TOWCESTER RACES: Favourites are frozen out as none claim top-two finish in seven-race card

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No-one could ever call life at Towcester predictable and Thursday’s fixture proved the point once more.

While it is not entirely unusual for a seven race card to produce no winning favourites it is stretching the imagination for none of the ‘jollies’ to even finish in the first two.

Yet that is what precisely did, or in this case didn’t happen!

It wasn’t until the concluding bumper when 6/4 shot Rose Tree finished third of eight runners to the Seamus Mullins-trained Jubilympics that a favourite paid out on a place in the frame, by which point the Tote Placepot was coughing up £926.20 for a £1 unit.

Trainer Dan Skelton started the ball rolling with Mister Showman (5/2) in the novices’ hurdle when Project Mars the 8/11 favourite, came down at the last flight.

Partnered by Skelton’s brother Harry, the winner meant the trainer has sent out three winners here at the last three meetings.

The same record can be boasted by Charlie Longsdon who was responsible for Midnight Shot (7/4) under Aidan Coleman in the beginners’ chase while the other man to follow here at present is Henry Oliver who followed up Today Please at the last fixture with 7/1 scorer Bertie Lugg in the 2m 5 1/2f conditional jockeys’ handicap chase with Robert Hawker on board.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson came to Towcester for one ride and made it a winning one before haring off to Sedgefield’s evening card for a mount which was beaten.

However, Johnson had the comfort of winning on Londonia (6/1) for Graeme McPherson. It was Johnson’s first Towcester victory since scoring on Kelsey in February last year.

Always back the outside of three is a popular racing adage and the old maxim came up trumps when Rakaia Rose (10/1) took the 2m 4f handicap chase for Dai Williams and Dave Crosse with Irish raider Adarenna unable to repeat a November course victory.

Next up was the remarkable Riddlestown in the 3m handicap hurdle.

Trained by Caroline Fryer in Norfolk, the ten year-old was completing a hat-trick and while Southwell is his favourite track he has also won three times in Northamptonshire.

Seamus Mullins has a favourable record with bumper winners at Towcester over the years and he added to that with 5/2 second favourite Jubilympics in the last.