Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 11th 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, April 11, 2015
The Druid s Nephew has been my strong
fancy for the Aintree Grand National Hand-
icap Chase over four a half miles this after-
noon since weights were published; noth-
ing has happened to give reason(s) for
change of mind.
Indeed The Druids Nephew carried my
money in the three and a quarter miles
Hennessy at Newbury last November; a
series of mistakes down the far did for this
redoubtable eight-year-old but, amazingly,
he then got back into contention early in
the straight before, inevitably, fading under
That effort was not lost on this columnist
and we landed a touch when TDN romped
home under Barry Geraghty at the Chel-
tenham Festival; with both jockeys sidelined
due to battlefield injuries Aidan Coleman
is booked on this occasion, none better.
Obviously the Worlds greatest horserace
is a law unto itself but it still requires a cer-
tain type; The Druids Nephew reminds of
Red Rum, three times winner in the 70 s
and an absolute legend given he jumped 150
fences in five outings and never made a
mistake which resulted in three victories
and two seconds.
Red Rum kept low at the fences, brushing
through, and The Druids Nephew appears
to have developed a similar technique which
enables the stride(s) to be unbroken.
Over the years I ve seldom felt confident
enough for a serious punt but The Druids
Nephew has a stone in hand; obviously it s
a question of a clear round and hitting
something like his TH mark. Let s take a
chance and if he s brought down at the first,
that s racing!
Clash of the day is Zarkandar attempting
to reverse World Hurdle placings with all-
the-way winner, Cole Harden, in the grade
one Liverpool Hurdle, over a similar distance
of three miles
Paul Nicholls enigmatic charge is tailor-
made for this speed track, none of the others
has any chance given a likely searching
gallop and I ll bet Zarkandar and Sam
Twiston Davies do the biz!
There are also three flat fixtures, Wolver-
hampton (evening), good to soft Newcsastle
and Lingfield where once-raced Fire And
Passion looks a special for the ten-runner
three-year-old Maiden Stakes over seven
furlongs; don t oppose.
2.50 Zarkandar (e.w)
4.15 The Druids Nephew (nap)
1.15 Fire And Passion.
Go with Fire and Passion Amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen claimed a sixth
victory over the Grand National fences at Aintree
as Rajdhani Express galloped clear in the Crabbie s
Favourite for the Grade One Melling Chase on the
same card 12 months ago, the Nicky Henderson-
trained eight-year-old has endured a largely disap-
pointing campaign this time around, but did shape
with some promise in defeat at Cheltenham last
Among the leading contenders for his return to
Merseyside as a 10-1 shot, Rajdhani Express was
given time to find his feet by Waley-Cohen before
creeping closer down the back straight.
In a eventful race in which plenty to came to grief,
Rajdhani Express was well placed from the Canal
Turn and tracked the positively-ridden Fairy Rath
into the straight.
The pair had it between them after jumping the
final fence and it was Henderson s charge who stayed
on best from the elbow to emerge victorious by 10
Fairy Rath was in turn clear of Rathlin in third,
with Henderson s top-weight Hunt Ball fourth.
Waley Cohen said: "He was so good. He wasn t
sure over the first couple so I just wanted to keep
positive but he s got so much scope.
"The last ditch I was on a really long stride and
thinking please come up and he did.
"He s been a superstar for us, we bred him at
home. I really fancied him for this for a long time,
as he s such a natural jumper.
"You just need so muck luck. You need the others
to leave you alone, I saw a loose horse running down
a fence at one point and I was thinking oh oh,
Foinavon again but we missed him."
Henderson said: "It s an extraordinary thing, he
does have an affinity with these fences, you can t
put it into words really.
"It s an extraordinary record, we ve been teaming
up for a few years - we just need to find the clue
to a Grand National between us because I think that
is our third Topham in a row, it s just harder to find
the Saturday one.
"He was very good when we schooled him the
other day and he looked the right article. I ll be
cheering him on tomorrow."
Trainer Nick Gifford said of Fairy Rath: "That was
terrific. It s been two years in the planning. I wanted
to run him last year, but he probably wouldn t have
"The whole campaign has been built around this
race. This has reinforced my opinion of this horse,
that he was made for Aintree.
"We ll have to try and go for the National next
year. He s the right age, but there s only one way
for him to run. He doesn t like being held up."
Eddie O Leary, racing manager for Rathlin s owners
Gigginstown House Stud, said: "We ve proud of our
horse. He couldn t go the early pace and made one
mistake that cost him any chance of winning the
race, but that Sam Waley-Cohen is phenomenal."
Henderson was completing a double on the card
after conditional jockey Jerry McGrath got the better
of champion Tony McCoy to land the spoils in the
opening Alder Hey Children s Charity Handicap
McGrath brought the five-year-old to join the
leaders at the third-last flight before going on two
out, only to discover the threatening presence of the
soon-to-retire McCoy coming at him on the run
home on the 11-2 favourite The Saint James.
However, the 3lb claimer kept Theinval (7-1) up
to his work to win by half a length. Daneking was
a length away third and Stonebrook fourth.
Henderson felt Thenival deserved his success after
not making the cut at Cheltenham.
"He s a horse that s been doing everything right.
He was unlucky to just get ballotted out at Chel-
tenham," he said.
Ger Lyons takes the wraps
off his exciting prospect End-
less Drama in the Leopard-
stown 2,000 Guineas Trial
Hugely impressive when
winning his only start at two,
he was subsequently bought
by a partnership which includes
Qatar Racing and Andrea
Atzeni takes the ride.
Portage looks an interesting
runner for Mick Halford in the
Godolphin silks, and Sheikh
Mohammed s operation will also
be represented by the Jim Bol-
ger-trained duo of Parish Boy
Dermot Weld runs the well-
regarded Zawraq, another to win his only race last year, while Aidan
O Brien s runner is Jamaica, fourth in the Acomb at York.
In the 1,000 Guineas Trial, O Brien runs Qualify, a Group Three
winner in a busy campaign at two who will be ridden by Ryan Moore,
and Toogoodtobetrue, third in a Group Two at the Curragh in August.
Atzeni rides Qatar Racing s Stroll Patrol for Johnny Murtagh with
Legatissimo running for David Wachman.
The only unbeaten filly in the race is Michael O Callaghan s Military
Kevin Ryan s Calypso Beat is also among the 10 runners.
5-30--- 10.30 am
14-7--- 1 pm
31-14 --- 6.30 pm
TODAY'S PICK TWO
Times played this year
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30 pm Total
02 OLD LADY
04 DEAD MAN
05 PARSON MAN 2
15 SICK WOMAN 2
18 WATER BOAT 2
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30pm Total
27 LITTLESNAKE 0 1 3 4
28 RED FISH
29 OPIUM MAN
30 HOUSE CAT
31 PARSON WIFE
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
LAST DRAW: FRIDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS
Play Whe results to April 10
13 (Crapaud) 6.30 pm
13 (Crapaud)---10.30 am
12 (King)---1 pm
10 (Monkey)---6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
15 (Sick Woman) 1 pm
5 (Parson Man) 10.30 am
home in Topham
LIVERPOOL---Tony McCoy warmed up for his final Grand
National Steeplechase by cruising to a 26-length win in
yesterday s featured race at the Aintree Festival.
McCoy showed he is in prime form ahead of his last appear-
ance in the National by riding Don Cossack to a dominant
victory in the Melling Chase.
The 19-time champion jockey was also a comfortable winner
in the signature race on Thursday --- the Aintree Hurdle ---
McCoy, Britain s most successful jumps jockey, is retiring
after the current jumps season, which finishes on April 25.
He has suggested he will quit immediately if he wins today s
Grand National on pre-race favourite Shutthefrontdoor.
"Sometimes I feel sad about it," McCoy said. "There s days
when I wish it wasn t coming to an end, but the reality of
it is it is coming to an end. I know deep down it s the right
Don Cossack, the 3-1 joint favorite in the Melling Chase,
dominated a strong field thanks to an impressive display of
jumping in the Grade 1 race over 2 miles, four furlongs.
By the time he had soared over the final fence, fellow join
favorite Champagne Fever had fallen away and Sire de Grugy
--- who won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham
last year --- was out of the race after tumbling with over a
circuit left to run.
"Fair play to the horse --- I got a great spin off him," McCoy
said. "It was very enjoyable."
"I m just trying to keep things as normal as possible and
do my job," McCoy said ahead of the Grand National. "I can
leave the worrying until after I walk out of here on Saturday
McCoy claims another big
win at Aintree Festival
Don Cossack ridden by AP McCoy
heads down the home straight on
the way to winning the Melling
Steeple Chase during Aintree race
meeting's Ladies Day the day before
the Grand National horse race at
Aintree Racecourse Liverpool,
England, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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