Gerri Colombe (9/4 Favourite), a gallant runner-up in last month’s Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, went one better at Aintree today when landing the William Hill Bowl Chase.

The Robcour-owned eight-year-old battled with Ahoy Senor on the run-in to take the honours by half a length.

Winning trainer Gordon Elliott said: “Jack said he was never happy with him the whole way, he said he was slack the whole way, but, look, it shows the goods the horse has. He said he probably ended up in front too soon, but he’s a great horse. He only does what he has to do. We’re lucky to have him.

“I actually think he’d be a bit better on better ground, but it will be all systems go for the Gold Cup next year. We’ll probably go the same route again and keep dreaming.

Nothing good comes easy

“It’s going to be tough for Jack to win the jockeys’ championship, the firepower Paul [Townend] has, but Jack’s a great fellow, and it’s the first season he’s had a proper run at it. We forget he missed the first couple of months of this season, as well, with injury. I’ll do my best to support him in any way that I can, and if it doesn’t happen for him this year, he’s only 24, 25 years of age, and it will happen.”

Discussing his Randox Grand National runners, Elliott said: “To be honest, the ground’s probably gone against a few of them. Chemical Energy and Galvin would probably want better ground. Delta Work and Coko Beach will probably love the ground. I’m really happy with Delta - I’ve probably not had him working and moving this well in the past few years.”

Successful jockey Jack Kennedy said: “I wasn’t really happy the whole way, but he was tough and got it done, which was a relief. He had a tough race in the Gold Cup; we’d obviously have been disappointed if he didn’t win, but there would have been a reason. He was tough and got it done, but he wasn’t at his best, and the Gold Cup left its mark on him, I’d say.”

Lucinda Russell, trainer of the second Ahoy Senor, said: “His jumping was phenomenal, he travelled brilliantly, he is just back. I think it is the time of year (as to why he performs so well at this meeting). He loves it around here, and I think a flat track really suits him, and we will maybe look at Sandown for the Oaksey Chase. I’m absolutely delighted with him.


“To be honest I didn’t watch it as I was just shouting for him. The other horse is a phenomenal horse, and the form has really stood up. I’m just really pleased with him. He has come of age now. He can travel and he doesn’t have to be in front. Before he would make the odd mistake, whereas now he is a lot more tractable, and his jumping was fabulous. You can’t crib him as he has run a great race.

“I absolutely love this place. Walking back down underneath the tunnel people were saying well done Hank as they understand that is his stablename, and they understand him. I feel a great affinity with the people here. It is a fantastic place. It is just magic.”

Frank Berry, Racing Manager to owner JP McManius, said of the third Corbetts Cross: “We were delighted with him. He maybe didn’t jump as quick as some of the more experienced ones, but he came there with his chance after the second last. He maybe just got a bit tired, but Mark (Walsh) was delighted with him and hopefully he will learn a bit from that experience.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with him. He has more than held his own, and hopefully he will get a little bit quicker over his fences. He has a bit to find with the Gold Cup horses, but you would be hoping he would be going down that kind of road next season. There was nothing wrong with him after the race. He was just a little bit tired, that is why Mark (Walsh) got off after the line.”