Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Hello Bud wows 16,000 Coral Scottish Grand National crowd
By: Iain Ferguson
PADDY, Nigel and Bud were the toast of Ayr on Saturday night when jockey Paddy Brennan steered trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Hello Bud to an all the way win in Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse.
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A crowd of more than 16,000 packed the course which was bathed in sunshine as the 17 runners battled for Scotland’s richest and most prestigious jumps prize.
And the 11 year old Hello Bud, a 12/1 shot, was a worthy winner as he held off a storming Tony McCoy inspired finish from Gone To Lunch to win by half a length.
After the race Paddy Brennan was in ecstatic mood and said: “What a thrill that was. He just kept battling on. It was a great team effort from everyone connected with the horse. The course was magnificent and a great credit to the ground staff.”
And Nigel Twiston-Davies savouring his third Scottish Grand National added: “He’s done it beautifully and we will now aim him for Aintree next year.”
There was no Scottish trained runner in the race after Merigo was pulled out because of the quick ground, but as a spectacle the 2009 Coral Scottish Grand National will be remembered as one of the best ever.
The crowds took advantage of the great weather to pack the champagne lawns and there was a terrific atmosphere with everyone enjoying the mix of good racing and the sun shining.
Elsewhere over the two days there was some terrific racing and exciting finishes. The main supporting race on Saturday, the Samsung Electronics Scottish Champion Hurdle won by the Nicky Richards trained Noble Alan (17/2). Davy Condon rode a fine race on the grey to win by two lengths from Secret Tune.
There were two big priced winners on Saturday in the first and last races. Apartman landed the opener, the Purvis Marquees Juvenile Novices Hurdle at 22/1. Trained by George Charlton and ridden by Czech jockey Jan Faltejsek the four year-old cruised home by 15 lengths.
In the last race, the Ashleybank Investments National Hunt Flat Race, 50/1 chance Carters Rest won by a length under Harry Haynes for trainer Willie Amos.
Top trainer Nicky Henderson grabbed a double on National day courtesy of The Polomoche (15/2) ridden by Tony McCoy to win the impact-test.co.uk Handicap Hurdle and the Barry Geraghty ridden Pepsyrock (9/4 fav) in the Albert Bartlett and Sons Handicap Chase.
Deep Purple looks to have a good future in chases after landing the Homecoming Future Champion Novices Chase at odds of 15/8 for trainer Evan Williams and jockey Paul Moloney while one of the easiest winners of the meeting was Auroras Encore (17/2) who romped clear under Tijade Collier for trainer Sue Smith to win the Dawn Group Novices Handicap Hurdle by 13 lengths.
Friday’s highlight was Tell Henry’s six length victory in the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase. Ridden by James Reveley and trained by Martin Todhunter the 13/2 chance gained the lead approaching the last and stayed on to win from Calatagan.
Grand Theatre (16/1) was an impressive winner of the Artemis, The Profit Hunter Supporting Poppyscotland Novices Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Davy Condon for trainer Nicky Richards while Even Flo (7/4) outstayed Bougoure to win the John Smith’s Handicap Chase under Jason Maguire for Kim Bailey.
Coral Scottish Grand National winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies had a double on Friday with Distiller (6/4 fav) winning the Weatherbys Printing Handicap Hurdle and Andrew Nick (15/8) landing the Opin Systems Claiming Chase. Both were ridden by Paddy Brennan.
Other winners on Friday were Elzahann (15/2) in the Coral Backing Poppyscotland Mares’ Handicap Hurdle for Ferdy Murphy and jockey Keith Mercer and Solway Sunset (20/1) for Lucy Harrison and Ewan Whillans in the West Sound Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Ayr’s next meeting is the opening flat fixture on Thursday May 28. For more information go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk or call 0870-8505666.
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