1 Hello Bud 15/2F
Hello Bud again showed his liking for Aintree, in a gallant performance for the father and son team of Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies, winning an eventful totesport.com Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree.
The 15-2 favourite made the bulk of the running in the hands of his 18-year-old rider, who was successful last weekend in the BetVictor Gold Cup on his father's Little Josh.
He was headed briefly by Ballyvesey three out but that one could not keep up the gallop and Hello Bud went on again before holding the strong challenge of Royal Rosa by a length and a quarter, with One Cool Cookie 10 lengths further away in third.
Twiston-Davies senior said: "The horse is 12, nearly 13, and the boy is 18 just. It was absolutely superb. What an excitement that was. I thought we were going to have a one-two, but Irish Raptor made that mistake at the second-last.
"Hello Bud is made for these fences and we will definitely come back and have another try at the National in the spring.
"Our worry was that he wouldn't get in, but he will now. He prefers good ground and although we have put him in the Welsh National, unless we get an Indian winter the ground is unlikely to be right for him there. But the race at Warwick (Tote Classic) is another possibility."
The jockey said: "He jumped from fence to fence and travelled like a superstar. When Ballyvesey passed me I just tried to save a little bit turning for home and save the stick for as long as possible."
However, Twiston-Davies was suspended for five days (December 5-9 inclusive) for using his whip with excessive frequency and in the wrong place.
The win initiated a famous double for owner Seamus Murphy, who a few hours later saw his colours carried to success in the Troytown Chase at Navan by Jack The Bus.
Paddy Mangan took a heavy fall from Whatuthink at the first fence and the son of Grand National-winning trainer Jimmy Mangan was taken to the local Fazakerley Hospital for further examination. He was reported to have suffered only soft tissue injuries to his face.
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