On the day summer flat racing staged its Champions Day final meeting at Ascot, Market Rasen’s eight-race card was low key in comparison.
But there was nothing low key about the Skelton brothers – trainer Dan and jockey Harry – who must love the Lincolnshire track.
After claiming another big race win in September, they followed up with a double here on Saturday, with Cabaret Queen and Shrubland (9/4).
This made a total of 10 winners that Dan Skelton has saddled at Rasen in a season which began in May and is only halfway through its course.
Brother Harry has been on board in nine of them.
Cabaret Queen took the opening race, a Class 4 Novices Hurdle, after being sent off at 7/4, and Shrubland took the Lincoln Larger Handicap Hurdle in which Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Bowie (11/2).
He finished fourth of the seven runners after being outpaced from four out, and maybe the 10-year-old local favourite is beginning to feel his age after a creditable career. Tom Broughton was on board.
With a decent crowd braving the blustery conditions you did not have to look far to find what most racegoers thought the day’s most impressive winner in Demon D’ Aunou.
Sent to post as 4/5 favourite, the four-year-old was held up mid=division on the first circuit in the Smokey Joe Maiden Hurdle Division Two race.
Trained at Jonjo O’Neill’s stables, the horse had something extra to win the Class 3 race, moving in front from three out and easily drawing clear on the flat.
Top Irish owner JP McManus bought the horse at Cheltenham’s November sales last year for £130,000. A race day trip to Cheltenham’s high-profile Spring Festival might not be out of the question before long.
Another for whom bigger races should be in reach is Capitaine, trained by top handler Paul Nicholls, who gave Harry Cobden the ride in the Wodewose Novices Chase, with the winner collecting £7,800.
His best performance came at Ascot last December where he made all to win in impressive style.
Here, sent to post the evens favourite, he barely touched a twig with some impressive jumping to win easily after going to the front from three out. The winning distance was a runaway 22 lengths.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Thursday, November 9, and doubtless the Skelton brothers will be there once again.