Sport Horse Racing

Friday 24 February 2017

Vaughan delight as Beshabar takes spoils

Ray Gilpin

Tim Vaughan continued his excellent end-of-season form as Beshabar turned in a fine round of jumping from the front to clinch the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

The Vale of Glamorgan trainer's profile has steadily risen through the past few seasons, although big-race victories have proved elusive -- until recently.

But after a couple of near-misses at the Cheltenham Festival, including with Beshabar in the National Hunt Chase, Vaughan secured his first Grade One victory at Aintree last week and kept the ball rolling in Scotland.

Chicago Grey was Beshabar's Cheltenham conqueror, but the reopposing grey was unable to land a blow from the rear this time, while 15/2 chance Beshabar poured it on from the front under Richard Johnson.

Last year's winner Merigo was another always handily placed and the two of them turned into the home straight for the final time clear of the rest, with Always Right the only other horse within striking distance.

The trio settled down to fight it out and it was Beshabar who emerged triumphant, with the rallying Merigo three-quarters of a length away in second.

"It's like a dream come true, we had our first Grade One winner last week at Aintree (Saint Are) and I had a big hangover then, but after winning the Scottish National, I think I'll have a double one tomorrow," Vaughan said.

"People have been saying we've just been training winners over the summer, so I am very grateful to Harry Findlay (part-owner) for sending me this horse that we could go to proper places with.

"Hopefully we'll get a few more that will be able to run in the big Saturday races now.

"Richard Johnson gave him a fantastic ride, I didn't really give him any instructions. I just told Richard we employ him because he's as good as any jockey around."

At Naas meanwhile, the David Nicholls-trained British raider Inxile proved far too good for the home team as he turned in an impressive display in the Woodlands Stakes.

Ridden positively by Fran Berry, the 5-4 favourite led his rivals a merry dance the whole way and had three lengths in hand over Knock Stars at the finish. "The horse played up a little in the stalls but got away well before idling a bit in front," said Berry.

"He did it well and it was a good performance, despite coming down in class."

John Oxx has sent out a number of nice prospects already this season and Creekside added his name to the list with a taking success in the opening mile maiden.

Already gelded, the son of Dubai Destination made all under Johnny Murtagh to score by three lengths from Catch The Eye. "We'll aim him at a handicap next and see how he gets on," said Oxx, "it is difficult to place median auction maiden winners, but hopefully he'll be able to move up the ladder a bit further.

"He was badly drawn today and he needed to jump out quickly to get a good position, in the end he didn't really learn a lot from today's win."

Apprentice Sam James advertised his talents by galvanising 2-1 shot Obligada to land the Naas Racecourse On Facebook Race for Kevin Prendergast. James Kelly, racing manager to winning owner Lady O'Reilly, said: "We'll step her up to a mile and a quarter soon and eventually a mile and a half. Lady O'Reilly is keen to get black type for her too."

Andalucia Lady (14-1) took top honours in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, while the Go Racing In Kildare Handicap went to 13-2 chance Cheviot.

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