Spring-like weather and decent fields made for a splendid afternoon’s racing at Market Rasen Racecourse last Thursday.
The County Raceday was watched by a very respectable midweek crowd, with the highlight of the afternoon being the third race on the card, the £30,000 Bud Booth Mares Steeplechase.
Mr Booth was a long-serving chairman of the board at the racecourse until his retirement two years ago, and remains a popular figure at meetings.
It was appropriate that the race, a class one listed race, was won by 9/1 shot, Ron’s Dream, an eight-year-old trained by Peter Bowen in Pembrokeshire and ridden by his son, Sean.
The horse just got up on the run in to beat the evens favourite Casablanca Mix, from the yard of top trainer Nicky Henderson, and ridden by Daryl Jacob.
Sean Bowen is in the form of his life, standing just shy of 60 winners for the season, and it was an emotional win for the Bowen stable.
Ron’s Dream’s popular owner TSP Stepney died earlier this year, and the trophy was presented to her daughter by Mr Booth in the winner’s enclosure.
Racecourse presenter Mike Vince said the Bowen stable has a fantastic record at Market Rasen with many big winners, including the Summer Plate Chase, and it was appropriate that Mr Bowen should win the Bud Booth Chase after their long association at the course.
Bowen said: “I thought we needed a drop more rain, but she ran and jumped well and will probably now go to a big race at Wetherby in two weeks and then on to the Welsh National.
“I do 150,000 miles a year, but we are used to it and the horses don’t seem to mind.”
The second race saw a dual most of the way round between the favourite Festival Dawn and the Irish-bred Carroll’s Milan.
But Out of this World (15/2) came from nowhere to appear on the scene during the business end of the race over the final two flights, and stayed on strongly to win.
A couple of local horses were prominent in two of the later races on the card.
Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman was celebrating his first win of the National Hunt season at his local course.
L’Es Fremantle got up by three-quarters-of-a-length in the fifth race of the afternoon, a two-mile five-furlong chase.
The horse went to post at 80-1, much shorter odds than the 250-1 he went to post at Nottingham in his last race a month ago, and 300-1 in the race before that.
Rachel McDonald was on board for Chapman and gave the winner a great ride in the nine horse race.
Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Picknick Park who finished fourth, this time in the final race on the card, a class four handicap hurdle.
The six-year-old, ridden by Andrew Tinkler, has been lightly raced in recent times and this was his first outing for six months.
This was the first of three County Racedays in the run-up to Christmas with the next meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 22.