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Wincanton

  • 14:20 Higos Insurance Services Somerset National Handicap Chase3m 3f 110y

  • £20,000 added 5yo+ 9 ran
  • Winner £12,512 2nd £3,696 3rd £1,848 4th £924
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 7m 33.00s
  • Off time: 14:22:21

Flying Award and Lucy Gardner win Somerset National

Last Updated: 16/01/14 4:37pm

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Flying Award (right) takes the last with a length still to find on Samstown (left)

Flying Award (right) takes the last with a length still to find on Samstown (left)

To win one 'National' is hard enough, but to win two takes some doing.

However Flying Award claimed his second National at Wincanton, when getting up in the last stride to take the Higos Insurance Services Somerset National under Lucy Gardner.

Flying Award had also taken the Highland National at Perth last April only two starts ago.

Gardner, who has plenty of experience over fences having featured in Sandown's military races for more than a decade, was niggling away on the 14/1 winner from a fairly early stage.

But as the stamina test started to thin the field out on the final circuit, it brought out the best in Flying Award who one by one picked off his rivals.

Samstown, ridden prominently by Ewan Whillans and a first raider at the track for Borders trainer Alastair Whillans, looked to have the race in control coming off the home turn and jumped the final fence still a length clear of Yellow Ball and Flying Award.

But gradually Gardner closed the gap on the run-in and her mount got up in the last strides to take the lion's share of the £20,000 prize pot by a neck.

Flying Award is now likely to be aimed next at another National prize, the Devon National at Exeter in March.

"The horses have been quiet at home, so to come and win this is brilliant," said Gardner, whose mum Sue trained the winner.

"He switches off a bit at the start, but he warms up and the further he goes the better he gets. He stays all day and he's been a brilliant yardstick for us over the years.

"Mum bought him unbroken as a four-year-old and he's a horse that means quite a lot to us."

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