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Master Minded stunned by Voy Por

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Watch Voy Por Ustedes beat Master Minded at Aintree

Voy Por Ustedes shocked race favourite Master Minded to secure an 18-length win in the Melling Chase at Aintree.

Jockey Robert Thornton took full advantage of a mistake by rival Ruby Walsh on the penultimate jump of the two-and-a-half mile, 16 fence, course.

And the Alan King-trained horse landed odds of 5-1 to win, with Master Minded second and Tamarinbleu third.

Master Minded began the race as the top-ranked steeplechaser in training but could not land odds of 5-2 on.

The Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old had won the Queen Mother Champion Chase from Voy Por Ustedes in March.


But Thornton was elated to beat Master Minded so convincingly and avenge his defeat by the same horse at the Cheltenham Festival.

"I was hopeful, not confident. I thought if he [Master Minded] ran a bit flat or if he didn't stay the trip we would take advantage," said Thornton.

"There's obviously an excuse for Master Minded, but we took full advantage and he galloped all the way to the line.

"Today with the ground and everything he jumped very well. He may run in the King George."

Nicholls said of Master Minded: "The mistake didn't help him, but Ruby said he was running on empty by that time anyway.

"We learned something about him today and we will stick to two miles next season."

The result was the latest loss for big favourites at Aintree after defeats on Thursday for Kauto Star and Inglis Drever.

Elsewhere on Friday, Pettifour edged Gone To Lunch by a neck to win the Sefton Novices' Hurdle with Paddy Brennan aboard.

Coleen McLoughlin stood out from the crowd at Aintree
Coleen McLoughlin stood out from the crowd at Aintree

And Big Buck's beat longtime leader Battlecry in Friday's opening race, the Mildmay Novices' Chase, to give the Nicholls-Walsh combo the first of three winners on the day.

The same combo scored when Gwanako just pipped Irish Raptor to the line in the Topham Chase, over the Grand National fences.

In that race, Time To Sell and In The High Grass had to be humanely destroyed after falling.

The latter's rider Adrian Joyce suffered a suspected broken wrist while Tony Dobbin (Nacarat) and Mick Fitzgerald (Crozan) missed rides later in the day.

The two jockeys are, however, expected to be fit for Point Barrow and L'Ami respectively in the National.

Friday's racing was as popular as ever as hundreds of Merseyside's finest dressed up for Ladies Day.

Coleen McLoughlin, fiancee of England footballer Wayne Rooney, turned heads in a strappy blue and yellow floral Balenciaga dress.

Back on the course, Pierrot Lunaire destroyed his rivals in the Novices' Hurdle as Nicholls and Walsh collected their fourth success of the Festival.

The last two races belonged to jockey Andrew Tinkler, who travelled to Aintree seeking his first success at the Grand National meeting.

With a little luck on his side he broke the ice in double style on Nicky Henderson's pair Oedipe (20-1) in the totepool Handicap Chase and Carole's Legacy (25-1) in the concluding bumper.

One well-informed punter netted a record totejackpot dividend of 510,955.60 by naming the first six winners at Aintree.

David Smith, 49, from Kent, paid 32 for his bet.

see also
Photos of Ladies Day at Aintree
04 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Thousands attend Ladies Day event
04 Apr 08 |  Merseyside
Master Minded powers to Chase win
13 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
Kauto beaten on comeback outing
03 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Cloudy Lane heads National field
03 Apr 08 |  Horse Racing
Horse racing on the BBC
14 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
29 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing

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