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Somerset trained horse finishes 2nd in Grand National

Balthazar King, trained by Somerset's Philip Hobbs, came second in today's Grand National. Credit: Pete Byrne/PA Wire

There was some success for the West Country in this afternoon's Grand National at Aintree.

Balthazar King, trained by Somerset's Philip Hobbs, came second. The race was won by the 25-1 shot - Pineau De Re.

Rocky Creek, trained by Paul Nicholls in Somerset, came fifth.


Somerset trainer hoping for Grand National success

The most famous event in the horse racing calendar takes place this weekend - and there are high hopes that the West Country might produce a winner. This year's Grand National has a top prize of a million pounds.

Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs has never won the big race. But after a successful Cheltenham Festival, expectations are high for the two horses he has running.

Bob Cruwys went to meet him at his stables near Minehead:

Twiston-Davies horse put down after Aintree fall

Little Josh ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies at the Cheltenham Festival last month Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

A horse trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies in Gloucestershire has been put down after a fall at Aintree.

Little Josh broke his shoulder in the John Smith's Topham Chase at Aintree this afternoon.

The 11-year-old gelding parted company with rider Sam Twiston-Davies on the Grand National course.

Professor Chris Proudman, Veterinary Advisor to Aintree Racecourse, said: "We are sad to confirm that is has been necessary to humanely put down Little Josh on welfare grounds, as a result of his fall at the 15th fence in the John Smith's Topham Chase.

"He received immediate veterinary attention for a broken shoulder, but this injury was not treatable and it was the necessary course of action."


Parade for Grand National winner

Neptune Collonges is led through the village of Ditcheat Credit: ITV Westcountry

Grand national winner Neptune Collonges has been given a victory parade through the Somerset village where he is stabled. Head lad Clifford Baker is pictured (front left) leading the horse through Ditcheat.

Neptune gave trainer Paul Nicholls his first-ever Grand National victory after entering 53 runners over the years.

Victory parade for Grand National winner

Grand National champion Neptune Collonges will receive a hero's welcome when he returns to the Somerset village of Ditcheat later. Neptune's photo-finish win at Aintree marks another stunning victory for trainer Paul Nicholls.

But the triumph was accompanied by tragedy following the death of Gold Cup winner Synchronised. The horse trained in Gloucestershire by Jonjo O'Neill was fatally injured in a fall at the notorious Becher's Brook.