Market Rasen welcomes back racegoers for first time in 2021 on Thursday
Market Rasen hosts an excellent seven-race card on Thursday afternoon as the racecourse welcomes back crowds for the first time in 2021. Around 4,000 people are allowed at the track under new Covid-19 guidelines for sport and the action gets underway at 1.10pm and culminates at 4.30pm. We have previewed the pick of the action.
The highlight of the card is the £14,000 Tickets Available For Boxing Day Handicap Hurdle at 2.55pm. The two and a half-mile event has attracted a field of 14 and includes top-weight Commanche Red who was fourth at Sandown last time out in a competitive race, having previously scored at Plumpton in April.
Sarasota Star was progressive for Martin Keighley last term and was unlucky when unseating rider at Cheltenham on his latest start. He remains open to further improvement, as does Fair Mountain who was arguably disappointing at Sedgefield in March, but looks very well handicapped on the pick of his best form off a mark of 117.
Shinobi was outclassed in a Listed event at Kempton in January, before he struggled over a longer trip when sixth at Market Rasen in April, whilst When You’re Ready has improved steadily this term and is respected based on a narrow win at Leicester in January.
Thistle Do Nicely was well-beaten in Graded company at Aintree in April, but has plenty of smart form in his back catalogue, whilst Breaking Waves has filled the placings on his last two starts and is another possible contender. Kajaki, a good second at Perth last time out also warrants a mention.
Elsewhere on the card, the C31 Limited Handicap Chase carries a prize fund of £8,000 and has attracted seven runners for the extended three miles and three furlong event at 4.00pm. Minella Voucher (11/4) comes into the race on the back of a string of solid efforts in defeat, including when second at Ffos Las last time out and should be suited by this step up in trip.
Sigurd (3/1) has the services of former champion jockey Brian Hughes and bids to back up a good third at Wetherby last time, in which he was two and a quarter-lengths behind Bafana Blue (9/2) who reopposes this afternoon.
Lord Getaway (5/1) hit the frame on his last start and is also respected along with Well Smitten (6/1) who was not seen to best effect at Worcester earlier this month.
Top-weight Very First Time (8/1) has struggled on late despite wind surgery and looks up against it along with the outsider of the party Hedgeinator (12/1) who completes the seven runners.
The £5,800 Book Betway Summer Plate Ladies Day Maiden Hurdle (2.20pm) is another intriguing event in which Master Templar (6/4) makes appeal for Olly Murphy. The six-year-old was a good third at Stratofrd in November, before failing to fire when pulled-up at Ludlow in March. The Robin Des Champs gelding has undergone wind surgery since and looks a leading player for this assignment and warrants his position at the head of the market at 6/4. Lough Har (13/8), another horse to have disappointed on his last two starts and Tiny Tantrum (7/1) look the main market rivals.
Market Rasen Selections
1.45pm Oasis Prince
2.20pm Master Templar
2.55pm Fair Mountain
4.30pm Guerlain Bellevue