Super finish from McCoy seals big race at Market Rasen
SOME big-name stars of racing thrilled the crowd on a chilly afternoon at Market Rasen.
Highlights of Thursday's meeting were a double for jockey Jason Maguire, a typical AP McCoy driven finish and an impressive run by a long-term absentee from Steve Gollings' local stable.
The opening Direct 365 Supporting Your Business World Claiming Hurdle saw the first of a double on the afternoon for Maguire on the Brian Leavy-trained Westlin' Winds.
Tried, and found wanting, over fences, the 7-4 shot found hurdles an easier proposition as he saw off Xenophon, ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy.
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Scamblesby trainer Gollings saddled Walkabout Creek in the Novices Hurdle that followed and, under Brian Hughes, he ran a spirited race on his hurdling debut after a lengthy absence.
At the last, the five-year-old had every chance, but found 8-1 shot The Mumper had too much speed on the run in.
There will be another day for Gollings' horse on this showing.
The Mumper looked to be the second string from Alan King's Barbury Castle yard, but stable colleague (1-2F) Uxizandre, on his English debut, disappointed and could only finish third.
Winning jockey Wayne Hutchinson said: "The Mumper is a nice horse and he also won on Monday. You have to ride according to the ground, and he galloped all the way round and right to the line."
The meeting had survived an early morning inspection, but the going was officially soft.
The first chase of the afternoon, the Direct 365 Small Business Washroom Services Beginners' Chase, saw a class performance by the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Changing Times, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.
He barely touched a twig on the way round and had to battle to see off King's Monturgeon under Robert Thornton.
The distance between the first two at the line was five lengths, but the judge needed binoculars to spot the rest 74 lengths adrift.
The Direct 365 Handicap Chase was the feature race of the afternoon – and there was a classic win for McCoy on Mister Hyde.
At the final fence, he had plenty to do to get up over Midnight Soil (11-8) – another of Alan King's horses.
Racecourse presenter Mike Vince said: "We have been treated yet again to a vintage performance by the champ.
"This was one of those seemingly endless magic moments."
Mister Hyde was well suited by this two mile 6½ furlong trip on the soft ground, but would the Jonjo O'Neill trained winner have got up without McCoy's driving finish?
Twiston-Davies sent out Red Hot Poker, who was well fancied in the Direct 365 Janitorial Solutions Handicap Hurdle, but the ten-year-old blundered badly at a flight when mid division and never recovered. Winner was the progressive Likearollingstone (8-1), who gave Maguire his excellent double.
The sixth race, another handicap chase, was impressively won by 3-1 shot Pickworth.
Running off a favourable mark in the weights, James Reveley gave his mount an equally impressive ride.
There was local interest in the Lady Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle with Market Rasen trainer Michael Chapman saddling both Galley Slave and Vogarth, both of whom never challenged.
Grainthorpe rider Chloe Boxall rode the point winner Ancient Times.
Showing them all a clean pair of heels was 4-1 shot Dark Energy.
The next meeting at Market Rasen is on December 6.