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RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL DAY OPENS WITH A PARTY AS BUSINESS COMES GOOD

Press Release 9th April 2022 Aintree

Party Business landed the opening race on Randox Grand National Day, the Grade Three EFT Construction Handicap Hurdle (3m 149y).

The Ian Williams-trained six year old was returned at 11-2 and scored by three-quarters of a length from Irish raider Iikedwayurthinkin. 

Winning jockey Charlie Todd is now just one winner away from riding his claim. This was his 74th winner.  

Winning trainer Ian Williams said: “That was a good duel up the straight, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. I was anxious watching him early on. He didn’t pick up the bridle early, didn’t travel, didn’t jump, was obliged to go very wide turning for home and we said to Charlie, if you get the opportunity, don’t take it up during the last. 

“Three out we were in front, so it was going to be a long way, but he was tough. He’s not had an enormous amount of racing, this horse, and I think today he really wasn’t performing because he had a nasty time at Cheltenham - it was messy and rough; he was nearly brought down twice - and he wasn’t doing a tap early, but he’s finished strong. 

“I think that’s possibly Charlie’s last ride before losing his claim - he might have one more, but it was a solid effort and he’s done well to get back up.This means a lot - it’s a good day. 

“It’s great for the owners (Eventmasters Racing). Mark has been an owner of mine and worked with us for 20 years now. One of our original horses, Latchford, was a Brummie-based horse. 

“Eventmasters have got 1,000 people here today, which is amazing, and it’s great to have a winner on the big stage. Mark was really anti-running at Liverpool until about three days ago, and when I was watching the horse running down the back straight on the first circuit, I thought he was probably right, but fortunately he’s got his confidence and put up a sterling effort. He was well-handicapped and has shown that today. I couldn’t be happier.” 

Winning jockey Charlie Todd has now ridden 74 career winners and needs one more to successfully ride out his claim. He said: “They went a really strong gallop and it was his first run over three miles. He wasn’t really travelling to tell you the truth but he had a good run round and jumped round and up the home straight - we went from being almost last to in front. 

“I probably felt the same as him (Ian Williams, in not being overly confident early on) but he has always been that way. He was arguably unlucky to have not run better at Cheltenham but he has won today. That is my first Graded winner and I’m delighted. 

“I’ve got one more left on my claim now. I was very confident coming here today and I thought I could have nicked one yesterday at Fontwell but it didn’t quite go to plan. 

“He was very unlucky at Cheltenham (in the Martin Pipe) but he was hampered three or four times. I’m not saying he would have won there but I was very hopeful coming here today. 

“He has really put his head down. I was flat out the whole way and I was pushing him from a mile and a half out and went from being last to being in front before even jumping three out.  

“I was praying he would hold on and gallop again. When the eventual runner-up came up alongside and got his head in front he showed a great attitude and galloped all the way to the line. You couldn’t ask for much more and I’m delighted. 

“Ian has been great to me. He has put me through the whole of my claim. I came to him as an amateur with no winners to my name and I’m still here now one winner away from my claim. Hopefully we can keep the great partnership going. 

“I’ve got one more left on my claim now. I was very confident coming here today and I thought I could have nicked one yesterday at Fontwell but it didn’t quite go to plan. 

“I’ve ridden 74 winners and I’ve had some nice ones on the way but this one tops it. My whole family is here today and it is great for them to be here. I’m glad I can repay the boss for what he has done to me. I get on very well with him and he is almost like a father figure to me and he has done a lot for me.” 

Gavin Cromwell, trainer of runner-up Ilikedwayurthinkin (16-1), said: “It was a great run and we’ve just bumped into one. We pulled a good way clear of the third so we’re happy. 

“I don’t know about plans moving forward, he has the option of going chasing as well so I’ll talk to JP (McManus, owner) and Frank Berry and we’ll see.” 

Nicky Henderson, trainer of third placed Mill Green, said: “He keeps running good races but the handicapper has him by the throat. He's done it at Cheltenham and he’s done it here. He’s good fun and he’s home-bred.” 

Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of fourth placed Beauport, said: “He’s run very well under that big weight. He’ll be chasing next season and he’s made for it. He’s a nice big horse.” 

 

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