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Devon’s own National

Blog 20th February 2020 Exeter

It’s a true test of stamina in Devon’s big chase - the Be Wiser Insurance Devon National.

With 21 fences to negotiate and three miles six furlongs to complete, the race requires staying power, from horses and jockeys alike.

The prize for the winner is more than £15,000 and it is ever popular among trainers. This race is perfect for the seasoned chasers chasing down the chance to win a substantial pot of prize money. 

Since 1998, the Devon National has taken place just as the early signs of spring begin to emerge. Vince Slattery was on board the first-ever winner with Workingforpeanuts coming home a distance in front of his seven rivals.

Joe Tizzard has won three Devon Nationals and Sir Anthony McCoy has won it twice, on Samlee for Philip Hobbs in 2000.

Followed by Teeming Rain for Jonjo O’Neill in 2009, the only horse to have won consecutive runnings of the race.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has saddled the winner twice, with duel Grand National-winning jockey Carl Llewellyn winning on board Spanish Main in 2003, and Paddy Brennan on Ammunition in 2011.

The reigning Champion Jockey Richard Johnson was the victor in 2008 aboard Obaki De Grissay.

Long-priced horses can spring a surprise with The Clyda Rover winning at 22-1 in 2013 and Ammunition the winner at 16-1 in 2011.

Local horses often land the spoils too, with Flying Award, trained by Sue Gardner near Exeter, winning in 2014, and Jeremy Scott’s Clash Duff, who is trained on Exmoor, the victor in 2012 ridden by racecourse Ambassador Nick Scholfield.

The 2018 winner was Dawson City, trained by Polly Walker and ridden by Andrew Thornton.

For a day of thrills and edge of the seat excitement, Devon National Day is one not to miss.

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