Betbright Grimthorpe Chase
|Handicap, Doncaster 15:45
3m 2f 14y, Class 2
|Saturday 5th March 2016|
1 The Last Samuri 2/1F
2 The Druids Nephew 7/1
3 Band Of Blood 4/1
NR: Ikorodu Road, Just A Par (IRE)
6 ran Distances: 10l, ¾l, 6l
TIME 6m 39.90s (slow by 14.90s)
A double for David Bass as he takes the BetBright Grimthorpe Chase with The Last Samuri for Kim Bailey
Formerly trained by Donald McCain before joining Kim Bailey prior to the start of this season, the eight-year-old was third in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle before plundering a valuable prize at Kempton over Christmas.
With just six runners going to post for the recognised Crabbie's Grand National trial on Town Moor, The Last Samuri was the 2-1 favourite in the hands of David Bass and moved powerfully from the outset.
Sego Success held a narrow advantage rounding the home turn, but Bailey's charge produced a huge leap four fences from the finish to draw alongside.
A similarly prodigious effort at the next then saw him hit the front for the first time.
The Druids Nephew, who was still going well when falling late on in last year's National, went in pursuit from the third-last, but his efforts were in vein as The Last Samuri galloped on remorselessly and winged the final obstacle to secure a 10-length triumph.
So impressed were Paddy Power and William Hill that The Last Samuri joined Silviniaco Conti and Oliver Sherwood's Many Clouds, denied a run through Kelso's abandonment, at the head of their National betting.
Bailey's assistant, Mat Nicholls, said: "That couldn't have gone any better.
"He was ready for today and I'm not going to say he'll improve a stone fitness-wise, but I do think he'll improve for better ground.
"I think his last run at Kempton brought him on a lot mentally as he was so professional today.
"At home he can be a bit lively, but when you bring him racing he's so switched off that on the first circuit, you sometimes think he's losing interest.
"Then, all of a sudden, you bring him alongside another horse and he comes alive."
Bass said: "He's improved a hell of a lot from his last run and it's very handy the (National) weights can't change, as he'd get a fair hike for that.
"My only worry would be we were playing catch-up a bit early on, but other than that he was perfect."
Betbright Grimthorpe Chase (Handicap)
£55,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 14y, Class 2
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||The Last Samuri (IRE) 2/1f||D Bass
|K C Bailey||8|
|2nd||10||The Druids Nephew (IRE) 7/1||D F O'Regan
|N P Mulholland||9|
|3rd||¾||Band Of Blood (IRE) 4/1||W Kennedy
|Dr R D P Newland||8|
|4th||6||Sego Success (IRE) 4/1||Tom Cannon
|5th||51||Drop Out Joe 4/1||R Johnson
|C E Longsdon||8|
|PU||Seventh Sky (GER) 14/1||D A Jacob
|C J Mann||9|
|NR||Just A Par (IRE) 7/1||Sean Bowen
|P F Nicholls||9|
|NR||Ikorodu Road 12/1||Non Runner