Betway Grand Sefton Chase
|Handicap Chase, Aintree 15:10
2m 5f 19y, Class 2
|Saturday 8th December 2018|
1 Warriors Tale 15/2
2 Brandon Hill 11/1
3 Kilcrea Vale 9/2JF
11 ran Distances: 1½l, ¾l, 7l
Time: 5m 41.40s (slow by 20.40s)
Warriors Tale gives trainer Paul Nicholls his third winner in the race
Owned by three-time Grand National winner Trevor Hemmings, Paul Nicholls' nine-year-old landed a fine success over the big Aintree obstacles under Sean Bowen.
Warriors Tale, who was pulled up two fences from home in the Grand National back in April, enjoyed the step back in trip to 2m5f.
And despite carrying top weight of 11st12lb he battled on with gritty determination to score by a length and a half from long-time leader Brandon Hill with Kilcrea Vale a further three-quarters of a length back in third.
Warriors Tale gradually picked his way through the field before coming home for victory.
Hemmings, whose famous green-and-yellow silks have been carried to glory three times in the Grand National by Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015), was back in the winner's enclosure at the place he knows so well.
He said: "That's lovely, to get a winner here.
"We thought he could win. He didn't get the best of starts - two or three bumped into him during the race.
"But he kept going."
Warriors Tale was pulled up in his first National attempt, but Hemmings - as always - is looking to his favourite race again.
He added: "Yes, we're hoping to get a couple of horses in the big one.
"He did all right (last year). Again this year, I'm sure he'll be knocking on the door."
Bowen wasn't so sure that Warriors Tale has the stamina to go further in this season's Grand National.
He said: "I rode him in the National, and he jumped and travelled brilliantly but probably didn't quite stay.
"Today, back to two and a half, he was a little bit flat out early on but he crept into it nicely - and his amazing jumping won it for him.
"He ground it out all the way to the line.
"It was nearly heavy ground when he ran in (the National) last time, so if the ground was quick we would go for it - but at the same time, if it came up like it was today, he probably wouldn't get the trip."
Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
£80,000 added, 6yo plus, 2m 5f 19y, Class 2
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Warriors Tale 15/2||Sean Bowen
|P F Nicholls||9|
|2nd||1½||Brandon Hill (IRE) 11/1||P J Brennan
|T R George||10|
|3rd||¾||Kilcrea Vale (IRE) 9/2c||J McGrath
|N J Henderson||8|
|4th||7||Tiquer (FR) 40/1||T J O'Brien
|A E Jones||10|
|5th||¾||Forest Des Aigles (FR) 13/2||Henry Brooke
|Miss Lucinda V Russell||7|
|6th||nk||Crievehill (IRE) 8/1||Sam Twiston-Davies
|N A Twiston-Davies||6|
|7th||9||Voix D'Eau (FR) 50/1||Callum Bewley
|Miss Lucinda V Russell||8|
|8th||20||Shanahan's Turn (IRE) 9/2c||T Scudamore
|C L Tizzard||10|
|9th||21||Captain Redbeard (IRE) 7/1||Sam Coltherd (5)
|PU||More Buck's (IRE) 40/1||James Bowen
|F||Catamaran Du Seuil (FR) 9/2c||B S Hughes
|Dr R D P Newland||6|