Grand National Runner Blaklion Beaten at Haydock
Grand National favourite, Blaklion, was left to rue a second place finish as 8/1 shot Yala Enki claimed the National Trial Handicap at Haydock Park Racecourse on Saturday.
Only three of the eight starters managed to complete the race, which is run over three miles four and a half a furlongs.
8-year-old Yala Enki, trained by the diligent Venetia Williams, performed excellently, mastering the heavy going to win by an emphatic 54 lengths.
It was a day to forget however in the Twiston-Davies camp, with runner Blaklion struggling to adjust to his allotted 11st 6lb weight.
With four fences remaining, Tom George’s Wild West had begun to surge clear from the chasing pack but was pulled up shortly after, leaving Charlie Deutsch in prime position aborad Yala Enki. And the impressive Bay Gelding certainly delivered, racing to a comfortable victory on his fifth Haydock appearance.
Blaklion, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, undoubtedly found his big weight on the tricky ground too much to handle and managed second, with Mysteree, the only other finisher, a further 20 lengths adrift.
Twiston-Davies, son to trainer Nigel, has notably been allowed by boss Paul Nicholls to maintain the partnership with Blaklion in the Grand National itself this year. Speaking of Saturday’s defeat, the 25-year-old noted that multiple factors contributed to the disappointing result:
“He just got very tired. Carrying that weight in that ground took its toll and we just took him straight to the stables.”
Is the original Grand National favourite, Blaklion, still the front-runner for Aintree’s ultimate steeplechase this April?
Be at the heart of all the Grand National action with our 2019 Hospitality Packages & Tickets.
Watch the racing unfold in style with a VIP corporate package tailored to the needs of you and your treasured guests. With first-class food, splendid views and an impeccable hostess service, you are sure to enjoy a day at Aintree like no other.
It can only be imagined the impression that will be left with your clients, family and friends. As the world’s finest horses compete for the ultimate sporting accolades, you are guaranteed of slam dunking the experience of a lifetime into the memory baskets of your bedazzled clients.
Discover more about Grand National Day in 2019.