'Brilliant ride' from Joe Colliver as Sam Spinner goes close to Stayers' glory
Neither Joe Colliver nor Sam Spinner had anything like the ideal build-up, yet it all came right on the night, or very nearly.
The horse, who finished only fifth as 9-4 favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle last year, had completed the course only once this season, when a well-held fourth behind Paisley Park here.
Joe Colliver, who served time in prison for attempting to pervert the course of justice, was due in court on a drink driving charge on the day of this year's race.
But his legal team got the date changed and he rode a storming race on the 33-1 shot, forcing the pace from the off and giving best to Paisley Park only on the run-in.
"Joe gave him the most amazing ride considering all the difficulties he's having at the moment," said emotional trainer Jedd O'Keeffe. "It was a brilliant ride.
"The winner deserved it, he's a very good horse, but Sam Spinner is right back to his best."
Colliver said: "He jumped great and responded to everything I've asked for. Fair credit, we've just been beaten by a better horse on the day. I was delighted with the run.
"I think the softer ground has helped, as well as course experience. Last year he was only six and still lightly raced. Wait till he goes chasing."
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