Newstead stable for a Class 4 Handicap Hurdle over two mile seven furlongs, and was backed down to 8/1.
He struggled in his last start here and fared little better this time.
After settling in just behind in the opening lap he could not find any pace from two out and finished sixth and last behind bottom weight Brian Boranha, ridden by Tom Scudamore.
Royal Debutante (3/1) made the long journey from Paul Webber’s Banbury stables and eased home by two lengths in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
Vimon (11/4) was held up in the rear of a five-horse field by Leighton Aspell before setting his stall out three from home to win comfortably.
Winners were generally at short odds and Ulltimatum Du Roy was another at 3/1. The nine-year-old, who has been in fine fettle recently, was trained by Alex Hales and ridden by Harry Bannister.
Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman’s The Society Man used to have a fan club among the home faithful, but he continued his losing run when he finished last in the Class 5 Handicap Chase behind 16/1 shot Ohms Law.
Kent saddled Oregon Gold in the bumper at the end of the card and he showed a glimmer of promise of better days ahead by finishing mid-division at 66/1.
There were two noteworthy retirements at the course at the end of the National Hunt season.
Nick Bowen officiated at his last meeting as veterinary officer, while Ann and Rob Burgess are retiring as caravan wardens at the racecourse after what the board of directors described as many years of hard work, dedication and commitment.
The next meeting at Rasen is the first of the summer season on Friday, May 12.