A festive crowd enjoyed some competitive racing at the traditional Boxing Day meeting at Market Rasen where thankfully racing went ahead despite the recent record rainfall.
The 23rd running of the Clugston Lincolnshire National, a Class Three race, provided the highlight of the festive meeting, as always on Boxing Day
The soft going provided a gruelling test for this ever popular three-mile three-furlong chase.
With nine runners going to post this year, there was to be no local hero, no Lincolnshire-based horse like Gonalston Cloud – the 2017 winner trained by Nick Kent at Brigg – to challenge the visitors from afar.
But the race proved very competitive with Hugo N Taz winning for leading trainer David Pipe, from Somerset.
The eight-year-old was winning for the first time since surgery, and this was his stable debut after the move to Pipe’s yard.
Anyone with a fancy for the favourites had a good start to the afternoon with the first two favourites winning the opening two hurdles.
Claiming the opening race, a seller, was Baracula (7/4) from the Triston Davidson yard at Carlisle whose long journey proved well worthwhile.
Saddling the only local horse on the card was Market Rasen handler Michael Chapman, who saw his Port Lairge finish sixth, having led briefly early on.
Alexandra Bell, who claims 7lb, was on board for Chapman.
Winning the second race at a canter was the impressive Millers Bank, the 6/4 joint-favourite who had Kielan Woods in the saddle for trainer Alex Hales.
A winner previously over hurdles and three times in bumpers last season, he looks to have an interesting future ahead.
The first chase saw a win for experienced jockey Aidan Coleman on board top weight Zolfo.
He had to work much harder on the 3/1 shot before getting his mount clear by the post.