Market Rasen Racing: Wait goes on for Nick Kent’s Picknick

Fanzio on his way to winning the the Class 3 Handicap Hurdle with Paul O'Brien on board. Picture: Peter Thompson EMN-191006-160608002
Fanzio on his way to winning the the Class 3 Handicap Hurdle with Paul O'Brien on board. Picture: Peter Thompson EMN-191006-160608002

Friday’s ‘Madness’ meeting at Market Rasen saw the famous group top the bill, but there was plenty of equine interest for regular racegoers.

One or two races had small fields, but were still competitive, the exception being the first race with a 1/10 winner.

Nick Kent brought three horses from his Newstead yard, near Brigg, and his best hopes came with Picknick Park who was sent off favourite in the fifth race, a handicap chase.

After a good second place at Huntingdon last time out, the local trainer had high hopes that after a string of place finishes he would finally coax a win out of the seven-year-old.

The punters clearly felt the same, backing him down to 2/1, but the winner, with pace on the run-in, was 6/1 shot Anti Cool who had Tabitha Worsley up.

Kent said: “I’m disappointed really that he did not get that win. He did well at Huntingdon, but he just needs to get a win.

“He was a bit flat today. Charlie said he jumped right, and the handicapper keeps penalising us for finishing second. That makes it increasingly hard to win!”

Market Rasen handler Michael Chapman saddled Les Freemantle in the same race, the horse having won here at big odds last year.

There was no repeat, however, as the 10/1 shot, with Rachael McDonald in the saddle, was struggling by the second lap and finished well down the field.

Kent was represented in the second race by Catlin who is showing more over the smaller obstacles after an undistinguished flat career.

Charlie Hammond was again booked for the ride, but Stubbon Logic, the 6/4 favourite with top rider Sam Twiston-Davies, had too much speed and determination for his rivals.

Richard Newland has quite a record at Market Rasen, with 19 winners from 57 runners, and the former Grand National-winning trainer has a similar ratio countrywide.

His five winners from 15 runners in the past two weeks marks a return to form after a lean spell earlier in the year.

The opening Class 4 Novices Hurdle was the one race of the afternoon which proved all too easy for Red Royalist, the 1/10 favourite of the four who went to post.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson had a win on Angel of Harlem in the feature hurdle, the £11,900 Class 3 Elsoms Seeds Handicap Hurdle, staying on well after the last flight.

The-odds on favourite gamely made most of the running and responded to Johnson’s urgings when challenged after the last.

The next meeting at Market Rasen is on Friday, June 21.