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Ayr

  • 15:25 Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase 4m 110y

  • (Grade 3) £180,000 added 5yo+ 24 ran
  • Winner £102,510 2nd £38,466 3rd £19,260 4th £9,594
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 8m 4.10s
  • Off time: 15:26:48

Magic Merigo

Murhpy and Merigo prove magical in National

Last Updated: 21/04/12 4:30pm

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Merigo: Scottish National winner

Merigo: Scottish National winner

Merigo regained his crown in the Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase at Ayr.

Andrew Parker's 11 year old became the first horse since Androma in 1985 to win the contest twice but, while Androma was landing back-to-back triumphs, Merigo had to regain his crown having finished second to Beshabar 12 months ago following his win in 2010.

Always to the fore behind a lung bursting gallop set by Garleton and Fruity O'Rooney, Timmy Murphy's mount was still swinging along on the bit as the field set out on the final circuit.

The pace had, however, proved far too much for a number of his rivals with the likes of Harry The Viking and Junior having already cried enough.

Galaxy Rock was still travelling strongly under Tony McCoy but his stamina gave out at the top of the straight as Auroras Encore and Merigo went toe to toe in a titanic tussle.

Great Tune

Ryan Mania got a great tune out of Sue Smith's gelding and jumped the last in front but Murphy conjured one more run out of the local hero whose fans raised the roof as they passed the post with a head to spare.

Murphy said: "He's a superstar. Andrew knows him better than anybody and I think he just comes to himself at this time of year.

"The choke was out for a long way and all credit to how deep he dug for me. I couldn't go any quicker and his jumping was keeping him it.

"He's a great horse to own and ride."

Owner Raymond Anderson Green said: "To win it once is dreamland, to come back and do it again - words can't describe it. It means everything to me to win this race.

"It was a great ride by Timmy."

Lion Heart

Parker said: "He's a horse that takes some getting fit - look at the size of him - and he still looks unfit now, but that's him.

"He loves Ayr, he loves the sun on his back. He's just a different horse here than anywhere else.

"I thought we might be struggling, but one thing he has got is the heart of a lion. Timmy said he's losing his pace but he's got heart.

"For a horse who's never won over a mark higher than 134, to win 350 grand we've done well with him."

There was 15 lengths back to a resurgent King Fontaine with Ballyfitz plugging on for fourth ahead of the pacesetting Fruity O'Rooney who deserves plenty of credit for completing in fifth.

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