Scottish Grand National: Takingrisks wins for trainer Nicky Richards

Winning jockey Sean Quinlan with the Scottish Grand National trophy

Takingrisks won the Scottish Grand National by three lengths at Ayr at odds of 25-1.

Jockey Sean Quinlan broke clear of Crosspark (10-1) and Cloth Cap (9-1), with Blue Flight (25-1) coming fourth in a tight bunch behind the winner.

Takingrisks is trained by Nicky Richards, whose father Gordon won the race in 1969 and again in 1990.

“At the first, he got banged into, and I thought all chances had gone,” Quinlan told BBC Sport.

“It was just fear keeping me on – I was hanging out of the back door and praying to God that he’d keep me on. He travelled superbly – he’s just jumped and travelled – he’s very tough, especially for a veteran.

“When we hit the line and had won, you fill up inside – it was emotional. I don’t get very emotional but to win a prestigious race like this is probably going to be the highlight of my career.”

Favourite Vintage Clouds (5-1) was prominent throughout but fell away over the closing fences to come sixth.

Scottish-trained Big River struggled in the early phase of the four-mile race but finished strongly in fifth.

There were five non-runners owing to the drying ground, including Beware The Bear and Dingo Dollar.

‘Story-book win for wild man Quinlan’ – analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

This was something of a story-book win for Sean Quinlan. Once renowned as one of the ‘wild men’ of the jockeys’ changing room, he once found himself in court after a pub fight, but no one ever doubted his talents. With the support of friends, agent Richard Hale, and his own efforts, he’s worked his way into a position where he’s something of a go-to rider on jump racing’s ‘northern’ circuit.

The victory was also a notable one for that circuit in its own backyard. Compared to its southern cousins, things are not so prosperous in the north, but given the right material, the likes of Nicky Richards can certainly deliver as has happened here.

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BBC Sport – Horse Racing

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