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Black Apalachi claims Aintree win

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O'Regan and Black Apalachi safely negotiated the Aintree fences

Irish challenger Black Apalachi put in a strong display of front running to claim victory in the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree.

The 15-2 shot, the mount of Denis O'Regan, jumped superbly to beat last year's winner Mr Pointment.

The pair had pulled away from the rest of the field but Black Apalachi powered clear between the final two fences.

Mr Pointment slowed to a walk on the run-in and was briefly passed by Oulart before rallying to regain second.

O'Regan said afterwards: "I got a fantastic ride off the horse. We got into a great rhythm and he jumped really well. It was like a day out hunting.

"He gave me a great ride. Last year Mr Pointment made all in the race and in the Great Sefton the winner made all. I thought I would make plenty of use of him. It's great."

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Black Apalachi, who got no further than the second fence in this year's Grand National, is now as low as 16-1 for the 2009 running in April.

Trainer Dessie Hughes was represented by his jockey son Richard who said: "He cartwheeled at the second fence in the National. They were going flat to the board and he couldn't get the landing gear out in time.

"This is a good trial for the National but he would need the ground soft as he is an out-and-out stayer.

"The rain today suited him but it would have been against his stablemate Oulart. That is why we brought both over as the ground would suit one of them."

Trainer Paul Nicholls said of Mr Pointment: "He takes a while to warm to it, but if we can ride him like that in the National on better ground, and if the handicapper drops him a few pounds, he would have a realistic chance."

Becher Chase Aintree 3m 2f
1 Black Apalachi (Denis O'Regan) 15-2
2 Mr Pointment (S Thomas) 13-2
3 Oulart (D J Condon) 20-1
13 ran. Dist: , 11

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see also
Mr Pointment triumphs at Aintree
25 Nov 07 |  Horse Racing

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