McCoy shows his class with a fine Market Rasen victory
CHAMPION jockey Tony McCoy was among the winners as Market Rasen served up an exciting day of racing yesterday.
McCoy gave the Philip Hobbs-trained Thunderstorm (6-4F) a splendid ride in the £10,000 Calvert's Carpets and Flooring Handicap Hurdle – the afternoon's feature race.
The eight-year-old had 20 months off before returning at Plumpton a month ago where he registered the first of four successive wins – the latest coming at Rasen yesterday.
For McCoy, it was the 163rd winner of the season, and it was never in doubt as he moved his mount up through the gears from two out to land the prize.
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The Class 4 ECS Hawksy's Handicap Steeplechase saw only five runners go to post. McCoy was on top weight and 9/4 joint favourite William Money.
After faltering on the second circuit, McCoy roused the six-year-old two fences out and took the last in impressive style looking set to catch the long-time leader Sawpit Supreme (5-1) with Tom Phelen on board.
The latter has a reputation for flattening out late on in races, but held on by a length from his rival.
The third big race of the afternoon was the Class 3 Ted Munnelly Memorial Chase.
Four Jacks (10-11F), trained by Tim Easterby, was sent off as the odds-on favourite with Ifyouletmefinish seemingly his most likely rival.
When the latter blundered and fell on the second lap, the favourite always looked likely to land the prize and was 49 lengths ahead at the post.
Jockey Brian Harding needed binoculars to see the distant Brief Mark (28-1), the only other finisher.
With the going described as soft-good to soft in places, punters were keen to spot those runners with some mid-winter form on the heavy ground. And there was a decent crowd at the course to take in the action.
Timesishard (2-1), a six-year-old trained by Graeme McPherson and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, took the opening novices hurdle.
After being out of his depth in a Grade 2 at Warwick last time, this was a more suitable race for the winner and he saw off nearest challenger Fiddlers Bid (4-1).
Brigg trainer Nick Kent saddled Combustible Kate in the second race, but she was well back.
The trainer admitted after the race that the seven-year-old struggles on heavy ground and will be targeted as a summer jumper again this year.
Will Kennedy had the ride on the winner Crafty Roberto (14-1) in this handicap hurdle.
The horse won by two lengths in the 14-strong field.
Another local horse in this was Tayarat, trained by Michael Chapman at Woodlands, just across Willingham Road, and he also ran unplaced.
Keeverfield (9-1) is a multiple point-to-point winner with one win previously under rules. He was impressively ridden by Samantha Drake in the sixth race, another handicap chase.