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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Racewatch: Aintree day one
All the action from the first day of the three-day Grand National meeting at Aintree.

Author and former jockey Dick Francis launched the day's racing by opening a new weighing room at the course.

The day's feature race was the Betfair Bowl Steeplechase, won in impressive style by Timmy Murphy on the Martin Pipe-trained Celestial Gold.

The Fox Hunters' Chase gave amateur riders a test over the Grand National fences with last year's winner Katarino making it second time lucky under Sam Waley-Cohen.

Ruby Walsh claimed a double with wins in the final two races on Natal and Rhacophorus.

1730 John Smith's HBLB Mares Only Standard Open NH Flat (2m 1f)
1. Rhacophorus (R Walsh) 7-1
2. Wyldello (R Thornton) 7-2 Fav
3. Ring Back (M Nicolls) 50-1
22 ran

1655 CitroŽn C4 Mersey Novices' Hurdle (2m 4f)
1. Natal (R Walsh) 7-2 Jt Fav
2. Blazing Bailey (R Thornton) 7-2 Jt Fav
3. Harmony Brig (A Dobbin) 9-1
11 ran

1620 John Smith's Red Rum Chase (2m)
1. Jacks Craic (Antony Evans) 10-1
2. Nyrche (R Thornton) 7-1
3. Andreas (R Walsh) 7-2f
4. Ground Ball (AP McCoy) 11-1
16 ran. Dist: 2Ĺ, 4

Jacks Craic came from almost last to first in the final circuit under the guidance of Antony Evans to win the Red Rum Chase.

The winner moved gradually through the field and took control with a couple of fences left as Nyrche and Ground Ball disputed the lead.

But although the favourite Andreas also challenged briefly, Evans had timed his run to perfection and his mount responded superbly.

1545 John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase (2m 5f)
1. Katarino (Mr S Waley-Cohen) 11-2
2. Christy Beamish (Mr W Hill) 8-1
3. Beachcomer Bay (Mr J Keeling) 100-1
30 ran. Dist: 7, 15

Sam Waley-Cohen made it back to back wins in the Fox Hunters' Chase when Katarino put in a superb performance to claim victory for the second year in a row.

Trained by his father Robert, Waley-Cohen stayed towards the front out of trouble for most of the race for amateur jockeys over the Grand National fences.

Waley-Cohen put in a supremely confident ride and jumped solidly before running on strongly to the line for a popular win.

1510 The Sportsman Anniversary 4-YO Hurdle (3m 1f)
1. Detroit City (R Johnson) 3-1f
2. Premier Dane (A Dobbin) 20-1
3. Afsoun (MA Fitzgerald) 7-2
13 ran

Detroit City gives jockey Richard Johnson his second success of the day with an impressive win.

It was a second big win for the four-year-old who also claimed victory in Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.

Johnson had to work hard on his mount in the opening stages but brought him to the front with three hurdles remaining and his rivals were unable to respond.

Detroit City negotiated the final hurdles safely and powered on to the line for victory.

1435 Betfair Bowl Steeplechase (3m 1f)
1. Celestial Gold (TJ Murphy) 8-1
2. Take The Stand (A Dobbin) 6-1
3. L'Ami (AP McCoy) 5-2f
9 ran. Dist: 7, 2Ĺ

Celestial Gold puts in a commanding display to win an incident-packed Betfair Bowl Chase and give trainer Martin Pipe and jockey Timmy Murphy a well-deserved victory.

Murphy put in a patient ride on the eight-year-old, gradually moving into contention with a circuit to go, before mounting a serious challenge with three fences to go.

Take The Stand and L'Ami were fighting things out at the head of affairs but Murphy moved up well and after L'Ami faded slightly, a mistake by Take The Stand at the last cost him victory leaving Murphy and Celestial Gold the deserved winners.

My Will fell at the first while the well-fancied Beef Or Salmon unseated rider Paul Carberry at the third.

1400 John Smith's Liverpool Hurdle (3m)
1. Mighty Man (R Johnson) 11-4
2. My Way De Solzen (R Thornton) 6-4 fav
3. No Refuge (G Lee) 16-1
12 ran. Dist: 7, 13

Mighty Man gained revenge on My Way de Solzen for his defeat at Cheltenham with victory in the day's opener.

Ridden by Richard Johnson, the six-year-old travelled smoothly and was up with the leaders throughout.

Mighty Man and My Way de Solzen kicked away at the top turn with Mighty Man jumping the last narrowly ahead.

And Johnson's mount powered on to the finish to run out a comfortable seven-length winner with No Refuge a long way back in third.

Grand National runners and riders
06 Apr 06 |  Horse Racing
The BBC at Aintree
03 Apr 06 |  Horse Racing
Q&A: Ginger McCain
05 Apr 06 |  Horse Racing


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