Scottish Grand National
Outsider Joe Farrell denies treble seekers at Ayr
So close: Joe Farrell and Ballyoptic at the finishing line
Joe Farrell, a 33/1 outsider, upset the hopes of two treble seekers by winning the Scottish Grand National.
Ridden by Adam Wedge and trained by Rebecca Curtis in Wales, the winner of Ayr’s showpiece, held off a late challenge from Ballyoptic 9/1 to be declared the victor in a photo finish.
Joe Farrell, who was getting a stone from the runner-up, gave his rider a scare at the final fence but recovered in the final run in.
Wedge told ITV Racing: “He stuck his head out like an absolute lion for me after the last.
“The mistake at the last fence didn’t stop him. I was going to take a pull, but he’s taken it on. Fair play to him, he knew better than me.”
It was a first win in Scotland for Ms Curtis who also part-owns the horse.
Adam Wedge with trophy (photo by SNS Group)
Third was Vintage Clouds (12/1) ridden by Danny Cook, while Noel Fehily and Doing Fine, also 12/1 finished fourth.
The 7/1 favourite Fagan, trained by Gordon Elliott, who had been hoping to complete a Grand National treble – after winning the English and Irish equivalents – rarely tested the leading pack.
Vicente, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, was seeking its own hat-trick of wins by becoming the first horse in more than 100 years to win the race for a third successive year, but faded out of contention late on.
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