Racegoers who turned out for the Betway County Raceday at Market Rasen Racecourse were treated to some decent racing.
Pick of the card were two feature races were the £10,000 EBF National Hunt Novices Hurdle (Class 3), one of a series of qualifiers for a late-season final, and the £11,000 Eric and Lucy Papworth Class 4 Chase.
Jockey and Market Rasen Racecourse ambassador, James Bown explained: “The principals in the EBF Qualifier will all be entitled to run in the final of the series at Sandown the weekend before the Cheltenham Festival.
“A qualifier is run at every National Hunt course in the UK.”
The Paul Nichols-trained McFabulous went off the 6/4 favourite, and ridden by Harry Cobden, he came through at the final flight to impress for the first time over hurdles.
The horse had a smart record in bumpers, winning three of his four starts, including a Grade 2 at Aintree, but had previously disappointed over hurdles.
However, at Rasen McFabulous showed he should have a good career ahead of him, and, according to connections, may go chasing eventually.
Having won here in December, Hometown Boy (13/8) made a good race of it to finish second, but that little bit of extra class from the winner told.
With Nichols not at the course, his assistant was delighted to report back the good news to his boss.
“He has always been a talented horse, but the biggest improvement today was in his jumping,” he said.
“Previously that has been poor. He is a big horse and will probably go chasing eventually.
“He came up here for a bit of nice ground and will perhaps go to Aintree in the spring.”
The feature chase was won by Ultimatum Du Roy, ridden by Kielan Woods.
Trained now by Alex Hales, the 12-year-old is not far short of the veteran ranks and had been out of sorts in his earlier runs this season.
Yet this effort showed there is still life in him when there is decent ground.
The next meeting is on Sunday, the Love Market Rasen Raceday.
Gates open at 12.10pm, with first race off at 2.10pm.
For more information and to book, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/marketrasen