Coral Scottish Grand National
| Ayr 15:55
Grade 3 Handicap Chase,
£215,000 added, 5yo plus,
4m 110y, Class 1
|Saturday 22nd April 2017|
1 Vicente 9/1J
2 Cogry 18/1
3 Benbens 50/1
4 Alvarado 16/1
30 ran Distances: nk, 2l, nk
Time: 8m 5.50s (slow by 3.50s)
Vicente regains Scottish Grand National crown with narrow win
The Paul Nicholls trained Vicente became the first horse since Androma in 1984/5 to land back-to-back wins in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Paul Nicholls’ 9-1 joint-favourite fell at the first in the Aintree version two weeks ago but showed no ill effects as he travelled smoothly in midfield under Sam Twiston-Davies.
The eight-year-old cruised into contention four out but Cogry (18-1) was travelling every bit as well for Jamie Bargary and soon built up a clear lead in the home straight.
However, Vicente was galvanized by Twiston-Davies on the run-in and the duo came with a strong late challenge to enter the history books by a neck in a driving finish.
Outsider Benbens (50-1) stayed on well to claim third just ahead of Alvarado (16-1) while the other 9-1 joint-favourite Southfield Royale finished well down the field.
Today’s lucrative success was a massive boost to trainer Paul Nicholls’ as he battles to retain his Trainers’ Title against old rival Nicky Henderson.
It was Twiston-Davies' father, Nigel, who looked to have the race won with Cogry who went clear under Jamie Bargary despite only finishing second in the West Wales National six days ago.
But as the pair duelled for the line, Vicente (9-1 joint-favourite), who was bought by Trevor Hemmings before Aintree as a replacement for the ill-fated Many Clouds, prevailed by a neck.
Twiston-Davies snr was also third with the veteran Benbens, with Alvarado placed in the race again in fourth.
"Paul had him primed for the National, but sadly it didn't go to plan so he said he'd bring him here and it's worked out great," said the winning rider. "He's a very brave horse, he's tried very hard and saved my day.
"Paul is one of the best trainers in the country, it doesn't matter what standard of horse we've got, he finds a way to win with them."
Twiston-Davies and Nicholls were only narrowly touched off in the Scottish Champion Hurdle with Zubayr, and with Nicky Henderson's lead in the trainers' championship now under £200,000, that valuable prize could look crucial next week.
Nicholls said: "Of course we can still win it, but everything will need to go right and we've had a couple of results today, like Zubayr, which would have made a difference. Luck hasn't been with Sam today.
"Nicky's had a fantastic season with his Grade One horses, and so have we - we won't give up until the last day.
"Sam is part of a big team, we've got a lot of good jockeys and he heads them, he'll be with us a long time."
Hemmings said: "I just need to win the Irish and the Welsh now.
"I bought him because we lost Many Clouds and I didn't have a runner in the National."
Coral Scottish Grand National
£215,000 added, 5yo plus, 4m 110y, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
|1st||Vicente (FR)||Sam Twiston-Davies
|P F Nicholls||8||9/1j|
|2nd||nk||Cogry||Jamie Bargary (3)
|N A Twiston-Davies||8||18/1|
|3rd||2||Benbens (IRE)||Mr Z Baker (7)
|N A Twiston-Davies||12||50/1|
|4th||nk||Alvarado (IRE)||B Hughes
|5th||3||Lessons In Milan (IRE)||J McGrath
|N J Henderson||9||40/1|
|6th||3¼||Blakemount (IRE)||Henry Brooke
|Mrs S J Smith||9||25/1|
|7th||5||Vintage Clouds (IRE)||Danny Cook
|Mrs S J Smith||7||14/1|
|8th||5||Missed Approach (IRE)||L P Aspell
|9th||nk||Henri Parry Morgan||R T Dunne
|10th||nse||Al Co (FR)||J E Moore
|11th||¾||Another Hero (IRE)||Aidan Coleman
|12th||hd||Dancing Shadow (IRE)||Nick Scholfield
|V R A Dartnall||8||33/1|
|13th||3¾||Portrait King (IRE)||C O'Farrell
|14th||3||Battle Of Shiloh (IRE)||A P Heskin
|T R George||8||25/1|
|15th||3¼||Southfield Royale||N D Fehily
|N P Mulholland||7||9/1j|
|16th||23||Trustan Times (IRE)||Jake Greenall
|17th||81||Fine Rightly (IRE)||A E Lynch
|S R B Crawford||9||33/1|
|PU||Vivaldi Collonges (FR)||Harry Cobden
|P F Nicholls||8||33/1|
|PU||Kruzhlinin (GER)||R Johnson
|P J Hobbs||10||25/1|
|PU||Arpege D'alene (FR)||Sean Bowen
|P F Nicholls||7||10/1|
|PU||Seldom Inn||D R Fox
|A M Thomson||9||20/1|
|PU||Premier Bond||D Bass
|N J Henderson||7||11/1|
|PU||Straidnahanna (IRE)||Sean Quinlan
|Mrs S J Smith||8||50/1|
|PU||Shotgun Paddy (IRE)||D A Jacob
|Miss E C Lavelle||10||12/1|
|PU||Firebird Flyer (IRE)||T J O'Brien
|PU||Dawson City||Wayne Hutchinson
|PU||Gone Too Far||Michael Heard (5)
|PU||Father Edward (IRE)||David Noonan
|PU||Man With Van (IRE)||A W Short (7)
|F||Sugar Baron (IRE)||Nico de Boinville
|N J Henderson||7||10/1|