Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 26 January 2020

Scudamore secures National consolation

Tom Peacock

Tom Scudamore gained some consolation for his narrow defeat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when winning the Midlands Grand National aboard Master Overseer.

The nine-year-old had been freshened up since disappointing trainer David Pipe in the Welsh National, but he put in a gutsy display to hold off Major Malarkey in a tremendous finish to the long-distance handicap chase at Uttoxeter. Master Overseer (11/1) and stablemate Tamarinbleu set the pace and though the latter weakened at the business end of the race, the former battled on tenaciously to deny the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Major Malarkey by three-quarters of a length.

Ballyfitz, a stablemate of the runner-up, was another 16 lengths away in third. Pipe said: "When he won over hurdles at Chepstow in November, I thought he was a cracking prospect for the Welsh National, but things just went downhill after that. Over three miles he really wants soft ground, the softer the better, but it seems over this longer distance he acts on better going. There's nothing flash about him -- all he does is jump and stay."

At Down Royal, Killyglen kept alive his Grand National hopes with a first win for nearly three years. Stuart Crawford's charge held fellow Aintree entry Saddlers Storm to register a welcome victory in the Daily Mirror Chase. Saddlers Storm made a good fist of attempting to make all of the running, and Killyglen had to work hard to get the better of that rival.

Robbie Power sent Killyglen into the lead at the second-last fence and the 15/8 favourite went on to score by five and a half lengths. In Compliance was third.

Crawford revealed Power, who won the Grand National aboard Silver Birch in 2007, will retain the partnership at Aintree next month.

"Robbie will ride him in the National,'' he said. "He was running a big race in third last year when he fell. Everything has been geared towards the National this season whereas last year we only decided to go for it a few weeks before.''

At Wexford, Shane Crimin gave Whodoyouthink an enterprising ride to land the Richard Browne & Sons Ltd Hurdle for trainer Oliver Kiernan. He's from the family of Whatuthink and Glens Music and Whodoyouthink is a talented sort in his own right, gaining the fourth success of his lifetime at the venue.

Backed from 10s in the morning into 11/2, the victorious Court Cave gelding was clear from three out and kept on well in the final furlong to hold Wilde Wit Pleasure by three parts of a length.

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