Our Vic Shines at Aintree
The Aintree Grand National has kicked off in high gear, with many nail-biting races and thrilling finishes. As the contenders for the Totesport Bowl Chase started getting ready, anticipation amongst the enthusiastic spectators started heating up, and all eyes were on the race favorite, Kauto Star. But it was not meant to be for the massive horse, who lost the racing event to Our Vic by little more than a nose.
Our Vic started out the gates with a 9-1 chance of winning, due to his unpredictability. He is known as a horse whose performance cannot be anticipated and therefore punters are usually skeptical of placing a bet on him. Our Vic is owned by David Johnson and trained by David Pipe. Both men have never given up hope on this beautiful, yet fickle, horse. After winning the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Johnson and Pipe believed that he had a good chance of performing well at Aintree. And being in the same contender line-up with Kauto Star was nothing new to Our Vic. They came up against each other at the King George VI Chase in December, where Our Vic came in second to Kauto Star, but still ran an extraordinary race.
By the third last fence of the Totesport Bowl Chase, it seemed that Kauto Star had the win in the bag, but a minor error saw the mighty horse struggle for a few moments to get back on the bridle. He once again dug deep and extended his lead. At the second last fence Kauto Star took off too soon, and though he did not lose his momentum, his stride seemed to have shortened. This gave Our Vic the opportunity to close the gap between them. In the home straight, Kauto Star and Our Vic came head to head, battling for victory with each stride. But it was Our Vic that gave a last boost of momentum, to push his nose across the finish line a split second before Kauto Star.
Both horses deserved to win, as Our Vic and Kauto Star gave their best and never gave up the fight until the end. Kauto Star’s trainer, Paul Nicholls, is a little disappointed but adds that he gave jockey, Walsh Ruby, strict instructions on how to ride Kauto, contrary to what Ruby had in mind. Maybe that played a role in Kauto Star’s performance, or maybe Our Vic simply fought harder. The fact remains, Our Vic walked away victorious.
Another magnificent performance was made by the Nicky Henderson trained Binocular. Ridden by Tony McCoy, Binocular outran the competitors of the John Smith’s 250th Anniversary four year old Novices Hurdle, leaving Celestial Halo in second place and Harper Valley coming in, in third place. And with a heart stopping first day coming to an end at the Aintree Grand National, the upcoming racing events are guaranteed to be show stoppers.