Albertas Run Flies Home in Ryanair Chase
1 Albertas Run 14/1
Tony McCoy rode the nine-year-old to victory wearing the colours of Trevor Hemmings and for the stable of Jonjo O’Neill.
The winning trainer, celebrating his 17th Festival triumph, said: “The ground is right for him - it’s so important - and the trip suited him. He’s a very good horse on his day. He’d have won a King George VI Chase if it hadn’t been for Kauto Star, and then he’d have been a real hero.
“We were very pleased with his work and prep at home, and Dougie Costello, who rode him at Ascot [on his previous outing when second to the remarkable veteran Monet’s Garden] said ‘I really could have done with going faster on him’. That wasn’t Dougie’s fault because he was riding to instructions, but we knew the horse was in good order.
“A good gallop all the way was fine today. When you’ve got AP and Ruby up there in front they go a good gallop and not silly.
“He’s in the [John Smith’s] Grand National, and will probably run at Aintree, but in which race I’m not sure. I’ll talk to Michael Meagher [Hemmings’ racing manager] and Trevor and we’ll see how the horse comes out of today’s race.”
Michael Meagher, representing the owner who was not able to attend today because of a foot problem, said: “Albertas Run was absolutely brilliant today, and he had good horses in behind. To have a winner here and at Aintree is what the game is all about. He’s in the National, but we’ll think about that some other day.”
Tony McCoy put up a masterful performance on 14/1 chance Albertas Run, going for home from the top of the hill and holding on to his lead by four and a half lengths from 11/4 favourite Poquelin.
The 14-time champion jockey moved onto 23 Festival successes after his second success of the 2010 meeting, following on from winning the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle on the opening day on Binocular.
McCoy had a crashing fall in the first race when Jered came down at the first hurdle but bounced back.
McCoy said: “I must admit when I was on the ground the pain threshold was testing me to the limit.
“I had a nice ride on Albertas Run who won the RSA Chase a couple of years ago and I am delighted for Trevor (Hemmings the owner) who is not here because he has had a bit of problem with his foot.
“Jonjo (O’Neill - the trainer) and I asked Trevor if we could run in the Ryanair Chase rather than the Gold Cup because we thought he had a good chance.
“Trevor, being the man he is, was all on for it as long as I rode Albertas Run. I am delighted for Jonjo as well.
“I hope Trevor’s foot is sore after jumping up and down from this win!”
O’Neill added: “ A P (McCoy) is a very special fellow. There is no better man to ride a horse. He has got a few stitches but he will be all right - he is a magic man.”
STEWART PHILOSOPHICAL AFTER POQUELIN SECOND
Poquelin became the third straight favourite to be beaten on the third day of The Festival, when the 11/4 market leader went down by four and a half lengths to Albertas Run in the Ryanair Chase.
Owner Andy Stewart and trainer Paul Nicholls rushed off immediately afterwards to saddle their Ladbrokes World Hurdle hope Big Buck’s, with Stewart stopping briefly to state that he was philosophical in defeat.
“Disappointment? No, not at all. It’s horse racing, you come second, beaten by a Royal & Sun Alliance winner, and he didn’t just beat us, he won it very convincingly.
“The favourites can’t win all the time. That’s racing and I think it’s great,” he said.
The stewards looked into interference between the second and third but left the placings unaltered
J’Y VOLE TAKES THIRD FOR MULLINS
The Willie Mullins-trained J’Y Vole had a troubled passage in the Ryanair Chase but still finished a good third behind Albertas Run for owners the Hammer & Trowel Syndicate, who won Tuesday’s David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle with Quevega.
“Quevega was our banker for the week but we had a bit each way on J’Y Vole at 28s,” said Ger O’Brien, representing the owners.
“It was an awful pity what happened on the home turn because at that stage she seemed to be travelling the best. She jumped super and was bang in the mix going for home. I don’t think we’d have beaten McCoy (on Albertas Run) but we should have been second.”
Evan Williams, trainer of fourth-placed Deep Purple, said: “Our plan was always to go straight to Aintree but we decided to come here when he got his ground.
“In hindsight it might have been better if I’d waited but he’s run a blinder and deserves to win a Grade 1. We’ll have to see how he comes out of this and it’s weather dependant if he goes to Aintree.”
RYANAIR CHASE - Past Results
2009-WINNER-IMPERIAL COMMANDER 8-11-10 Owner-Our Friends In The North; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-6/1
2008-WINNER-OUR VIC 10-11-10 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-4/1
2007-WINNER-TARANIS 6-11-00 Owner-Mrs A B Yeoman & C R Whittaker; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-9/2
2006-WINNER-FONDMORT 10-11-00 Owner-Bill Brown; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerlad; SP-100/30 Jt Fav
2005-WINNER-THISTHATANDTOTHER 9-11-03 Owner-Graham Roach; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh;
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