Market Rasen Racecourse ambassador Sean Bowen landed the Victor Lucas Memorial Handicap Hurdle as the Lincolnshire track got its 2018/19 jump racing season off to a start.
The 20-year-old was riding for his father, trainer Peter Bowen, and narrowly defeated the favourite on the 9-1 shot Souriyan in a race held in memory of the man who managed the racecourse from 1945 to 1971.
Trainer Dan Skelton and his brother Harry have an enviable record at the racecourse and they combined to win the opener and the finale. Maire Banrigh took the 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Handicap Hurdle at 7-4 before Tokay Dokey won the Rase Equine bumper at 11-2.
Three times champion jockey Richard Johnson got on the scoreboard too, on 3-1 chance Monthyne in the second division of the Sherwood Marquees Handicap Hurdle.
Other winners during the afternoon were Shady Glen at 10-1 in the Jean & Byron White Memorial Handicap Chase, Great Colaci at 12-1 in the Lucas Machinery Ltd Handicap Hurdle, Doctor Thea at 7-1 in the first division of the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle and Midnight Mustang at 11-1 in the ROA/Racing Post Owners’ Jackpot Handicap Chase.
Among the attractions is Neptune Collonges, the first grey horse for over 50 years to win the Grand National in 2012, one of a number of well-known equine names in a parade of former racehorses.
‘Horseplay Raceday’ is a day of fantastic sport, education and fun. There will be show jumping and dressage including a side-saddle display with former racehorse Wild West. On course for the big day are the real-life version of Market Rasen’s racecourse mascot, Gerald the Appaloosa, and his friend Perkin the Shetland pony.
Education charity Racing to School will be providing behind the scenes tours, including trips to the start of races, inside the weighing room and in the parade ring. Plus, there are farrier demonstrations and the chance to try the racehorse simulator the ‘Equiciser’.