Thursday, 27 April 2017
By: Iain Ferguson
SAM Twiston-Davies and Vicente wrote their names into the record books at Ayr Racecourse last Saturday, becoming the first jockey and horse combination in 32 years to win back-to-back Coral Scottish Grand Nationals.
[Pictured: Vicente puts in a spectacular leap on his way to winning
the 2017 Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse.]
After falling at the first at Aintree two weeks ago, Vicente came to Ayr a fresh horse running at a track he obviously loves, and he travelled superbly throughout.
Turning into the home straight it just looked a matter of how far but up ahead Cogry, ironically trained by Sam’s father Nigel and ridden by his friend Jamie Bargary, wasn’t going down without a battle and fought all the way to the line with the winning margin only a neck.
Trainer Paul Nicholls was delighted to win the race for a second successive year and for the third time in all, and the £122,400 first prize edged him closer to Nicky Henderson in the trainers’ championship.
The closest finish over the two days came in the QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle with Chesterfield, trained by Seamus Mullins and ridden by 23 year-old conditional rider Dan Sansom wearing down the Paul Nicholls trained Zubayr by a short head.
It was a particularly strong renewal of the race with L’Ami Serge, who finished fifth and Sceau Royal (ninth) setting the standard running off a BHA mark of 155.
The Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Chase was won by the Malcolm Jefferson trained, Brian Hughes ridden Cloudy Dream who came late and fast to beat Theinval by two lengths. This was an impressive performance from a horse who had been an unlucky second in the previous year’s QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle.
Another Saturday winner who caught the eye was the Nicky Henderson trained Vaniteaux and ridden by Noel Fehily who was much too good for his rivals in the Listed Scotty Brand Handicap Chase coming home five lengths clear of Romain De Senam.
The Listed Hillhouse Quarry Chase with £50,000 in prize-money attracted horses from several leading southern stables and Dan Skelton’s Two Taffs had the race in the bag a long way out under a very confident Dan Skelton ride.
Two Taffs was following up a win in a hurdle race at the meeting last year.
For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.
Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.