Lane lands Fox Hunters gamble
Cloudy Lane and Richard Harding (left) clear the last with Roulez Cool
(Healy Racing Photos)
The winner, himself a favourite for the National when sixth in 2008, continued the amazing legacy of the McCain family over the big Aintree fences.
The 4/1 chance appeared to be outpaced at the far end of the course as market-rival Gwanako and Roulez Cool took up the running.
However, the former capsized five from the finish and a handful were still in with a chance as they turned into the straight.
Roulez Cool still held the upper hand but it only seemed a matter of time before the staying-on Cloudy Lane would take his measure.
The eventual winner jumped into the lead at the final fence and stayed on dourly up the long run-in to win by almost three lengths, with Roulez Cool (14/1) holding off the fast-finishing Herons Well (33/1) with Keenan's Future fourth.
It was a poignant win for the trainer on the day when a statue his late father Ginger was unveiled.
"He was the first horse Trevor Hemmings sent us and he's won every race we wanted to win, Kim Muir, Grimthorpe, Red Square Final, Tommy Whittle, he's won them all," he said.
"He had a problem last year so we didn't know what to do so we went this route. He loves his job and he's like a four-year-old at home.
"We weren't happy with him at the beginning of the week and we weren't going to run him but my head-girl has done a fantastic job. It's great to see the old horse back, Aintree is special to us as a family."
Jockey Richard Harding added: "He's been round here before and he gave me a brilliant spin. He jumped, travelled really well and I gave him a breather turning in.
"He was actually idling in front but he jumped for fun and loved it. The plan was to just sit in the rear and take it up two out so it worked to perfection."
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