Carruthers lands popular West Wales National win
Report: Ffos Las, Saturday
William Hill West Wales National (Handicap Chase) (Class 2) 3m4f, 5yo+
FORMER Hennessy hero Carruthers put up a spirited performance to hold off the late thrust of Cannington Brook to claim a well-deserved victory for trainer Mark Bradstock and 7lb claimer Nico de Boinville.
The popular front-runner, who recorded an emotional success at Newbury two seasons ago, jumped the last clear of his nearest pursuer Cannington Brook, but he began to wander under pressure.
Luckily, the line arrived in time for the popular ten-year-old, who runs in the colours of The Oaksey Partnership.
The 6-1 winner was subsequently introduced into Paddy Power's Grand National market at 33-1, while BetVictor went 14-1 (from 20) for the JLT Specialty Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
In testing conditions, the field finished well strung out and the first two finished a long way clear of 11-4 favourite Alfie Spinner.
Bradstock's wife Sara said: "He's the ultimate competitor. If he can win he will really keep on battling for you, but if he thinks he cannot he will soon let you know and say 'stuff it'.
De Boinville, who works for Nicky Henderson and rides out superstar Sprinter Sacre every morning, settled Carruthers at the head of affairs alongside Shaking Hands.
The pair were 15 lengths clear turning for home but Cannington Brook swiftly bridged the gap as Shaking Hands weakened quickly.
After Carruthers cleared the last he hung to his right, which handed Cannington Brook another chance, but like so many horses before him he found the winner's will to win too great as the finishing post loomed.