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
Tote Win £23.00
Places £5.10 £2.90 £2.60
Exacta £234.30 CSF £177.51
Distances 2 1/4l , 1 1/4 l
20 Ran


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
3rd 1 Blaeberry 7/1
Tote Win £46.00
Places £9.60 £5.00 £3.00
Exacta £917.40 CSF £334.74
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
3rd Snowy Morning
4th Slim Pickings
5th Bewleys Berry
6th Cloudy Lane
7th Nadover
8th Baily Breeze
9th Chelsea Harbour
10th Mon Mome
11th Hi Cloy
12th Cornish Sett
13th Hedgehunter
14th Idle Talk
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
Tote Win £8.90
Places £2.50 £4.60 £5.00 £3.10
Exacta £172.10 CSF £148.57
Distances 4l , 1 1/2l
40 Ran


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
Tote Win £5.70
Places £1.80 £3.60 £2.80 £6.60
Exacta £64.00 CSF £50.29
Distances 1 1/4l , 8l
22 ran  


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.


2:50 Aintree Hurdle
1st 2 Al Eile 11/4jf
2nd 8 Osana 11/4jf
3rd 9 Straw Bear 15/2
Tote Win £3.10
Places £1.50 £1.60 £1.70
Exacta £7.50 CSF £10.19
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
2nd 7 Takeroc 5/2
3rd 5 Modicum 40/1
Tote Win £2.80
Places £1.40 £1.40 £6.20
Exacta £4.60 CSF £6.08
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
2nd 14 Khachaturian 33/1
3rd 5 Heathcote 25/1
4th 10 Serabad 16/1
Tote Win £11.20
Places £2.70 £5.50 £4.30 £3.50
Exacta £176.10 CSF £317.79
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.



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