Many Clouds wins Grand National

The Henry De Bromhead trained and Johnny Burke ridden Sizing Granite on his way back to the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Maghull Novices Chase at Aintree on Saturday

The Henry De Bromhead trained and Johnny Burke ridden Sizing Granite on his way back to the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Maghull Novices Chase at Aintree on Saturday

What a race!

That was the universal reaction to the Crabbie’s Aintree Grand National on Saturday.

The vast majority of interest centered on AP McCoy who had announced that he would retire on the spot if he managed to guide his mount Shutthefrontdoor to victory.

That wasn’t to be as the Oliver Sherwood-trained Many Clouds, bred by Aidan Aherne outside Midleton, made the best of his way home from the fifth last and last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup sixth then valiantly fought off Saint Are from the final fence to score by one and a half lengths.

By doing so, the Cloudings-sired Many Clouds was providing Co Kildare-born jockey Leighton Aspell with his second consecutive victory in the great race for the 37-year-old also steered Pineau De Re to victory 12 months ago.

Shutthefrontdoor travelled well until coming under pressure from three out and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge eventually finished a more than respectable fifth, ensuring that his each-way supporters yielded a small return from their investment as bookmakers were paying out on the first five home.

There was to be no joy for the seven Irish runners with last month’s Cheltenham festival winner Cause of Causes faring best of the visiting contingent by returning a creditable eighth for trainer Gordon Elliot and jockey Paul Carberry.

There was a local winner at Aintree on Saturday for Henry de Bromhead saddled Sizing Granite to win the Grade 1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase over two miles in the hands of Johnny Burke.

The clearly-improving Sizing Granite led before two out and he pulled out plenty in the closing stages to see-off this season’s Grade 1 Arkle Chase runner-up God’s Own by a length in the familiar Ann & Alan Potts Partnership colours.

Sizing Granite, still a mere seven-year-old, should take high order next season and it’s worth recalling that he shares his broodmare sire Mandalus with De Bromhead’s former dual Cheltenham festival winner Sizing Europe.
The first day of the two-day Tramore meeting got under way on Sunday and Willie Mullins sent out Childrens List to win the closing Sponsor A Race At Tramore Racecourse In 2015 (Pro/Am) Flat Race.

Childrens List, an impressive Belharbour point-to-point winner last season when in the ownership of Dungarvan-based owner Walter Connors, made all the running with the five-year-old staying on tenaciously in the closing stages to see-off main market-rival Ordinary World by three and three quarter lengths in the hands of Mullins’ son Patrick. The probability is that Childrens List will be kept on the go for the summer months.

Co Fermanagh jockey Ryan Treacy had an afternoon to savour at the Graun Hill venue for he partnered his first ever two-timer. Treacy got off the mark when the Leslie Young-trained Cappacurry Zak had to overcome some trouble in running approaching the final flight to beat Point The Toes in the Handicap Hurdle.

Draycott Place, owned and trained by John Ryan outside Templemore, completed Treacy’s brace by making all in the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Members Club Chase to beat odds-on shot Urano by two lengths.

Draycott Place, still just a six-year-old, is now likely to contest the Aon Chase at the Punchestown festival later this month.

Neil O’Donnell

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