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Quito best in Mildmay thriller

Quito De La Roque pipped Sarando in a thrilling finish to the John Smith's Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree.

Colm Murphy's charge survived a nasty moment at the second-last fence when he landed awkwardly, with Davy Russell just managing to stay in the saddle despite being fired up in the air.

That let Sarando back in and after they jumped the last together it was nip and tuck all the way to the line, but Quito De La Roque (6-1) dug deep to win by a neck from the 50-1 outsider, with Golan Way, who made the early running, third.

Several horses made mistakes, with The Giant Bolster coming down early on and Master Of The Hall falling at the last.

Russell said: "He's tough work and an idle old devil, but every time I ask him, he almost tries too hard. When I gave him a squeeze to jump, he over-jumped like he did at the second-last, but he landed and gathered himself together and tried again for me.

"There was no point in anybody saying whether he would or wouldn't go on better ground, because we didn't know.

"We weren't sure he'd handle the undulations of Cheltenham, so we decided to come here and he was always going to try better ground once."

Murphy added: "He was unknown on a bit of nicer ground but unfortunately the whole winter we had no choice but to run him on heavy.

"All credit to Davy and all credit to the horse. All the horse wants to do is gallop and try for you. He'll pull himself up and he's a bit of a character, but he has a big engine and he'll keep digging.

"I'm not sure where we'll go next with him, but he's one to look forward to for next year. We'll dream away for the summer."


From Belfast Telegraph