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Special Tiara heads for a big victory under bright blue skies at Aintree

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Cooper on a roll as Tiara sparkles late in Maghull

Report: Aintree, Saturday

John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m, Mildmay course, 5yo+

THE stock of jockey Bryan Cooper rose further still on Grand National Saturday as he steered 28-1 outsider Special Tiara to Grade 1 victory over Overturn.

It was Cooper's third British Grade 1 win of 2013 after he won the Triumph Hurdle on Our Conor and the Aintree Bowl on First Lieutenant on Thursday.

But it was another agonising result for punters on Grand National Saturday after a 22-1 winner of the opener, especially as 11-4 second favourite Overturn and 2-1 favourite Alderwood came home second and third.

Arkle fourth Overturn drifted before the race but he was a typically game front-runner and had his closest pursuers, Alderwood and Sire De Grugy, hard at work on the approach to home.

However, Cooper had the Henry de Bromhead-trained Special Tiara, who was 26 lengths behind the winner on his most recent start at Leopardstown, closing hard and although Overturn pinged the last the famous fighter could not hold off the challenger all the way to the line.

Cooper was a late substitute on the winner, who was supposed to be ridden by Andrew Lynch until that rider suffered minor injuries when unseating in Friday's Topham.

Special Tiara's owner Sally Rowley-Williams appeared in the special racing edition of Channel 4's Come Dine With Me this week but failed to scoop the £1,000 prize. That disappointment was put firmly in the past after her outsider's victory at Aintree, however.

"The owner got 66-1 in November that the horse would win today," explained De Bromhead. "We thought back then that an easy two miles on good ground would suit him well. It's nice when it comes together."

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