One-two for McManus in Aintree opener

It was a one-two for owner JP McManus to start Friday of the Aintree Festival, as Inothewayurthinkin took a comfortable victory over Iroko to land the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

INOTHEWAYURTHINKIN winning the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in Liverpool, England.
INOTHEWAYURTHINKIN winning the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in Liverpool, England. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Outsider of the field Broadway Boy set a solid pace in the early stages with Inothewayurthinkin settled at the back of the field under a patient ride from jockey Mark Walsh. As the race began to heat up in the back straight, Kim Bailey's Chianti Classico jumped to the fore in his search for a Graded victory and appeared to have the contest at his mercy, travelling well rounding the final bend. With Broadway Boy fading away, it was Heart Wood's turn to try for victory with Iroko notably going strongly on the inside. Although it could have been anyone's race jumping the second-last fence, Mark Walsh soon took the iniative aboard the favourite and powered clear for a comfortable, although arguably workmanlike performance.

The victory represented a breakthough Grade 1 success for the Gavin Cromwell-trained six-year-old, after romping home for an easy eight length success in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival.

Cromwell said: "His jumping definitely left a bit to be desired, but he clearly has a big engine. He looked to have done plenty wrong, but still won. Clearly he stays well, so we're delighted with the result.

"I'd say that's it for this season. He's up into big boy company next year and we'll see how that goes, but he's going to have to improve his jumping.

"He's a Grade One winner so it's the obvious thing to do (run in top staying chases next season)."

Jockey Mark Walsh said: "We went a proper gallop the whole way and going out on the final circuit Sam (Twiston-Davies) and David Bass pressed on again.

"I was happy enough with where I was, but he made a mistake at the third-last and again at the second-last. Luckily enough we had a good enough horse to come through and win.

"Going to the last I thought we could win, he picked up well and wasn't for passing. He's only a novice and he's only going to improve, so there's plenty to look forward to."

Paddy Power reacted to the win by shortening Inothewayurthinkin from 20/1 to 10/1 for next year's Gold Cup.


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