04.04.09 - THE GRAND NATIONAL
More news and quotes from the second day of the John Smith's Grand National meeting, Friday 3rd April
Sixth race - The totesport Handicap Hurdle
RUPERT’S TIME FOR GLORY
Time For Rupert sprang a 50/1 surprise in the totepool Handicap Hurdle when showing great tenacity to repel Inchidaly Rock and Ruby Walsh. The runner-up chased him every inch to the line after the Paul Webber-trained winner had taken the lead turning for home.
Time For Rupert’s delighted jockey William Kennedy said: "I was a bit worried when Ruby (Walsh) came up beside me because he beat me here last year a short-head so I thought ‘not again’. But my horse is really tough. He got headed at Huntingdon when he won but battled back after the last.
"He’s a little bit green and he’s still only a baby - it’s only a year ago he won his first bumper so that was a big step up for him. I thought he’d run a big race last time at Sandown but he got hampered quite badly and was nearly put over the rail. I could have quite easily pulled him up as the race was over but I think that made a man of him really. In these big handicaps they have to be tough but he battled well today and he’s a very good horse."
The five-year-old son of Flemensfirth appeared slightly distressed after the race and was escorted back to the stables by his trainer.
Kennedy added: "He’s given me everything but I think he’s going to be okay. He just needs a wash and a drink."
Earlier on the card, Kennedy and his John Smith’s Topham Chase mount The Sawyer were still in contention when falling at the last.
Kennedy said: "The Sawyer gave me a really good round and he didn’t deserve to fall at the last but he was just so tired. This win is some compensation for that."
Race 6: totepool Handicap Hurdle
RELIABLE KAWAGINO KEEPS MULLINS ON BIG STAGE
Kawagino's annual appearance at Aintree did not quite reap the reward hoped for by trainer Seamus Mullins, but the horse picked up some useful prize money when finishing third in the totepool Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Wayne Kavanagh, nine-year-old Kawagino was taking part in his 49th contest, having begun racing as a two-year-old for trainer Nerys Dutfield. He finished fifth in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on his previous appearance, and Mullins, who is based near Amesbury in Wiltshire, said: "He's taken us to Cheltenham and Aintree every year for the past four years - he's not missed a meeting.
"He ran the race of his life today and Wayne said he improved from Cheltenham. He loves the spring and is just coming to himself, but it's doubtful whether there's anything left for him this season.
"He definitely wouldn't go to Punchestown because there is no suitable race for him, but if I did run him again it would probably be in a two-and-a-half mile hurdle at Sandown on Bet 365 Gold Cup day.
"I really thought we had a big chance today and it would have been so nice to win one of these types of races. It's all down to him - his mentality and being well in himself. There's a big race in him - he deserves one."
Trainer Paul Nicholls was philosophical after Inchidaly Rock's second. "We did everything but win," said the trainer, who had seen the same thing happen in the day's opener with American Trilogy.
Nicholls gave credit, though, to the winner. "I've always followed him because Mahonia [who is trained by Nicholls] is his half-brother. He won really well at the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon and then he ran moderately at Sandown. If you took the Sidney Banks form, he was a massive price (50/1). So, he's obviously a fair animal."
For Inchidaly Rock, there will be no more races this season. "He'll probably go chasing next year. He'll make a nice staying chaser next year," said Nicholls.
Seventh race - The John Smith’s Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race
KIELY CELEBRATES A 1-2 IN THE BUMPER AS MARES SHINE ON LADIES’ DAY
Irish trainer John Kiely made his first visit to Aintree a truly memorable one when his two charges Candy Creek and Liss Na Tintri ran home first and second in the John Smith’s Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race to bring the curtain down on Ladies’ Day.
"They’re both very good fillies. I didn’t really want to run them against each other but this is a fantastic opportunity for fillies to get a bit of black type," said the Co Waterford trainer.
"We’ll take Candy Creek home now and give her a break. I thought on the ground that she would probably be a bit better (than Liss Na Tintri). The other one is really more of a two-and-a-half-mile horse but she’s also very exciting. I’ve been training for the Flynns (Liss Na Tintri’s owner/breeders) for more than 30 years and she’s a good filly from a great family."
Kiely added: "This is my first time ever at Aintree. My brother Paddy had a ride in the 1972 Grand National and finished third so it’s been a lucky place for us."
Winning owner Edmond Kent, from Cork, was confident that Candy Creek, who was bred by his brother Richard’s Helshaw Grange Stud, would put up a good show. He said: "I’m very pleased indeed - we fancied her - she’s shown us a lot of class at home and she’s with a top trainer."
Kent, who was responsible for Denman in his formative years after the star chaser was bred by his brother-in-law Colman O’Flynn, continued: "We came over yesterday to see Denman but we’re taking Candy Creek home on the boat tonight so we’ll celebrate when we get there."
Seventh Race: The John Smith’s Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race
MORNING RUNS FREE
Morning Supreme raced freely when she contested the Weatherby Champion Bumper in the Cheltenham Festival last month and she ran a very similar race in the John Smith’s Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat race, in which she started the 3/1 favourite.
After six furlongs, Morning Supreme had gone about a dozen lengths clear, and given the early expenditure, it was a sound effort by the mare to finish in third place, just over six lengths behind the winner Candy Creek.
Trainer Willie Mullins reckoned his mare was: "Just too fast over the first two furlongs. She was the same at Cheltenham and when she won her maiden at Downpatrick. She went clear then and won by 19 lengths."
The trainer was nevertheless "delighted" with the performance and suggested the mare will, "Improve a lot once she gets a few hurdles in front of her, next season."
FIVE IN STYLE FOR THE FASHION SHOWDOWN AND A £500 BIG-RACE BET
Five racegoers have been invited back to Aintree tomorrow for the final of Style 2009 - the ultimate racecourse competition with prizes worth £35,000!
Some 2,000 male and female racegoers took part in today's preliminary parade in which they were judged on taste, style and elegance. Judges chose the select quintet who will reappear for the final hosted by Liverpool Style ambassador Coleen Rooney.
The fortunate five, comprising four women and one man, are: Samantha Marsh, Georgina McLinden, Laura Moran, Ian Munro and Jayne Webb.
They will vie for a fabulous set of prizes, including that free £500 Totepool bet on the John Smith's Grand National - last year's Style winner, Anna Perez, nearly scooped a whopping payout on King Johns Castle, who finished second at an SP of 20-1.
The lucky winner will also gain the keys to a brand new Citroen C-Crosser, 2.2HDi Exclusive, worth more than £25,000.
A luxury 10-day Almond Resorts premier all-inclusive Caribbean holiday for two to Barbados or St Lucia.
A starring role in Matalan's autumn fashion campaign, including a photoshoot in a top London studio where the winner will be made up by a team of professional hair and make-up artists and styled by international fashion designer Jeff Banks. From the day they will be given a set of professional photographs and all the outfits modelled. Plus, after a hard day's work on set, they will be treated to dinner at top London restaurant The Ivy before falling into bed at a luxury hotel.
A year's subscription to Reveal Magazine, so the winner will be able to keep up to date with the latest celebrity stories and fashion issues.
The crowd at Aintree today was 50,722, four per cent lower than the figure on the same day 12 months ago.
Julian Thick, Aintree’s Managing Director, said: "We’re delighted so many people have come out and enjoyed Ladies’ Day. To get over 50,000 people with everything else going on in the world is very encouraging."
With rain forecast tonight, there will be no more watering of the course ahead of John Smith’s Grand National day tomorrow.
Andrew Tulloch, Aintree’s Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course, said: "We’re forecast two to four millimetres of rain tonight with an outside chance of five to six millimetres. It’s due to come in about midnight and then hopefully clear by 7am tomorrow.
"All the hurdles will be moved to produce fresh ground and all the chase bends on the Mildmay Course will be moved as well.
"We put on between two and four millimetres of water last night and a bit more on the National course and that’s what we want to fall tonight. If five or six millimetres do fall overnight then the ground will be a bit easier than today and the temperature is set to be about 12 degrees tomorrow, so a bit cooler with the chance of the odd shower."
The going is
GOOD on the Mildmay and Hurdle Courses
GOOD, GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES on the Grand National Course
Ruby Walsh picked up a one-day ban after his ride on second-placed American Trilogy in the opening highstreetvouchers.com Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree today.
The stewards found Walsh guilty of improper riding regarding his use of the whip and banned him for one day (Friday, April 17).
Jockey Johnny Farrelly received a four-day ban (Friday, April 17 to Monday, April 20 inclusive) following his ride on Milan Deux Mille in the John Smith’s Topham Chase.
The stewards found Farrelly guilty of ignoring the starter’s instructions.
Jimmy McCarthy received a two-day ban following his winning ride on Ogee in the Citroën Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
It was held by the stewards that McCarthy had used his whip in the incorrect place.
McCarthy’s suspension will take place on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.
Lillia Sophia broke her left hind tibia in the John Smith’s Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race and sadly had to be humanely put down.
BANS FOR FLOOD AND O’KEEFFE
Jockey Paddy Flood was banned for one day following his ride on second-placed Schindlers Hunt in the John Smith’s Melling Chase.
The stewards found Flood guilty of using his whip in the wrong place after the final fence. The ban will take effect on Friday, April 17.
Alan O’Keeffe received a three-day ban following his ride on the unplaced Basford Lass in the John Smith’s Mares Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. The stewards found O’Keeffe guilty of using his whip when out of contention. O’Keeffe’s ban takes on Friday, April 17 to Sunday, April 19, inclusive.
G4S LEADING RIDER AWARD
SECOND DAY STANDINGS
Jockey Win 2nd 3rd
Robert Thornton 3 - 1
Ruby Walsh 2 2 -
Paddy Brennan 2 - 1
Tony McCoy 1 1 2
Dominic Elsworth 1 - -
Mr Tom Greenall 1 - -
William Kennedy 1 - -
Jimmy McCarthy 1 - -
Denis O’Regan 1 - -
Tom Scudamore 1 - -
Richard Johnson - 2 2
Davy Russell - 1 2
Miss Claire Allen - 1 -
David Casey - 1 -
Seamus Durack - 1 -
Noel Fehily - 1 -
Paddy Flood - 1 -
Jason Maguire - 1 -
Paul Moloney - 1 -
Liam Treadwell - 1 -
Mattie Batchelor - - 1
Rhys Flint - - 1
Wayne Kavanagh - - 1
Mr J T McNamara - - 1
Mr Patrick Mullins - - 1
Timmy Murphy - - 1
AINTREE LEADING TRAINER
SECOND DAY STANDINGS
Trainer Win 2nd 3rd
Alan King 3 - -
Paul Nicholls 1 2 -
Jonjo O’Neill 1 1 1
John Kiely IRE 1 1 -
Tom George 1 - 1
Nigel Twiston-Davies 1 - 1
Richard Barber 1 - -
Howard Johnson 1 - -
David Pipe 1 - -
Renee Robeson 1 - -
Lucy Wadham 1 - -
Paul Webber 1 - -
Philip Hobbs - 1 3
Dessie Hughes IRE - 1 1
Henry Daly - 1 -
Charlie Mann - 1 -
Donald McCain - 1 -
Charlie Swan IRE - 1 -
Sue Taylor - 1 -
Tim Vaughan - 1 -
Evan Williams - 1 -
Venetia Williams - 1 -
Mark Bradstock - 1
Alan Fleming - - 1
Henrietta Knight - - 1
Seamus Mullins - - 1
Willie Mullins IRE - - 1
Ferdy Murphy - - 1
Edward O’Grady - - 1
2.00pm highstreetvouchers.com TOP NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE TWO)
EL DANCER (Ron Davies) Lucy Wadham 5-11-0 Dominic Elsworth 14/1
2.35pm matalan.co.uk MILDMAY NOVICES’ CHASE (GRADE TWO)
KILLYGLEN (D McCammon) Howard Johnson 7-11-3 Denis O’Regan 7/1
3.10pm JOHN SMITH’S MELLING CHASE (GRADE ONE)
VOY POR USTEDES (Sir Robert Ogden) Alan King 8-11-0 Robert Thornton 15/8f
3.45pm JOHN SMITH’S TOPHAM CHASE (HANDICAP)
IRISH RAPTOR (Caroline Beresford-Wylie) Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-10-0 Paddy Brennan 8/1f
4.20pm CITROEN SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
OGEE (Sir Evelyn de Rothschild) Renee Robeson 6-11-4 Jimmy McCarthy 25/1
4.55pm totepool HANDICAP HURDLE (LISTED)
TIME FOR RUPERT (Littlecote Racing Partnership) Paul Webber 5-10-10 William Kennedy 50/1
5.30pm JOHN SMITH’S MARES’ STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE (LISTED)
CANDY CREEK (Edmond Kent) John Kiely IRE 5-11-4 Ruby Walsh 9/2
2.00pm JOHN SMITH’S LIVERPOOL HURDLE (GRADE TWO)
BIG BUCK’S (The Stewart Family) Paul Nicholls 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh 5/6f
2.35pm MATALAN ANNIVERSARY 4YO NOVICES’ HURDLE (GRADE ONE)
WALKON (McNeill Racing) Alan King 4-11-0 Robert Thornton 2/1f
3.10pm totesport BOWL CHASE (GRADE TWO)
MADISON DU BERLAIS (Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II) David Pipe 8-11-0 Tom Scudamore 12/1
3.45pm JOHN SMITH’S FOX HUNTERS’ CHASE
TRUST FUND (Lord Daresbury) Richard Barber 11-12-0 Mr Tom Greenall 13/2
4.20pm JOHN SMITH’S RED RUM HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE THREE)
OH CRICK (David Sewell) Alan King 6-11-1 Robert Thornton 7/1 co-fav
4.55pm JOHN SMITH’S MANIFESTO NOVICES’ CHASE (GRADE TWO)
TARTAK (Power Panels Electrical Systems Ltd) Tom George 6-11-4 Paddy Brennan 11/2
5.30pm SILVER CROSS HANDICAP HURDLE (LISTED)
SUNNYHILLBOY (JP McManus) Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-0 Tony McCoy 8/1