Medinas lands Welsh Champion Hurdle
Trainer Alan King
(Healy Racing Photos)
The field were tightly grouped for much of the two and a half mile contest with the jockeys wary of the extremely testing ground and half-way down the far side there were half a dozen horses spread across the width of the track vying for the lead.
Balder Succes and Oscara Dara moved well turning for home but in their slipstream, and seemingly travelling even better, was Tanerko Emery in the colours of Ffos Las supremo Dai Walters.
The run of David Pipe's charge rather flattened out in the long straight as the field became strung out.
Medinas challenged on the inside of the track but a peck at the second last flight appeared to have put paid to his chances and handed the advantage to Peckhamecho.
The latter appeared to have the race won with Tanerko Emery finding only the one pace but Medinas Hutchinson gathered up Medinas for another effort and the six year old ran on well to score by a length and a quarter.
"Once I got after him after the last, he kept finding for me and he's stuck it out well," said Hutchinson.
"He'd been beaten off this sort of mark a couple of times before but he'd had two or three races in quite quick succession and now he's been freshened up by a break and he's come back an improved horse."
Carruthers (6/1) produced a gutsy frontrunning performance to lift the William Hill West Wales National under amateur rider Nico De Boinville.
The former Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup hero was soon clear with Shaking Hands and with a circuit to go the pair were some 25 lengths up on their rivals.
By the time they came round into the home straight for the final time, Carruthers had shaken off his rival but it was Cannington Brook who emerged from out of the closing pack to throw down a challenge.
Quickly closing up to within a couple of lengths of the winner, it looked as if the writing might be on the wall for the winner. But responding gamely to his rider's urgings, Carruthers rallied on the run from the final fence to hold on by two and a quarter lengths with a yawning 32-length back to the remainder, headed by favourite Alfie Spinner.
"He just loves it," De Boinville told At The Races. "To be honest, I was wondering if we were going to get home as we'd gone a good gallop but when he heard the other horse coming, he went on again.
"He kept on pulling out more and he's a horse with real heart. He's a pleasure to ride. He's popular with the public and it's just a thrill."
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