/ Racing

Al Eile lands Aintree Hurdle hat trick

Updated: Saturday, 05 Apr 2008 15:48

Al Eile achieved a hat trick of Aintree Hurdle wins on Grand National Day
Al Eile achieved a hat trick of Aintree Hurdle wins on Grand National Day

Al Eile produced another fine Liverpool performance to land his third Scottish and Newcastle Pub Enterprises Aintree Hurdle.

John Queally's charge won the race 12 months ago and in 2005, and also won at the spring Festival as a novice four years ago.

Always travelling kindly for Timmy Murphy, the 11-4 joint-favourite took over from long-time leader Osana at the penultimate flight before powering on to beat that rival by an easy 10 lengths.

The David Pipe-trained runner-up fought off Straw Bear for second spot, passing the post with two lengths in hand of Nick Gifford's gelding.

Murphy said: ‘I think he's getting better! That rode a very good race today.

‘He usually travels strongly down the back, but I was having to niggle him a bit today.

‘He's a very clever horse and John has done a very good job with him, he knows that Cheltenham is not his ideal track so he misses it every year to come here.’

Winning owner Michael Ryan said: ‘It's amazing, all credit to John Queally who has trained him since he was a three-year-old and improved him every year and gets him right on the day.

‘He was very impressive, he cruised throughout the race and Timmy gets on very well with him. I just thanked Mr (David) Johnson because I had to borrow his jockey for the day and I've done that a few times.’

Pipe said of Osana: ‘He's run a blinder. He's now finished second in two of the highest-class races so far this season.

‘He's done us proud and that'll be it for the season for him now.’

Gifford said of the third: ‘He's run a very good race. He ran his heart out. Probably he doesn't quite get the trip, but he has been beaten by two very good horses. We have no complaints.

‘He is in at Punchestown, but I will have to have a word with his owner (JP McManus) and we will have to see what the ground is like.’

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