Aintree 2008 Live - Saturday
5:50 That's it from a sunny again Aintree, next up is the Puchestown festival starting on 22nd April - see you there.
5:45 Well that's it another festival done and dusted and a thrilling Grand National.
Unfortunately the death of Mckelvey is going to overshadow the race, not least because he was the horse whose preparation was followed by BBC1's One Show. This will give a false image of the sport to non-followers of the sport and will play into the hands of animal aid.
5:40 A mini-gamble was landed in the bumper when Honest John (backed from 25/1 to 14/1) came from virtually nowhere to grap the spoils.
|5:35||Champion National Hunt Flat Race|
|1st||17 Honest John||14/1|
|2nd||13 Touch Of Irish||12/1|
|3rd||14 Cape Tribulation||11/2 jf|
|Distances||2 1/4l , 1 1/4 l|
5:30 Here is where the non-finishers finished their National run
2nd: Black Apalachi, Backbeat, L'Ami (all fell)
3rd : Tumbling Dice, Iron Man (both unseated)
4th: Ardaghey, Fundamentalist (both fell)
6th Bechers: No Full (fell)
8th Canal Turn: Madison Du Berlais, Philson Run (both fell)
11th: Contraband, Kelami (fell)
17th: Point Barrow (pulled up)
19th: Vodka Bleu, Bob Hall, Naunton Brook (all pulled up)
20th: Joaaci (fell), McKelvey (unseated)
22nd Bechers: Butler's Cabin (fell)
25th: Turko (fell), Knowhere (fell), Simon (unseated)
27th: D'Argent (fell)
29th: Dun Doire (pulled up)
30th: Mr Pointment (pulled up.
5:15 News from the National. Sadly last years runner up Mckelvey broke down and had to be destroyed and jockey Mick Fitzgerald has been taken to hospital with a back injury after falling from L'Ami.
5:11 Well what a contrast, if the National was competitive this was the most one sided, facile victory of the week as Endless Power demolished his opponents with consumate ease.
|5:00||John Smith's Tipple Novices' Chase|
|1st||16 Endless Power||25/1|
|2nd||8 Brave Rebellion||14/1|
|Distances||25l , nk|
|15 Ran||NR 9 Dante Hall|
4:55 15 finished the race, here is the full finishing order:
|1st||Comply Or Die|
|2nd||King Johns Castle|
|15th||Milan Deux Mille|
4:51 That win may have hurt the bookies as Comply Or Die had been backed all day, eventually going off joint favourite with Cloudy Lane.
It could be argued that Cloudy Lane was given too gentle a ride by Jason Maguire and was left with too much to do.
4:32 Well David Pipe has followed his father Martin in traing a National winner and in the process broke the recent Irish stranglehold on the race, although the raiders from across the Irish Sea did fill the places. The win also gave owner David Johnson his first National victory
Tony McCoy, once again, came to grief at Bechers Brook on the second circuit - as Richard Hoiles said in commentary he met his nemesis once again.
Crossing the Melling Road for the final time it was impossible to call the winner with any one of ten in with a chance, including Bewleys Berry who was leading, along with Chelsea Harbour who had been leading for quite a while.
Aproaching the second last Bewleys Berry started to fade, Snowy Morning, Comply And Die and King Johns Castle along with Slim Pickings.
By the elbow there were with joint favourite Comply Or Die taking the lead whilst Snowy Morning was starting to fade. Briefly it looked as though King Johns Castle may deny the Pipe runner but in the end the winner was a comfortable 4 length winner.
Last years third, Slim Pickings, finished fourth with Bewleys Berry coming in a tired fifth.
|4:15||John Smith's Grand National Chase|
|1st||33 Comply Or Die||7/1 jf|
|2nd||27 King Johns Castle||20/1|
|3rd||16 Snowy Morning||16/1|
|4th||12 Slim Pickings||10/1|
|Distances||4l , 1 1/2l|
3:50 Good news the sun is back out - lets's hope it stays out. I'm off to my vantage point to watch the race.
3:43 Well just over half an hour to the big one - one of the few races where I get butterfly's beforehand.
3:36 This is getting surreal - a fifth win of the week for the Nicholls / Walsh combo in the most exciting race of the week which began in sunshine and ended in a snowstorm.
Coming to the second last the favourite looked well beaten with Superior Wisdom looking booked for victory. However under a driving run in which Walsh threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Forest Pennant he got up to win on the line, from Superior Wisdom who did not deserve to lose.
A good battle for third and fourth also ensued with the running on According To Pete just getting the better of Reel Charmer.
|3:25||John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle|
|1st||14 Forest Pennant||9/2fav|
|2nd||16 Superior Wisdom||11/1|
|3rd||13 According To Pete||16/1|
|4th||18 Reel Charmer||28/1|
|Distances||1 1/4l , 8l|
3:05 One more race before the "big one" a 22 runner 3 mile hurdle - the jocks will be hoping to get a clear round so don't expect to see any heroics in this one.
2:57 This is one for the punters as Al Eile takes the race for the third time with the Champion Hurdle runner up, Osana, again having to settle for second best.
Straw Bear did well to take third under Tony McCoy especially as he did not seem to get the two and a half miles.
My Way De Solzen disappointed yet again - surely it is time to retire him?
As expected this race was a race too far for Lough Derg, who should not have run in the race.
|1st||2 Al Eile||11/4jf|
|3rd||9 Straw Bear||15/2|
|Distances||10l , 2l|
|9 ran||NR's 3 Elusive Dream 10 Chomba Womba|
3:39 The long distance hurdle is next - Lough Derg is running for the second time in two days. Not sure if that is a wise decision.
3:38 The sun is shining here but the strong wind is still very bitter - even the hardy Liverpool ladies are covering up - more's the pity!!
2:24 Finally a horse has come up with a Cheltenham / Aintree double as Tidal Bay takes the John Smith's Maghull Chase.
In a race dominated by some very iffy jumping from almost every runner, Tidal bay was happy to track the leaders.
Kruguyrova and Takeroc made the running but Kruguyrova's chances were all but ended by a big blunder at the 6th, from which the jockey did very well to recover. This left Takeroc in the lead and it looked as though he could have led to the line.
However Tidal Bay launched his challenge in the home straight and once he passed Takeroc the contest was over.
|2:15||John Smith's Maghull Chase|
|1st||8 Tidal Bay||6/4|
|Distances||6l , 4l|
|8 Ran||6 Perce Rock w/d|
2:10 A good day for me being a Pompey boy - Portsmouth have beaten West Brom 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final
2:02 Perce Rock has bee withdrawn from the next where Tidal Bay is just favourite - I think another so called "good thing" to be beaten.
Also another non-runner in the 5:00 - Dante Hall
1:52 First blood to the bookies as the favourite, Song of Songs is pulled up.
A great run from Peal King, raced mid division before launching a challenge in the home straight - also his first run for 315 days - a great training performance from the Hobbs stable. Speaking after the race the trainer admitted he was expecting to be placed at best.
To illustrate the ups and downs of racing Ruby Walsh is unshipped from Poquelin at the 3rd.
|1:45||John Smith's Extra Smooth handicap Hurdle|
|1st||17 Pearl King||10/1|
|Distances||7l , 8l|
|21 ran||NR 6 Crossbow Creek|
1:33 less than 15 mins to the first race proper
12:45 Congratulations to Clare Twemlow on Zabeel Palace who has won the People's Race who is returning to the winners enclosure with a massive smile on her face. Well done also to Lynda Evans on the runner-up Trinity Rose.
Clare is a 29 year old accountant from Newmarket
12:30 For some the big race of the day is about to be run - The People's Race
11:20 Another non-runner Crossbow Creek in the first.
11:00 The sun has finally come out, the crowds are starting to arrive but it is still flipping cold.
10:45 Had better concentrate on the racing. Two non-runners so far both in the big hurdle. Elusive Dream is no surprise as he ran on Thursday. Chomba Womba is out with a vets certificate, slightly lame behind, a bit of a pity as I had her as a possible decent outsider.
10:40 It is a bitterly cold wind out there - I would not want to be out there just in riding silks. I hope the Liverpool lassies dress more appropriately today othewise St Johns will be doing a great deal of hypothermia treatment.
9:05 Forgot to say there is quite a wind blowing. Off to walk the course now - something everyone should do - the size of the fences are awesome. Many talk of The Chair and Bechers but I think the most intimidating fence is the open ditch two after Valentines.
8:35 Good morning, it has been basically dry over night with just a light shower. It is currently overcast and a little bit cooler than the previous two days.