Richards strikes Rasen gold
A review of the pick of the action from Market Rasen where Gold Futures looked a young recruit on the upgrade.
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Gold Futures looked a young recruit on the upgrade when he put seasoned campaigners in their place in the Don Noble Heath Hayes Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen.
Despite his relative inexperience, the five-year-old was sent off the 11-8 favourite and obliged in fetching style to complete a hat-trick.
Australia Day set off in his usual trailblazing fashion until he was headed before the second-last flight by Gold Futures, who sailed away to win by seven lengths.
"He's going the right way," said trainer Nicky Richards. "He's had a very good summer up to now. He'll tell us when he wants to go again.
"There are various races, but we'll take our time. Chasing is more his game. No doubt the handicapper is going to put a stop to him winning at some stage.
"I won't be over-racing him before we go chasing."
Tony McCoy wasted little time getting on the scoresheet on his return from a short spell on the sidelines as he struck on The Nephew in the Don Noble Hasland Handicap Chase.
The 19-times champion took time off after a fall at Worcester on Wednesday but got back in the groove on the Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old.
Dictating proceedings from the outset, The Nephew (7-2) was not seriously troubled as he came home eight lengths clear of His Excellency.
Tom Scudamore may have been out of luck on the latter, but he was rewarded with a 35-1 double on Ainsi Fideles and Mister Wiseman.
Ainsi Fideles (3-1) made a winning debut over fences when destroying the opposition in the Don Noble Bartley Green Beginners Chase.
Wearing blinkers for the first time, the David Pipe-trained four-year-old was far too good for his older rivals, with the only scare coming when he put in a hairy jump at the first.
Left in the lead when Tax Benefit came down at the fifth fence, Ainsi Fideles steadily pulled away and was 23 lengths clear of his nearest pursuer Welsh Bard at the line.
"He did it nicely and a very pleasing debut. He had a little jink at the first, but once we got that out of the way he was pretty much foot-perfect and jumped impeccably after that," Scudamore told Racing UK.
Scudamore doubled up when Mister Wiseman (8-1) repeated last year's victory in the Don Noble Leicester Handicap Chase.
After allowing Train Of Thought to do the donkey work up front, Scudamore sent Nigel Hawke's charge on after four out and galloped on stoutly to score by from a length and three-quarters from The Society Man.
Alderbrook Lad (7-2) made all to deny the odds-on Manjakani and complete a hat-trick in the Don Noble Coalville Novices' Hurdle.
Micky Hammond's eight-year-old defied a double penalty under 5lb claimer Joe Colliver and ran McCoy's mount into the ground as he beat him by 12 lengths.
The David Evans-trained Scotsbrook Cloud (9-1) capitalised on a final-flight error by Weather Babe to land the Tom Halliday Memorial Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle by three and three-quarter lengths under Peter Carberry.