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Grand National Shakedown & Jockey Quotes
14/04/07

GRAPHIC APPROACH BETTER

Graphic Approach is reported to be in a stable condition after suffering a concussion in the John Smith's Grand National.

Charles Egerton's runner fell at Becher's Brook on the second circuit of the Aintree feature and was down on the track for some time receiving treatment.

The following novice chase was delayed by some 45 minutes and the closing bumper was abandoned so vets could attend to the nine-year-old.

“He's at the Royal Liverpool Veterinary College. He’s stable and there has been some significant improvement overnight,” said Egerton.

“I would like to thank the Aintree veterinary team for their very professional and slick response.

“They were so professional and did a very good job. I would also like to thank the Aintree team for putting the welfare of the horse first.

“It is a relief to hear he's improving.”

 

SO CLOSE FOR BOWEN

McKelevey came within three-quarters of a length of providing the first Welsh-trained winner of the John Smith’s Grand National since Kirkland in 1905 and trainer Peter Bowen was left wondering what might have been.

He said: “That felt brilliant, until we got beat!

“He has run a real good race.

“We have now finished second in a Gold Cup [with Take The Stand in 2005] and second in a Grand National - I suppose someone has to get beat!

“It has been a very good week and we’ve earned lots of money.

“Maybe we will have some celebrations tomorrow - it’s a long way home from here.

“Tom has ridden a good race. The horse stays forever and we didn’t want to be too near the front.”

 

WILLIAMS VINDICATED

Trainer Nick Williams was was very satisfied after 100/1 chance Philson Run stayed on from off the pace to take fourth place, some 17 lengths adrift of the winner.

Williams said: “I’m thrilled to bits.

“I said in the Racing Post this morning that I thought he could win and he’s run a great race.

“I think the ground was perfect for him. He wouldn’t have wanted it any softer as he has finished tired enough as it is.

“He will be turned out for the season now and the plan will to come back here next year.

“It worked coming here on the back of just one run this time and I think we may do that again.

“I think you need a relatively fresh horse and you can’t come to the National as an afterthought.”

 

GALLANT LIBERTHINE

The mare Liberthine, partnered by amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, ran a superb race to come home in fifth place.

Her trainer Nicky Henderson said: “She ran a wonderful race and Sam gave her a lovely ride - he’s buzzing.

“Horse and jockey enjoyed themselves and she’ll go to Hernando next week.

“If she doesn’t get in foal we’ll have another think.

“She gets her fun next week!”

 

MONKERHOSTIN REFUSED

Philip Hobbs saddled 8/1 co favourite Monkerhostin in the John Smith’s Grand National but got no further than the Foinavon (seventh) fence on the first circuit, when he refused.

The Minehead trainer contined: “Richard Johnson said he hit the third and that frightened him a bit.

“We don’t know whether he got baulked, or what made him refuse.

“Also, Richard said a leather broke at Becher’s.”

 

JOCKEY QUOTES

Sam Waley-Cohen, rider of the fifth Liberthine: "That was magic - she's so game that mare. I just wish I could have tucked her in a bit for some cover, but she was jumping so well and in her stride and I didn't want to start breaking that and then meeting the fences wrong. She made one mistake when she went down on her nose, but I don't know how much that cost us."

J T McNamara, rider of the 11th Clan Royal: "He jumped great, but they were always going a bit quick for him."

Jimmy McCarthy, rider of the 12th Gallant Approach: "I had a super ride, but he was always flat out."

Tony Dobbin, rider of the seventh Longshanks: "He travelled well and jumped well, but it's a long time since he last ran. I thought he had a chance going to the third-last, but he got tired after that."

David Casey, rider of Bothar Na who was pulled up before the 29th: "It went great for a circuit - he was travelling well and jumping super, but he got tired after that and we were lucky to get home."

Wayne Hutchinson, rider of Tikram, unseated at the first: "He banked the first and I think it was the second before I fell off. It took a long time before gravity took over."

Ruby Walsh, rider of ninth Hedgehunter: "He ran another fine race, but I suppose the weight and lack of a run told in the end. We were never going well enough for me to think we might win. The ground wasn't a factor."

Richard Johnson, rider of Monkerhostin who refused at the seventh: "He jumped the first two great, but then took off a stride too soon at the first ditch [the third] and frightened himself. He was lucky not to come down. He got over Becher's, but he was very careful, and with all the horses running down Foinavon it gets very narrow and he refused."

Andrew McNamara, rider of Cloudy Bas who refused at the 15th: "He can be a tricky customer at the start, and while he was okay initially we had to line up so many times he got sick of it. Eventually he got into the race in mid-division, but he wasn't enjoying it and he stopped at the Chair."

Paul Moloney, rider of Graphic Approach who fell at Becher’s second time around: "It was always the plan to drop the horse in, because that was how I rode him at Ascot and we weren't sure whether he'd get the trip. I did that for a circuit and he was going so well, so it was very disappointing when we went at Becher's second time."

Choc Thornton, rider of Kandjar D'Allier who fell at the eighth: "I got wiped out by loose horses at the Canal Turn. He was going well and when I got over Becher's I thought if he stays we'll get round. Then two loose horses got in the way."

Liam Heard, rider of Eurotrek who was pulled up at the 22nd : "Everything was going a bit quick for him and when Royal Auclair fell he was nearly brought down. After that he was careful at the fences, never travelling and always flat out. I pulled up before Becher's second time."

Denis O'Regan, rider of Ballycassidy who unseated at the 24th: "He ran into the corner at the Canal Turn, jinked in behind some loose horses, on he went and I came off. The cheekpieces were taken off him at the start because they weren't declared and he probably needed them because he was just starting to labour a bit. It was a disadvantage, but probably didn't make any difference."

The National fences did not suit Monkerhostin at Aintree today after he was well-supported in the market to start the 8-1 co-favourite of three with Point Barrow and Joes Edge. The 10-year-old returned unscathed after racing towards the rear before an uncharacteristic refusal at the Foinavon fence (seventh) finished his chances. Jockey Richard Johnson said: “He frightened himself today.”

Andrew Thornton had a great ride aboard Simon who came to grief close up home when in contention at the 25th. The jockjey said: “He jumped for fun all the way round but was abit close when he fell. The horse is fine, he’ll be back another year older and another year wiser.”

Graham Lee, rider of Joes Edge who pulled up at the 20th: "I pulled him up after the first fence down the back on the second circuit when he went very lame. I was never happy on him. We don’t know what the problem is.”"

Jockey Barry Geraghty looked to be heading for National success aboard Slim Pickings, who eventually finished in third place. Geraghty said: “When the winner came to me two out I knew I was in trouble but he kept on well.”

Reflecting on his National mount, Billyvodan, pulled up before the 19th fence, jockey Leighton Aspell explained: “After two or three attempts to get the race started he momentarily stood still and I was further back than I wanted to be. At the Canal Turn he was badly hampered and couldn’t get back into the race. After that he didn’t seem to enjoy himself.”

Davy Condon, rider of Homer Wells, pulled up at the 22nd fence said: “I was going fine until the Canal Turn on the first circuit when I nearly got brought down by the fall of Kandjar D’Allier ridden by Choc Thornton. I lost a lot of ground and couldn’t catch up after that. I jumped Becher’s twice and pulled up.”

Tom Greenall aboard Sonevafushi who was pulled up two from home in the National said: “He ran and jumped very well but didn’t get the trip and got tired. He gave me a fantastic ride and was foot perfect but after the second Becher’s he became very tired.”

Tom Doyle, rider of Knowhere: "He jumped well, but just got a bit tight at Valentine's first time. He made a mistake and I went out the side door."

Noel Fehily, rider of Naunton Brook: "He was brilliant on the first circuit. Once a few headed him he didn't want to go round again. He jumped great and gave me a great spin."

Richard McGrath (Jack High, fell sixth): "He just crimpled on landing jumping Becher's first time."

Tom Scudamore (Puntal, eighth): "He gave me a great ride really. He is not as quick as he used to be but he popped round nicely."

Mick Fitzgerald (Kelami, 13th and last): "He gave me a brilliant ride he jumped like a gazelle but then just choked."

Tom O'Brien (McKelvey, second): "I have to be happy that but I didn't think I was quite going to get up. Everything went to plan and he jumped super."

Daryl Jacob (Philson Run, fourth): "He gave me a great first National ride, jumped and travelled well for me. I thought we had a chance three out but there were a lot there and they got a run on me."

Tony McCoy (L'Ami, 10th): "He ran well but had too much weight and probably didn't get the trip anyway."

Jimmy McCarthy (Gallant Approach, 12th): "I got hampered early. They went a good gallop and I'm always chasing them. I was never close enough and although he picked up again at Becher's second time I was never been able to make up the lost ground."

Paddy Brennan (Bewleys Berry, fell 22nd): "He was cantering when he fell at Becher's second time round."

Jason Maguire (Idle Talk, fell 19th): "He put his foot in the big ditch and that was that."

Paul Moloney (Graphic Approach, fell 22nd: "He was going well when he knuckled over at Becher's second time. He was giving me a brilliant ride and I would have definitely been in the first six."

Dominic Elsworth (Le Duc, unseated rider 6th): "He unseated me at Becher's first time."

Joe Tizzard (Royal Auclair, fell ninth): "He fell at Valentines first time and was going okay at the time but I suppose we didn't last very long."

Barry Fenton (Zabenz, pulled up before seventh): "The leather broke at Becher's and that was that."

Dominic Elsworth (Le Duc, unseated rider sixth): "I was unseated at Becher's. It was on the first circuit so it was too early to tell.”

Philip Carberry (Point Barrow, fell first): He just overjumped at the first, landed too steep and came down."

Paul Carberry, who pulled up before the 27th on Dun Doire, said: "We got a good early position, and he jumped the first okay, but they went too quick and I couldn't lay up. The ground was too fast for him."

 

HOSPITAL CHECK-UP FOR RUSSELL

Davy Russell, who was unseated from Livingstonebramble at the sixth, has been taken to hospital as a precaution for X-rays on his back and a shoulder.

 

GRAND NATIONAL WINNER POWER LANDS BAN

Robbie Power, the winning jockey of the John Smith’s Grand National, has landed a four-day ban for hitting his horse, Silver Birch, with “excessive frequency and in the wrong place.”

The stewards added that the jockey had hit the horse, “too short and too near the stifle area.” Power has been stood down for four days, from April 25th to 28th.

Barry Geraghty and Tony Evans also incurred the displeasure of the stewards. They felt that Geraghty, riding third-placed Slim Pickings in the Grand National had used the whip with excessive force. Geraghty was stood down for three days, April 25th-27th.

Evans incurred his two-day ban for excessive frequency in the fourth race on the card, when he was riding Mistanoora. His ban will also commence on April 25th.


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