Market Rasen Racecourse meeting proves a day of surprises

Favourite and winner Jot'Em Down (9) leads Michael Chapman's L'ES Freemantle (11) in the day's feature race. Picture: Peter Thompson EMN-190508-113010002
Favourite and winner Jot'Em Down (9) leads Michael Chapman's L'ES Freemantle (11) in the day's feature race. Picture: Peter Thompson EMN-190508-113010002

Decent fields drew a large crowd to Market Rasen Racecourse for the Age UK Lindsey Family Extravaganza Raceday on Sunday.

A superb afternoon’s racing was played out, with only one favourite winning and Dan Skelton – the course’s top trainer of the past 12 months – for once failing to saddle a winner.

At the start of the afternoon, Skelton had boasted the remarkable record of seven wins from 17 runners at the course over the past year.

The feature chase of the afternoon was the £13,300 Class 4 Independence Handicap Steeplechase, the fifth race on the card.

Not often do favourites jump badly and yet still win, but they did here.

Jot’Em Down(5/2) won in April at Plumpton, when the distance between him and the rest there was 28 lengths.

Creditable placed efforts in his two starts since had encouraged trainer David Bridgewater to bring the Irish bred eight-year-old from Stow-on-the-Wold, in Gloucestershire, especially as he remained still relatively unexposed in the handicap.

Despite doing more than a bit of clattering of the birch on the way round he managed to stay in touch, entering the straight, and with Tom Cannon giving him a good ride, he was never really challenged after leading two out.

There was a local runner in this race as Michael Chapman continued to persevere with L’ES Freemantle.

He went off at 80/1 having opened at 100/1, but there was to be no glory of the same style as he when he won at the same odds here last November.

He was held up early on and under pressure five out, but finished seventh with two behind him.

More local eyes were on Rococo Style who went into the seventh race, a Class 5 Handicap Hurdle, fancied to follow up his win here from 44 days ago.

The horse is trained at Scamblesby, near Louth, by Steve Gollings and part owned by Nadia Powell, general manager at Market Rasen.

Sent off at 10/1 with Jamie Moore up, the six-year-old was always in with a shout and finished third, but could not get the better of Oksana (11/1) who Jonathan England sent to the front after the final flight.

His mount ran on strongly and held on for his first win without too much trouble.

After mediocre form over the bigger obstacles, a return to hurdles looks to have given him a better chance of an upturn in form.