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Monday, 19 November, 2018

The best and worst of the weekend racing

Vicente (left) top performance to pick himself off the Aintree turf to repeat his win in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday
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Performance of the week

Flat racing should be taking the spotlight but pride of place has to go to Vicente for his repeat win in the Coral Scottish Grand National to keep the trainers' title a talking point, even if a weak subplot.

Like his trainer Paul Nicholls this eight-year-old looked to be on the ropes after being on the floor in both the Hennesssy on his seasonal return and then the Grand National just two weeks earlier.

In between he had been beaten out of sight but Nicholls showed his prowess in rejuvenating the eight-year-old to match Androma (1984 and 1985) and Barona (1975 and 1976) in winning back-to-back Scottish Nationals.

Paul Nicholls: trained Scottish National winner Vicente

No doubt Nicholls will be relishing the chance to make it three with Vicente who will only be nine next year and he could outdo another triple Scottish National winner Queen's Tale who won the race at Bogside in 1953 and 1954 before completing the treble in 1956.

Disappointment of the weekend

Order Of St George failing to take the opportunity to grab the headlines in national newspapers when having the chance with it being St George's Day.

It was not to be for the Gold Cup winner on his seasonal return in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes and he did not impress with his attitude albeit after a long winter holiday.

Had he been a two-year-old it would have been easy to forgive him both the high head carriage and looking around when asked to pick up front-running Torcedor into the final two furlongs.

As an Arc third over 1m4f last autumn the 1m6f could not be used as an excuse for the Gold Cup winner's performance - it was disappointing. 

Picture of the week

Blue sky, lush green grass and a Classic contender in Barney Roy, the Greenham winner at Newbury on Saturday. Perfect racing picture for the summer

Tweet of the week

The Queen at Newbury tweet

Quotes of the week

"I've finished second to her several times in the past so it was a bit of a change around but it was lovely to see her win the other race. What other sport or lifestyle could you be involved in and be so close to royalty?"
Rod Millman, after his 100-1 shot Duke Of Bronte had foiled a Saturday double for the Queen.

"I've got loads left to run. We've got loads to run at Sandown. It's going to be very, very hard but we'll give it a go, we always do."
Paul Nicholls showing a Robert The Bruce-like commitment to succeed with the difference he already knows just what it takes to be king.

I've got loads left to run. We've got loads to run at Sandown. It's going to be very, very hard but we'll give it a go, we always do.
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