Dunne deal again as Mysteree hands Scudamore another big win
It's that man again. Jockey Robbie Dunne has a fine record in staying chases and he added a Betfred Eider to his wins in the Coral Scottish National and the Haydock Grand National Trial with a smooth success on the Michael Scudamore-trained Mysteree in the Betfred Eider.
It was his first ride on the nine-year-old, who had finished fourth in the race last season when trained by Lucinda Russell, and it proved a relatively straightforward one as he travelled well on the inside on the 10-1 shot.
After going on at the third last, Mysteree stayed on strongly to beat 8-1 hope Knockanrawley by four lengths, with the game Shotgun Paddy, who was sent off the 6-1 favourite but made a bad mistake at the seventh, a gallant third.
Dunne, 31, said: "I was a bit further back at the start than I wanted to be but he soon made up the ground. I wanted to be on the inside as he can hang badly left, but he travelled well and jumped well. It's always more simple on good horses, it's getting on them that is the problem.
"I have the best agent in the business in Dave Roberts and I'm grateful to Michael for giving me the ride. I've been over here for six years and I've had some good days so I wish I'd come over sooner. That is my 17th winner this time and I'm on course for my best-ever season."
Scottish National goal
It was a second big race in two days for Scudamore as he won the Devon National at Exeter with Kingswell Theatre just 24 hours earlier.
He said: "Mysteree is a very straightforward horse. He ran well in this race last year and is now a year older and a year wiser. I am grateful to his owners for sending him to me - I think they wanted him to be in a smaller yard.
"The Midlands National will be too soon for him, he is a horse who is best when fresh, but we will give him an entry in the Scottish one at Ayr in case it is soft there."
The winner is owned by Edinburgh-based Lynne Maclennan, who said: "We have had him since he was a five-year-old and he has been a great horse for us. It has been a bit frustrating this season for although he won at Haydock in November we have struggled to get him in the big races since then.
"He was eliminated from the Welsh National and he didn't get into the Warwick Classic either. Then he was dropped 2lb so we weren't sure he would get into this. Luckily, he did."