Betfred Grand National Trial
Grade 3 Handicap Chase 15:15
Haydock Park
£100,000 added, 5yo plus,
3m 4f 97y, Class 1   
Saturday 17th February 2018

1 Yala Enki 8/1
2 Blaklion 9/4F
3 Mysteree 9/1
8 ran NR: Daklondike Distances: 54l, 74l
Time: 8m 17.70s (slow by 57.70s)

Yala Enki wins a gruelling Grand National Trial

Yala Enki
© Racehorse Photos
Yala Enki

Eight lined up but only three finished the marathon contest, with the complexion changing completely in the straight.

Silsol was an early casualty, while The Dutchman only completed one circuit before being pulled up.

With a mile to run Wild West Wind hit the front, with Venetia Williams' Yala Enki and Blaklion still in touch.

At the fourth-last Wild West Wind began to go clear and the rest looked to have a tall order, but from seeming sure to win, Wild West Wind stopped abruptly and was soon pulled up.

That left Yala Enki (8-1) and Charlie Deutsch in front and the Haydock regular had 54 lengths to spare from the favourite Blaklion, who found his big weight in testing ground just too much. Mysteree was the only other finisher. 

Clive Hitchings, owner of Yala Enki, said: "He loves that ground, I couldn't believe he fell at the first last week as he's never fallen in his life before.

"Venetia was keen to come here. We've been saying that he needed a longer trip, but we weren't sure as he can get excited at the start.

"He was able to go steadier today on his own terms, without the throttle out. He loves this ground."

Deutsch said: "I thought he was in with a chance, but I didn't expect to win by that far. 

"I knew my lad would stay, last time here behind The Dutchman was three miles and I was flat out all the way and he emptied. 

"So I took my time today and knew he would keep going." 

It was reported The Dutchman bled from his nose, while Adrian Heskin told the stewards that Wild West Wind "stopped quickly" but tests failed to reveal any abnormalities. 

Betfred eased Blaklion out from 10-1 to 12-1 for the Grand National itself. 

Sam Twiston-Davies, who has been allowed by his boss Paul Nicholls to maintain the partnership with Blaklion in the National itself, reported a combination of factors contributed to his defeat. 

He said after dismounting on the course: "He just got very tired. Carrying that weight in that ground took its toll and we just took him straight back to the stables."

Betfred Grand National Trial
£100,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 4f 97y, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Yala Enki (FR) 8/1 Charlie Deutsch
Miss V Williams 8
2nd 54 Blaklion 9/4f Sam Twiston-Davies
N A Twiston-Davies 9
3rd 74 Mysteree (IRE) 9/1 R T Dunne
M Scudamore 10
PU The Dutchman (IRE) 9/2 Danny Cook
C L Tizzard 8
PU Sir Mangan (IRE) 20/1 Henry Brooke
D Skelton 10
F Three Faces West (IRE) 16/1 T J O'Brien
P J Hobbs 10
UR Silsol (GER) 5/1 N D Fehily
P F Nicholls 9
R Wild West Wind (IRE) 9/2 A P Heskin
T R George 9
NR Daklondike (IRE) Non Runner
D Pipe 6

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