Racing: Native Upmanship helps keep Irish on top

The Grand National momentum is squarely with the Irish.

The Grand National momentum is squarely with the Irish. Following Florida Pearl's distinguished victory in the Martell Cup on the opening day of the meeting, there was further success for the visitors yesterday when Native Upmanship won the Melling Chase and then Ireland supplied three of the first four home in the only race over the huge National spruces, the Topham Trophy.

Native Upmanship was back in third at the final fence of his Grade One contest as Wahiba Sands and Fadalko wrestled for superiority, but, on the flat, he surged to the front. "The race went super," Conor O'Dwyer, his jockey, reported. "He was still a little slow over the fences but the horse has the heart of a lion. Native Upmanship never, never misses a battle and he is as tough as old boots."

The nine-year-old may be surprised when he sees the photographs. Arthur Moore, in keeping with a tradition initiated by his father, Dan, after L'Escargot won the 1975 National, the winning trainer, put his trilby on Native Upmanship's head in the winners' enclosure. "We save the hat for very special occasions and this was a very special occasion," he said. "I'd love to go for the King George at Kempton."

While the spruce was flying and horses capsizing in the Topham, Its Time For A Win continued a purposeful route to carry Ruby Walsh home by six lengths. Monty's Pass was second and Shannon Gale fourth for the Irish. "Having seen the way he jumped round there I must aim to get him qualified for next year's Grand National," Willie Mullins, the winning trainer, said. "He nearly died on me as a young horse. I had him lined up for the Cheltenham bumper, but then he got a virus and, at one time, we nearly lost him.

"I rode the winner of the Fox Hunters' here 19 years ago and I feel it is always a great achievement just to get round over these fences, let alone win a race here."

Jonjo O'Neill collected a further trinket for his Jackdaws Castle stable when Carbury Cross gave him a third success of the meeting in the opening contest. Further glory for the eight-year-old beckons in either the Scottish National or the former Whitbread, the attheraces Gold Cup, at Sandown.

The Top Novices' Hurdle went, for the third consecutive year, to the Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs, when In Contrast followed the triumphs of Ilico II and Phardante Flyer. In doing so he reversed Cheltenham Festival form with Martin Pipe's Westender, who had finished one place ahead when second to Like-A-Butterfly in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Pipe was also denied in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle, when his Tarxien and Stormez filled the places behind Alan King's Stromness. "I made a mistake last year as I didn't have Stromness gelded when he was a bit colty," King said. "He was gelded after Aintree and he has never looked back since." Just as well. He probably wouldn't like what he couldn't see.

Tony Dobbin reached his century for the season when the Cheltenham disappointment Barton made a nonsense of his run in the Arkle by storming away with the Mildmay Novices' Chase. "The Cheltenham Gold Cup next season is the long-term target," Tim Easterby, his trainer, reported.

It was a success enjoyed by none more than the gelding's jockey, Tony Dobbin: "He is just a brilliant horse. Beyond doubt the best that I've ridden."

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballLive: Latest news from Champions League draw
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Scrum Master (Agile, Java, team recruitment)

£45000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Scrum M...

Junior Asset Manager

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Junior As...

Investment Analyst

£33000 - £40000 Per Annum Discretionary profit share: The Green Recruitment Co...

Supply teachers required in Cambridge

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?