Trainer Barnes saddles 100-1 winner at Hexham
MAURICE BARNES, best known for riding 25-1 shot Rubstic to Scotland's only victory in the Grand National in 1979, sprang a 100-1 surprise as a trainer on Friday when Miss Tarantella floored punters at Hexham.
Even off bottom weight of 10st, his mare had not looked over-priced for the 2m handicap hurdle, having been beaten 65 lengths the only time she had completed the course in four previous hurdle races, for each of which she had started at a three-figure price.
But she made all the running in the testing conditions under 5lb claimer Michael McAlister, stayed on strongly in the straight and scored by nine lengths.
"I don't know what made the difference to her," the trainer's daughter and assistant Angela Barnes said afterwards. "I think she just felt like doing it today.
"It is absolutely amazing. We always knew she had ability but she has been so hard to get right for this day."