Reports13 April 2024

Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott land Grade 1 double as Found A Fifty edges Maghull thriller

Found A Fifty  and Jack Kennedy edges Master Chewy for Grade 1 victory at Aintree
Found A Fifty and Jack Kennedy (near) edge out Master Chewy to land the Grade 1 Maghull Novices' Chase at AintreeCredit: John Grossick (

Found A Fifty received quotes of 33-1 (from 66) from Paddy Power for next season's Champion Chase after getting the better of a head-bobbing finish with Master Chewy in the My Pension Expert Maghull Novices' Chase.

Found A Fifty was headed halfway up the run-in but battled back to score by a head. In doing so he completed a Grade 1 double on the day for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy after Brighterdaysahead's win in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle. Trainer and jockey also combined to claim the runner-up spot in the National with Delta Work.

"I've been delighted with all of the horses we've run," said Elliott. "On another day we could have had four or five winners."

On Found A Fifty, he added: "Bective Stud are massive supporters. You are always nervous with these horses when you come on from Cheltenham, but we haven't done much too intensive with them. People think they are machines, but they aren't machines. Jack was great and the horse is awesome, but it's kind of a guessing game."

Great gift

Gwennie May Boy, bought as an 80th birthday present for owner Gwendoline Clarke, is the gift that keeps on giving.

The six-year-old made it three on the bounce since being sent to Dan Skelton with victory in the £75,000 3m½f handicap hurdle coming hot on the heels of last month's win in a £100,000 race at Uttoxeter.

Clarke said: "It's fantastic to win three races in a row, and to do it on Grand National day is brilliant. 

"I used to go racing years ago, but I was standing outside the parade ring. This is my first horse and I've got the racing bug, and we've got two more now."

Charlie Todd celebrates victory on Gwennie May Boy
Charlie Todd celebrates victory on Gwennie May BoyCredit: John Grossick (

Charlie Todd partnered the 9-2 shot and was landing the race for the second time in three years, while he winner's stablemate, last year's hero West Balboa, finished third. 

"I genuinely thought West Balboa would win and I'm astounded by the improvement in this horse," said Skelton. "He's only six years old and I've not had him all that long. It's remarkable how much he has improved."

Deja vu for Lacey 

Tom Lacey watched the William Hill Handicap Chase from the same spot as six years ago, and got the same result: a battling all-the-way win by a progressive young chaser.

For Thomas Patrick in 2018, read Cruz Control this time as the seven-year-old made all under Stan Sheppard, who sat tight when his mount made a mistake at the final ditch and had enough left to hold off Sam Brown by a length.

Lacey said: "He missed the ditch in the home straight second time, but otherwise he jumped pretty economically, fast and effectively.

"He appears to be slow, but he's such a big, long-striding horse he's covering ground – he's taking one stride to other horses' two."

Cruz Control and Stan Sheppard land the William Hill Handicap Chase at Aintree
Cruz Control and Stan Sheppard land the William Hill Handicap Chase at AintreeCredit: Edward Whitaker (

Thomas Patrick did not win again, but Lacey hopes Cruz Control will keep progressing and could even be a Grand National contender in time.

He added: "You'd want to be looking after his handicap mark, but we've joked in the yard that one day he's a potential National horse, especially if we have a wet spring.

"I've been reluctant to step him up to three miles because, although he's seven, he's still a frame. We've given him time to mature and I think he'll just get better and better, hopefully."

Bumper boost for O'Brien 

Paddy Brennan may be much closer to the end of his outstanding career than the beginning and he was denied the chance of a big Aintree success on Tripoli Flyer, who was worn down late on by his Fergal O'Brien-trained stablemate Horaces Pearl with Connor Brace on board.

"I was screaming Paddy home and so was my daughter Daisy, I thought that was a great ride from Paddy," said O'Brien, who had earlier seen Crambo disappoint once more when only eighth in the Liverpool Hurdle. "I turned to Daisy and said 'what's beaten us?' She said it was Horaces Pearl, our other one. I'm just delighted to get a winner. It's been a tough festival and Aintree and I'm delighted with that."

Read more:

'She's very, very good' - Brighterdaysahead repays Gordon Elliott's faith with a devastating show in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle 

'This is my best day as a trainer' - Olly Murphy overcome with emotion after Strong Leader steps up in Liverpool Hurdle 

'Unbelievable' I Am Maximus storms to 2024 Grand National glory for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend

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