Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 16:40
£100,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 149y, Class 1   
Friday 13th April 2018

1 Santini 6/4F
2 Roksana 9/1
3 Tower Bridge 8/1
13 ran NR: Poetic Rhythm Distances: 1½l, 6l, 2¾l
Time: 6m 40.80s (slow by 46.80s)

Santini wins a cracking race

Santini
© Racehorse Photos
Santini
 
Santini's victory was a remarkable fifth Grade One success for Nicky Henderson at the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival. 
 
It follows We Have A Dream's Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Novices' Hurdle win, Might Bite's success in the Betway Bowl, L'Ami Serge's Betway Aintree Hurdle triumph and Terrefort's Betway Mildmay Novices' Chase win.
 
Santini, the 6/4 favourite, was ridden by Nico de Boinville, and the pair beat the Dan Skelton-trained mare Roksana (Harry Skelton) by one and a half lengths.
 
Henderson said: "He was enjoying himself out there. He's a brave horse - a lovely big baby of a horse, and a chaser for next year. He ran such a good race at Cheltenham [third in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle] that we thought we ought to put him away, but temptation comes in. Richard [Kelvin-Hughes, who bred and owns him] was keen to go, and he's been really fresh and well at home. He has said all along, 'I'm up for this again', and, bless him, he's only a big baby but it was a great performance.
 
"He's home-bred too by Richard and Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes, and I trained the mare [Tinagoodnight] as well, and I know it is actually their first Gradfe One winner out of all the home-breds they have had, which is lovely. He's a gorgeous horse. And so is OK Corral, who ran a very good race but just sort of flattened out. It was probably a bridge too far for him today - it is for a lot of them, to be fair."
 
Asked to put his five Grade One wins at this meeting into context, Henderson said: "Obviously a lot of very, very good horses; you can't go without them. But I have to say, everybody's worked their socks off. It's a long four weeks from Cheltenham, nearly all of them have been there, and everyone's done brilliantly to get them here. That's been the secret of it, really. But you have to have good horses."
 
Dan Skelton, the trainer of Roksana, said: "Both the mares we've run in Grade Ones this week have run really well [the other being Rene's Girl, runner-up in the G1 Big Buck's Celebration Manifesto Novices' Chase]. To get so close and just get beaten is disappointing, but this is a fine mare and where we go with her next season I don't know.
 
"We'll look after her and hope she improves again. The mares' hurdle at Cheltenham next year over two and a half miles is going to be the minimum trip for her, but hopefully she can progress and become a fixture in those races.
 
"Now I hope Momella [also a mare] can run as well tomorrow [in the G1 Aintree Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle]."
 
J J Slevin, rider of third-placed Tower Bridge, said: "Tower Bridge has run a cracker. He travelled and jumped well and it was lovely to get a ride on a horse like that. He did us really proud."

Mathematician Betting

Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 149y, Class 1
13 ran
Going: Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Santini 6/4f Nico de Boinville
11-4
N J Henderson 6
2nd Roksana (IRE) 9/1 Harry Skelton
10-11
D Skelton 6
3rd 6 Tower Bridge (IRE) 8/1 J J Slevin
11-4
Joseph P O'Brien 5
4th Uppertown Prince (IRE) 40/1 B Hughes
11-4
D McCain Jnr 6
5th 8 Ok Corral (IRE) 7/2 B J Geraghty
11-4
N J Henderson 8
6th Dans Le Vent (FR) 66/1 G Sheehan
11-4
Jamie Snowden 5
7th 14 Point Of Principle (IRE) 66/1 Alan Johns
11-4
Tim Vaughan 5
PU Another Stowaway (IRE) 50/1 A P Heskin
11-4
T R George 6
PU Chef Des Obeaux (FR) 6/1 N D Fehily
11-4
N J Henderson 6
PU Count Meribel 25/1 M D Grant
11-4
N A Twiston-Davies 6
PU Good Man Pat (IRE) 25/1 Thomas Bellamy
11-4
A King 5
PU Louse Talk (IRE) 66/1 Paul O'Brien
11-4
C E Longsdon 6
PU Sam's Gunner 12/1 W T Kennedy
11-4
M W Easterby 5
NR Poetic Rhythm (IRE) P J Brennan
11-4
F O'Brien 7