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Gerri Colombe galvanised to Aintree Bowl success

3 minute read

The Gordon Elliott-trained Gerri Colombe stayed on stoutly to land the William Hill Bowl Chase at Aintree on Thursday.

GERRI COLOMBE (right, red/black cap) winning the Bowl Chase at Aintree in Liverpool, England.
GERRI COLOMBE (right, red/black cap) winning the Bowl Chase at Aintree in Liverpool, England. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Runner-up to dual Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs at Cheltenham last month, Gordon Elliott's charge was sent off the 9/4 favourite to go one spot better in the Merseyside day-one feature.

Always prominent under Jack Kennedy, the Robcour-owned challenger looked to be in a spot of bother rounding for home, but stamina soon came to the fore and he stayed on strongly to land the spoils from dual Grand National meeting winner Ahoy Senor by half a length.

"I wasn't really happy the whole way, but he was tough and got it done, which was a relief," said the winning rider, Jack Kennedy.

"He had a tough race in the Gold Cup; we'd obviously have been disappointed if he didn't win, but there would have been a reason. He was tough and got it done, but he wasn't at his best, and the Gold Cup left its mark on him, I'd say."

Gordon Elliott, who will saddle eight horses in the Randox Grand National on Saturday, added: "I actually think he'd be a bit better on better ground, but it will be all systems go for the Gold Cup next year. We'll probably go the same route again and keep dreaming.

"It's going to be tough for Jack to win the jockeys' championship, the firepower Paul [Townend] has, but Jack's a great fellow, and it's the first season he's had a proper run at it. We forget he missed the first couple of months of this season, as well, with injury. I'll do my best to support him in any way that I can, and if it doesn't happen for him this year, he's only 24, 25 years of age, and it will happen."

Ahoy Senor signified a return to form with his gallant runner-up effort at the Merseyside venue and Lucinda Russell, who will be hoping Corach Rambler can land back-to-back Grand Nationals on Saturday, couldn't be happier with the performance.

"It feels like he's won, his jumping was phenomenal, he travelled really well – he's just back. I'm not sure what it is about this place, it's maybe the time of year, but he loves it around here. I think the flat track suits him," said Russell.

She added: "We'll maybe look at Sandown now for the Oaksey Chase.

"I wasn't watching the race closely as I was just shouting like mad, but the other horse is a phenomenal horse, and the Gold Cup form has stood up.

"It's just nice to see he has come of age; he can jump and travel whereas before he was running a bit like a freak and making the odd mistake."

A commanding winner of the contest twelve months ago, Shishkin failed to follow the Grade 1 honours Sir Gino claimed earlier on the card, as the 5/2 chance was beaten nearly nine lengths into fourth, having faltered up the run in.

Henderson said: "On this sort of track he just lacks a gear. He was always trying to get out but couldn't when he wanted to.

"Surely, we will go to Ireland where the track will suit him better and he's better going right-handed.

"He's had three runs this season and that was his first since Newbury. He needs to sing for his supper."

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