Captain Conan: a 12-1 shot for next season's Ryanair ChasePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Geraghty and Henderson off the mark with Conan
Report: Aintree, Thursday
Betfred Manifesto Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m4f, 5yo+
A POSITIVE Barry Geraghty got off the mark for the 2013 Grand National meeting as Captain Conan put in some bold leaps to lift the Grade 1 Manifesto Chase with something up his sleeve.
He was a little sticky at his fences in the early stages but once given his head by Geraghty, the 6-5 favourite really warmed to his task and sealed victory with some breathtaking jumps in the home straight. Tap Night ran a race full of promise to take second at 8-1.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Fago cut out the running under Ruby Walsh but he had no answers once Captain Conan loomed large on his outside.
Turning for home, Captain Conan was going ominously well and his jumping took him further clear of his pursuers. Tap Night found plenty for pressure in second, while Changing Times excelled in third.
Winning trainer Nicky Henderson, also tasting victory for the first time on Thursday's card, said: “You'd always hoped he could do that. For whatever reason it just didn't happen at Cheltenham but he was always much happier today.
“He's growing up and will get better with age.”
Geraghty added: “He probably didn't get home at Cheltenham but he winged them today and made up for that.”
Paddy Power make the winner a 12-1 shot for next season's Ryanair Chase.