Chilli Filli retained her title and gained another Listed victory in the Bud Booth Mares’ Chase at Market Rasen
The Henry Daly-trained eight-year-old was triumphant in the race 12 months ago and ended last season with another black-type win when taking the Fair Maid Of Perth Mares’ Chase in April.
As a result Chilli Filli started as the 11-4 favourite in her bid for a repeat victory, odds she justified when jumping well to involve herself over the third-last before avoiding faller Casablanca Mix and going on to score by a length and a half under Richard Patrick.
“She obviously likes Market Rasen, she made it all very simple really,” Daly said.
“It’s the perfect race for her, if only they could all continue like that!
“She’s fairly straightforward, she’s not difficult to get fit and she’s very, very tough.
“She’s obviously a very good mare, what we really like is winning the bonuses as well as they’re very valuable.
“She unfortunately fell over at Doncaster last year on very heavy ground (Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase), but I think she does want three miles so that might be a possibility for her next.”
It was a notable win for Patrick, too – as the 100th of his career.
The 26-year-old rider said: “I rode my first winner five years ago and lost my claim in December and since then it’s really snowballed, which is really nice.
“I’m very grateful for everyone who puts me up and continues to put me up, so hopefully I can ride another 100 and stay injury free!”
Fergal O’Brien’s Hunny Moon claimed a first fencing victory in the Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Chase, a performance that built on her third-placed run when taking to the bigger obstacles for the first time at Worcester in October.
Ridden by Paddy Brennan, the seven-year-old started at 3-1 and was a comfortable victor after jumping soundly throughout.
The Racing TV Maiden Hurdle went the way of Richard Spencer’s Peejaybee, who returned to the Lincolnshire track to triumph on his hurdling debut having also won a Market Rasen bumper in February.
Ridden by James Bowen, the five-year-old was held up at the rear of the field and threw down a challenge two flights from home, comfortably surging clear to cross the line a taking three and a half lengths ahead of Horizon D’Ainay.
The chestnut was a 7-2 shot, with the race favourite being Alan King’s Raymond Tusk, a classy performer on the Flat but who had to settle for sixth on his jumping bow.
“He jumped well and travelled well, I thought it was a nice performance,” Spencer said of Peejaybee.
“Hopefully, all being well, we can go somewhere under a penalty in another novice and see where that leads us, it was very pleasing.
“I think whatever he does over hurdles he’ll be better as a chaser, as he jumps a fence really well.
“We’ll be mindful of that, I don’t think he wants to be over-raced over hurdles as we’ve got to look to the future over fences, he jumps well now already.
“We’ll keep it low key, try to win a novice under a penalty if we can and then just see what happens then.”
King also saddled the favourite for the Limagrain UK EBF Mares’ “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle with Moonamacaroona (4-5) very nearly coming home the winner, but Jedd O’Keefe’s Fairfield Ferrata (15-8) collared her on the run-in to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Olly Murphy’s fine run of form then continued as Fresh New Dawn took the Racing TV Handicap Chase by a length at 7-2, after which the Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle was claimed by Neil Mulholland’s Mister Sweets at 11-4.