The fairytale continued for the Bradstock team at Newbury as stable stalwart Carruthers rolled back the years with a gutsy success in the Ultima Business Solutions Silver Jubilee Handicap Chase.
Just minutes earlier, his Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning half-brother Coneygree had paraded at the track and the ever-popular 12-year-old was not going to be overshadowed by his younger sibling.
Mark Bradstock’s charge was struggling to find his feet in the early stages but, once he made his way to the front rank under Nico de Boinville, Carruthers was not for passing.
Amigo and favourite Financial Climate attempted to get on terms after Carruthers jumped the last in front, but the veteran kept finding and held Amigo by a neck.
Bradstock said: “He doesn’t know how to give up. He’s been going seriously well at home and it was horrendous ground at Uttoxeter which was why we took him out [of the Midlands National].
“I’m not sure if he will continue racing next year. We always have an AGM in the summer and we thought about going point-to-pointing, but I’m not sure if he’s qualified to do that now after winning this race.”
Rebel Rebellion (7-1) foiled Pepite Rose’s bid for back-to-back wins in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase as he repelled the favourite for a length success.
Winning trainer Paul Nicholls said: “He’s still in the National and we were half-resigned to going for the Topham.
“It will probably be one or the other, but he gets into the National without a penalty.”
Kalane (10-1) landed the Listed EBF & TBA Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap for trainer Charlie Longsdon.
Longsdon said: “She got a leg in France before coming here, but she won first time out and Noel [Fehily] said then she is a seriously nice mare on a potentially nice mark of 120.”
The Unit (9-4 favourite) came out best in a thrilling finish to the DBS Spring Sales Bumper, triumphing by a head under Wayne Hutchinson.
Donald McCain is considering The Last Samurai for the Coral Scottish Grand National after the seven-year-old regained winning ways in the Liz Adam Memorial Handicap Chase at Kelso.
The Last Samuri (9-2 favourite) asserted his superiority on the run-in to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Harry The Viking. Sharney Sike stuck on third, seven lengths away.
“He’s done it really well. I had him in the four-miler at Cheltenham, but we decided to sit tight and wait for this,” said the Cheshire trainer.
“He has the hood on as he is a bit hot and he’s just learning his job nice and quietly.
“We might have to concentrate on a race up at Ayr now. There’s a novice handicap there and he’ll get an entry in the Scottish National as well.”
The Neil King-trained Milansbar (10-1) just edged out the 3-1 favourite Racing Europe in a thrilling finish to the Thakeham Handicap Hurdle.
“He’s been crying out for further and has been doing all his best work in the dying strides,” said King.
“Part of the attraction of going to Kelso was because it was three-mile-three and you don’t get too many of those.
“I was delighted to see he goes on hock-deep mud and on good ground. All options will be open next year.
“I said after he ran at Haydock, he’d be a Grand National horse in two years’ time and I believe he will be.
“We might leave it at that now and look forward to going novice chasing next season.”
Oscar Rock (5-4 favourite) powered clear from the second-last obstacle to register his second successive win over fences in the John Smith’s Novices’ Handicap Chase. and could now also head to Aintree.
At Downpatrick yesterday Gordon Elliott’s Riverside City won the Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National EBF Handicap Chase under a power-packed ride from Davy Condon.
A day earlier former champion jockey Davy Russell suffered a broken arm in a fall at Gowran but he hopes to be back in time for the Punchestown Festival.
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