Grand National Trial: In a Haydock thriller, Harry Bannister and Quick Wave edge out Snow Leopardess.
In a thrilling finish to the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock, Quick Wave beat Snow Leopardess to give Harry Bannister a welcome return to big race success after an injury-plagued season.
Bannister, who suffered a hip dislocation in the fall, arrived on Quick View after longtime leaders Cloudy Glen and Snow Leopardess went to three out.
Before Cloudy Glen finally gave in, any of the three horses could have won the last jump, but Quick Wave won at 18-1 to give trainer Venetia Williams her third win in the race, and Bannister won for the second time in four years.
Quick Wave, an impressive December winner at Sandown, came to this race after a disappointing Welsh National. Paddy Power offered Quick Wave a quote of 33-1 from 50 for the Randox Grand National, while Coral offered a more optimistic 25-1 for Aintree.
“I can’t take too much credit as she’s a lovely filly and credit to Venetia and the team who had her spot on today,” said Bannister. “She’s an exceptionally good trainer and I’m just so thankful for her faith to put me back on this mare.
“I probably ended up a bit closer to the inner than I’d have liked, but we saved ground where we could and she’s travelled strongly and stayed well. She’s the ideal mare for a race like this.”
Bannister added: “It means a lot to get this first winner back, it’s been a long road and there’s a lot of people to thank.”
Prior to this victory, Quick Wave had a rating of 148, which would have allowed her to compete in all five of the most recent Grand Nationals. On Tuesday, when BHA senior handicapper Martin Greenwood releases the weights, she is likely to receive an additional couple of pounds.
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