Betfred Melling Chase
Grade 1, Aintree 15:25
£200,000 added,
5yo plus,
2m 4f, Class 1  
Friday 10th April 2015

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1 Don Cossack 3/1JF
2 Cue Card 6/1
3 Johns Spirit 16/1
10 ran Distances: 26l, 4½l, 1¾l
TIME 4m 53.10s (slow by 5.10s)

Don Cossack wins the Melling Chase in fantastic style!

Don Cossack
© Caroline Norris
Don Cossack

Don Cossack, who won under A P McCoy by a hugely impressive 26 lengths, was trainer Gordon Elliott's third winner of the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National Festival so far.

Elliott said: "The horses are going great and it's going well. I'm delighted. The horse has been brilliant. He's always been the apple of my eye and A P gave him a great ride.

"It was very unfortunate that Bryan Cooper [who rode Don Cossack into third place in the Ryanair Chase] got suspended at Cheltenham. He's a big part of the team. I'm very lucky, I've got brilliant staff, good horses and brilliant owners.

"I was delighted to see A P send him on down the back straight because we know he stays and that it wouldn't turn into a sprint. It's nice to get a winner for A P as well.

Elliott produced Silver Birch to win the 2007 Crabbie's Grand National at the start of his training career. He commented: "I've trained a good few winners here over the past few years, but I'll be honest now, when I won the Grand National I didn't appreciate it. I was young and silly."

He trains Cause Of Causes, who runs in tomorrow's Crabbie's Grand National, and said: "He's in great form and the horses are running well, so I'll say a little prayer tonight."

Betfred, official betting partners of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, have cut Don Cossack from 20/1 to 8/1 for the William Hill King George VI Chase next season.

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Betfred Melling Chase
£200,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 4f, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Don Cossack (GER) 3/1j A P McCoy
11-10
G Elliott 8
2nd 26 Cue Card 6/1 D A Jacob
11-10
C L Tizzard 9
3rd Johns Spirit (IRE) 16/1 R P McLernon
11-10
Jonjo O'Neill 8
4th Champagne Fever (IRE) 3/1j R Walsh
11-10
W P Mullins 8
5th Al Ferof (FR) 11/2 Sam Twiston-Davies
11-10
P F Nicholls 10
6th 9 Simply Ned (IRE) 25/1 B P Harding
11-10
N G Richards 8
7th 30 Wishfull Thinking 25/1 R Johnson
11-10
P J Hobbs 12
PU Croco Bay (IRE) 33/1 Kielan Woods
11-10
B I Case 8
F Balder Succes (FR) 8/1 W Hutchinson
11-10
A King 7
F Sire De Grugy (FR) 8/1 Joshua Moore
11-10
G L Moore 9

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McCOY DONS GIGGINSTOWN SILKS THANKS TO McMANUS

A P McCoy is heading towards retirement in a blaze of Aintree glory after riding the feature race winner on the first two days of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival, 2015.

Following his success yesterday on Jezki in the Grade One Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle he followed up with victory on Don Cossack in the Grade One Betfred Melling Chase.

At last month's Cheltenham Festival McCoy won the Grade One Ryanair Chase on Uxizandre, with Don Cossack back in third. Today he won for Ryanair's owner, Michael O'Leary, whose Gigginstown House Stud colours were carried by the winner.

Explaining how he came to ride Don Cossack, McCoy said: "I had a great ride off him - I owe it to Kieren McManus, J P's son, because when we realised earlier in the week that Uxizandre wouldn't be running Kieren had a word with Eddie O'Leary [who manages the Gigginstown House Stud's horses] and that got me the ride.

"Even though we have good competition with Eddie and Michael both here and in Ireland it's nice to ride one for them. I think I've won about five Ryanair Chases so I've had plenty of money off Michael - it's nice to make him a little bit of money today.

"Fair play also to Gordon (Elliott) and Louise, because they run a very good ship.

"I gave Don Cossack a squeeze at the first down the back - just as we were turning off the bend which was a bit silly - and I kind of worked out that it is better even if you are squeezing with a good hold of his head and keeping the bit up in his mouth. He jumped good from there.

"Gordon said that he has a high cruising speed but will stay galloping and that I shouldn't be frightened of being positive on him. I don't need to be told that the best thing is to be positive - it was like a red rag to a bull.

"Fair play to the horse - I got a great spin off him, it was very enjoyable and it was nice to ride a Grade One winner for Gordon."

Jonjo O'Neill, who trains third-placed Johns Spirit, said: "He's a superstar. He always tries. We'll look at more of these sort of races next season but might be tempted to head again to the Paddy Power as he loves it around Cheltenham."

HUTCHINSON AND MOORE STOOD DOWN FOR THE DAY

Jockeys Wayne Hutchinson and Joshua Moore have both been stood down for the rest of today's racing after taking falls from Balder Succes and Sire De Grugy respectively in the Betfred Melling Chase.

Neither jockey has sustained a serious injury but Hutchinson, who is set to partner Godsmejudge in tomorrow's Crabbie's Grand National, will need to be reassessed by the doctor on Saturday morning before being passed fit to ride.

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Melling Chase - Previous Winners

2014 Boston Bob

2013 Sprinter Sacre
Caroline Mould Nicky Henderson 07-11-10 Barry Geraghty 1/3F
2012 Finian’s Rainbow Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson 09-11-10 Barry Geraghty 13/8F
2011 Master Minded Clive Smith Paul Nicholls 08-11-10 Ruby Walsh 11/2

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