Market Rasen Graduation Chase

The feature race at Market Rasen on Wednesday is the Class 2 Hamilton Graduation Chase, a contest for horses aged 5 years and up. This year’s renewal looks particularly interesting.

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Three Musketeers

The Flemensfirth-sired gelding gave his best performance when winning the G2 Berkshire Novices’ Chase, taking the scalp of Activial among others. He’s been disappointing since then though, although it should be stressed that the 7-year-old has only raced in exceptional company since that Newbury win. Unseated Harry Skelton, last time out, in a Class 2 Newbury handicap so we have yet to see how he responds to stepping down.

Others in contention include King’s Odyssey, Kilcrea Vale and Zamdy Man. Class 2 encounters don’t get much better than this.

Racing At Market Rasen

The course runs right-handed and the distance is one and a quarter miles. There is also a point-to-point track here which runs left-handed. Unlike a lot of National Hunt tracks, Market Rasen is active during both the Summer and the Winter.

The Summer Plate is the most prestigious race to be held at this interesting racing venue, along with the Summer Hurdle. The Summer Plate meeting takes place in the middle of July. While there are much more valuable jumps races in Great Britain, these two are amongst the richest to take place in the Summer.

Market Rasen Racecourse enjoys a very picturesque location, right next to the Lincolnshire Wolds. It is actually the only racecourse that is currently operational in the county of Lincolnshire.

Over 200 Years Of History

Horse racing at Market Rasen began in the year 1800. The White Hart Friendly Society was formed, so that well-heeled men could have head-to-head races against one another. There were various events. Local tavern keepers would also rent land from farmers, so that they could stage races.

However, racing under rules did not take place until the Twentieth Century, This is very unusual in England, where racing has been going on in an official capacity for many years longer.

It wasn’t until the early-1920s that half a dozen local businessman purchased a site on Legsby Road – the property where the course still stands. They set themselves the seemingly impossible task of being ready to hold races by Easter. Incredibly, they managed to achieve this and a huge crowd showed-up on Easter Monday to enjoy the horse racing.

The Summer Plate Meeting

This year, there will be around twenty days of racing at Market Rasen. The Summer Plate meeting will be shown on terrestrial television and an enormous crowd will be there to cheer the horses home.

There are eight fences that require jumping on the steeplechase course. None are regarded as being particularly fraught with danger, although the fifth is slightly tricky as the ground falls away. There are ditches, plain fences and a water-jump. As with Ludlow, the water-jump is in the home straight and is bypassed on the final circuit. While not a completely flat track, undulations at Market Rasen are fairly minor. There are only five obstacles on the hurdles course, which is very straight-forward for the runners and riders to get around.

Bends are sharp at this track, so it is very important for horses to take a prominent position on the rails if they are going to put in a competitive race. About twenty-five percent of Market Rasen winners make all, while a full seventy-five percent of winners race prominently. This is not a course that favours hold-up horses.

Market Rasen always offers a good day out, if you ever find yourself close-by on a race-day. Create a RaceBets account and you will be able to bet on every fixture, at this historic venue.

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