Racing: Walsh maintains Ireland's momentum in National slog
Sunday 19 March 2006
The Irish carried on where they left off at Cheltenham when another emerald raider plundered yesterday's main prize, the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. The eight-year-old gelding G V A Ireland, ridden by the Festival meeting's leading jockey, Ruby Walsh, took the muddy marathon, worth £61,974, by four lengths, beating Ossmoses after a tussle over the last half-circuit.
After the four-mile slog the 5-1 favourite's springheeled leap at the final obstacle was a sterling effort. It sealed victory for Francis Flood's charge, who was carrying 16lb less than his rival, with L'Aventure plugging on for third place, 14 lengths adrift, ahead of Victory Gunner.
"We don't get four-milers in Ireland," said the winning trainer's son, Francis jnr. "We thought he was crying out for the trip. He jumped well and he'd be one for next year's Grand National."
The champion Flat jockey, Jamie Spencer, showed his mettle as he took the first Group race of the European season, the Winter Derby on the sand at Lingfield, on the 8-1 shot Sri Diamond. The six-year-old was badly drawn, on the outside of the 14-runner field, but Spencer kicked smartly out of the stalls to get to the front, disputed a slow early pace and went for home early in the straight.
Grand Passion and Nayyir, who found trouble on the rails inside the final furlong, finished well but Sri Diamond had enough in hand to hold on to take the £56,780 Group Three prize. "That was just a beautiful ride," said the winning trainer, Sylvester Kirk. "I thought our fate was sealed when I saw the draw, but Jamie has got him just where we wanted."
Spencer made it a double when Derby entry Pound Sign, from the Michael Bell stable that took last year's Epsom showpiece with Motivator, outclassed his rivals in the maiden.
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on sack as Liverpool manager prepares to meet bosses in next 36 hours
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke 'sent' $10m payment to Jack Warner in letter from the South African FA
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...