Ryanair Stayers' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 16:20
£150,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 149y, Class 1   
Saturday 6th April 2019

Free Racing Tips

1 If The Cap Fits 7/1
2 Roksana 10/1
3 Apples Jade 5/6F
15 ran Distances: hd, nk, 11l
Time: 5m 58.20s (slow by 4.20s)

If The Cap Fits prevails in a desperately tight finish from Roksana and Apple's Jade

Jockey Sean Bowen scored his first Grade One win aboard the Harry Fry-trained If The Cap Fits, who stepped up to three miles for the first time.
Seven-year-old If The Cap Fits got the best of a thrilling three-way finish with favourite Apple's Jade, eventual third, and runner-up Roksana. If The Cap Fits won by a head at odds of 7/1, with Apple's Jade a neck behind Roksana.
Bowen said: "It's unbelievable, I can't believe it, it's brilliant. Harry has obviously been great to me this season and it's fantastic to repay him with a winner like that. It's nice to get Noel [Fehily, who recently retired from race-riding] out the way as well!"
The son of Milan had previously been ridden by Fehily, who retired from race-riding at the age of 43 last month. Fehily was one of the first to congratulate Bowen.

Bowen continued: "If The Cap Fits has a lovely way of racing over three miles. He relaxed beautifully, travelled really well without being too keen and jumped really well, bar the last when I needed a good one. He missed that and I thought, 'race over. I'll wait a bit longer for my first Grade One winner'. 
"There wasn't a whole lot of room; he did very well to battle between two horses getting sandwiched like that, and the two mares were getting 7lb off him as well. He was tough from the back of the last and he's a gutsy horse.
"Everywhere I went, I couldn't have been happier with the way I was going. I was tracking the right two into the straight, and obviously the question mark was whether he would get the three miles, and he got it very well."

Trainers Quotes

If The Cap Fits is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and it is the seven-year-old son of Milan's first Grade 1 success. It is also trainer Harry Fry's first victory at the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
"I thought the mistake at the last that was us cooked and he had every excuse after to give up - he didn't have much room, the gap was closing, but he wanted it and he toughed it out," said Fry, adding: "The step up in trip to three miles has worked and I am delighted - Paul and Clare are here today, it is a fantastic occasion.
"He has been a really consistent horse all season, we've always thought he that he is  high-calibre horse and now he is a Grade 1 winner! 
"It has been a great team effort, these Grade 1s are pretty rare to win. Jockey Noel [Fehily], who has recently retired, always thought a lot of the horse. He put a lot of time into the horse and has been integral to bringing the horse to this point. Sean has been the beneficiary today and he is a fantastic young jockey - it is his first Grade 1 win and I am delighted for him.  
"Last year If The Cap Fits was fancied for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but he had a set back and we had to miss that, but Paul and Clare said to just be patient and to give the horse a chance - I am delighted for them to get a big winner on this big day."
Owner Paul Rooney was all smiles: "He was very tough out there. I thought up the straight we were running out of petrol, but he dug in and he got there. He stumbled at the last and did so well to get back up."


Ryanair Stayers' Hurdle
£150,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 149y, Class 1
15 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places 

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st If The Cap Fits (IRE) 7/1 Sean Bowen
H Fry 7
2nd hd Roksana (IRE) 10/1 Harry Skelton
D Skelton 7
3rd nk Apple's Jade (FR) 5/6f J W Kennedy
G Elliott 7
4th 11 William Henry (IRE) 8/1 Nico de Boinville
N J Henderson 9
5th 5 Lord Napier (IRE) 40/1 James Bowen
P Bowen 6
6th 10 West Approach 33/1 T Scudamore
C L Tizzard 9
7th Agrapart (FR) 66/1 Lizzie Kelly
Nick Williams 8
8th Sam Spinner 7/1 Joe Colliver
Jedd O'Keeffe 7
9th 3 The Worlds End (IRE) 25/1 P J Brennan
T R George 8
10th Clyne 50/1 Adam Wedge
Evan Williams 9
11th Wholestone (IRE) 16/1 D A Jacob
N A Twiston-Davies 8
12th Unowhatimeanharry 25/1 M P Walsh
H Fry 11
13th Kilbricken Storm (IRE) 25/1 H Cobden
C L Tizzard 8
PU   Nautical Nitwit (IRE) 80/1 Thomas Dowson
P A Kirby 10
PU   Sykes (IRE) 40/1 Matt Griffith
Nicky Martin 10