On His Own (third left): now a general 25-1 shot for the Grand NationalPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Gutsy On His Own wins second Thyestes Chase
Report: Gowran Park, Thursday
Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase (Grade A), 3m1f, 5yo+
ON HIS OWN displayed tenacity and strength to lead virtually all the way under 11st 6lb and win the prestigious Thyestes Chase for the second time.
As an indicator of his chances in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree it was a resounding positive and Corals took the hint by cutting the Willie Mullins-trained winner to 20-1 co-favourite (from 33) for the £1 million marathon in April.
Tiredness nearly got the better of On His Own from the second last as he veered off a straight line, first left and then right, but his rider Paul Townend was able to drive him out for a 12-1 win over a whittled-down starting line-up of 18 led by Los Amigos, the 5-1 favourite who finished second.
Oscars Business claimed third at 12-1 with Balnaslow fourth at 8-1.
On His Own has had two cracks at the Grand National, falling on both occasions.
Becher's on the second circuit scuppered him in 2012 while a year later he made it three fences further until falling at the 25th of the 30 fences, Valentines, as the 8-1 second favourite.
Mullins, who also saddled Balnaslow and two others, was delighted to equal Tom Dreaper's record of five wins in the Thyestes.
"Paul (Townend) gave him a great ride," said Mullins, who trains the winner for Andrea and Graham Wylie.
"He was very gamey and the horse seemed to enjoy being out in front. He'll be entered for the Crabbie's Grand National and although he hasn't had much luck in the race in the past I'd imagine he will take his chance.
"The Thyestes is the big event of the year in our area and it's great to have won it again. It's our fifth win in the race and I understand that equals Tom Dreaper's record in the race."
Townend maintained there was something left in the locker despite On His Own's wayward route home.
"Bar the fourth last when there was a bit of miscommunication between horse and rider, he jumped brilliantly," Townend said.
"He was happy out in front. I left him alone over the last few fences and he ran about a bit, but he had plenty left."