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Joe Farrel wins Scottish Grand National

After a tough season Joe Farrell held off Ballyoptic in a thrilling finish to the Coral Scottish Grand National at a sun-drenched Ayr.

The Adam Wedge-ridden Joe Farrell was confirmed the winner by a nose in a photo-finish. “It’s been an awful season, I lost half the horses I had and a lot of things happened in my personal life as well,” said Rebecca. “But I’ll build for next seas and start again. I’m trying to buy horses.”

She added: “It’s great for Mark Sherwood as he was the first owner I had in the yard. He ran me after I did an interview on Racing UK – he had a couple of horses elsewhere who he moved to me and he’s been a great owner ever since. And Nigel Morris is another of my best owners, he’s been very supportive.

“We’ve learned to give Joe Farrell plenty of cover as he does like to bowl along, but he’s always jumped like an old handicapper, I knew he’d appreciate this better ground having run in bad conditions all winter.

“I knew he was in great form at home and I was quietly confident he’d run well. I hope he could be an Aintree horse but the trouble is getting up in the ratings to get into the National.”

Curtis has enjoyed plenty of success with staying chasers in her 10-year career, but this was breaking new ground for her. Not only is the first prize of £122,442 the biggest single haul she has landed, but the surroundings were unfamiliar too.

“It sounds bad – and I’m quite well travelled – but I’d never been to Scotland before,” she said. “It’s a long way but it’s great it’s paid off.”