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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Native seals Aintree double
Native Upmanship
Native Upmanship wins for the second year running
Native Upmanship raced to back-to-back victories in the Martell Cognac Melling Chase at Aintree on Friday.

Conor O'Dwyer played the waiting game before guiding the 5-4 favourite home in easy fashion.

Seebald, owned by footballers Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman, had to settle for second place with Kadarann 18 lengths further back in third.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy had launched his bid on the diminutive Seebald four fences out but Native Upmanship was ominously looming on the farside.

Arthur Moore's 10-year-old jumped into the lead at the final fence and looked comfortable as he tracked down Seebald to win by a length.

O'Dwyer told the BBC after the race that he was amazed just how much Native Upmanship had in reserve.

I just hope Native has another two years in him
Trainer Arthur Moore
"He was travelling so easy, he really is a super horse," the winning jockey said.

"I was happy to have Tony (McCoy) there as a marker, it was probably a more competitive race than last year and he's won it easier."

Moore was delighted that Native was able to go one better than his superb second place in the Queen Mother's Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month.

"He had the best race of his life at Cheltenham and to do it again shows he is a top class horse," the trainer said. "I just hope he has another good two years left in him."

Clan Royal defeated 5-1 favourite Macs Gildoran by two and a half lengths in the daunting Martell Cognac Sainsbury's Topham Chase over the Grand National fences.

Liam Cooper took the 12-1 shot to the front more than five fences out and held his nerve over the final fence to beat off Ruby Walsh's challenger with Exit Swinger third.

Clan Royal set up a double for owner McManus, who will be represented by Youlneverwalkalone in the National, and for trainer O'Neill.

"Horse and man rose to the occasion it was a great performance in the final run-in," McManus told the BBC.

McManus saw his luck hold out into the final race as Charlie Swan sealed an Aintree treble for the owner onboard Patriot Games, which he both rides and trains.





Links to more Grand National 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Winning jockey Conor O'Dwyer
"It was fantastic"


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