Beau Bay flies to William Hill Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
Beau Bay improved on his third place from 12 months ago to win the William Hill Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree.
Ridden by 3lb claiming conditional jockey Charlie Hammond, Beau Bay (20-1) jumped brilliantly throughout to see off the opposition and give 2014 Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland another winner over the famous fences.
Sir Jack Yeats made a brave bid to make all the running and he proved a tough nut to crack, but he was unable to hold the winner on the long run for home and was beaten five lengths at the line.
Modus was a length and three-quarters away in third place, with Flying Angel a further half-length back in fourth.
Newland said: “It’s a huge thrill. We absolutely love it here – it’s no secret. With Pineau De Re winning the National and Silver Adonis winning the Foxhunters’, it’s just about our favourite place.
“This lad is a stable star. He’s not getting any younger, but he was third in this race last year and seems to love these fences – it brings him alive and gives him that bit of improvement.
“We’ve seen other Grand National fence specialists do well today (Vieux Lion Rouge winning Becher Chase) and I’m so thrilled for the horse and so thrilled for Charlie Hammond, who has been with me since he had his first winner. He’s paid us back in spades.
“We had a question mark over the trip because he was walking on the run-in last year, but he’s actually finished strongly today.
“I think we’ve just caught him right as he’s in fabulous form and it’s all come off on the day.”
He added: “We could look at coming back here in April for the Topham, but realistically, that is another step up.”