Goulanes and Richard Johnson jumping to Midlands National victoryPICTURE: Steve Davies
Goulanes gives Pipe Midlands National win
Report: Uttoxeter, Saturday
Betfred Midlands Grand National Chase (A Handicap) (Listed) 4m1½f, 5yo+
GOULANES continued David Pipe's fantastic record in the Midlands National, as the 13-2 favourite cruised into contention before going away after the last to give the trainer a fourth successive win in the race.
Richard Johnson was riding his first winner for Pipe since 2006 on the eight-year-old, and victory capped a memorable week for jockey and trainer following multiple winners for both of them at the Cheltenham Festival.
In the colours of Roger Brookhouse, who had already enjoyed an Arkle winner on Tuesday with Pipe courtesy of Western Warhorse, Goulanes followed Minella Four Star (2011), Master Overseer (2012) and last year's winner Big Occasion in delivering the prize to the Pipe yard.
Goulanes also had the option of the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival, but Brookhouse said: "The ground was drying out at Cheltenham so we decided to come here."
A delighted Johnson added: "He was very good. They've gone a hectic gallop early on and the ground is drying all the time so it is tacky and hard work.
"I've had a lovely time but he just got a bit close to the third last. He's a bit of a character but he has got ability. When he got to the front he sort of started looking around at everything and I needed to make sure he kept going forward but at the end of that race I think it was a case of who will go on the longest."
Kim Bailey had decided to miss the Gold Cup due to the ground with Harry Topper and reroute to Uttoxeter, but the topweight was never a factor, a bad mistake at the second nearly unseating Nick Scholfield, and the seven-year-old was pulled up down the back on the final circuit.
Veteran West End Rocker had taken the field along with Junior, and Alan King's 12-year-old still led turning in, with Alpha Victor for company.
However Johnson was stalking the front two, and produced Goulanes between the final two fences. A good jump at the last in front of the packed stands secured the race, with Alpha Victor bravely battling on for second at 33-1, while a tired West End Rocker was third at 20-1.
There was a longer gap back to Summery Justice in fourth, also a 20-1 shot.