Chaotic Scenes In Aintree Opener Hands West To The Bridge Shock Victory
There were chaotic scenes in the first race at Aintree on Saturday afternoon as firstly the odds-on favourite was taken out at the first hurdle, while later on in the race there was more carnage with another horse being forced off the track and being forced through the running rail by two jockey-less horses.
What was expected to be a fairly modest start to proceedings with six runners going to post for the Betway Heed Your Hunch Novices' Hurdle turned into a catalogue of errors, as a wayward jump at the first flight of hurdles from The Grand Visir saw him unseat Tom Scudamore, but his skewed jump saw him clatter into odds-on favourite Eldorado Allen and champion jockey Richard Johnson was sent out of the saddle.
That was only half the drama though as later on in the race the two loose horses (The Grand Visir and Eldorado Allen) found themselves in the middle of the track and they veered into the rail and demolished it right in front of Champagne Mystery. James Bowen was unable to slide his mount away from the trouble and as the horse tried to jump the rail he was forced off the track and was seen heading towards some of the track staff watching the race.
Having taken the wrong course, Champagne Mystery was forced to pull up and it left three runners left to battle it out for victory and it was 40/1 West To The Bridge that will be one of the more shock racing results of the day, who won the race for Dan and Harry Skelton, but it will be a race long remembered for the early carnage on Becher Chase day at the home of the Grand National.