Neill lands Legends contest

  • Last Updated: April 6 2013, 14:40 BST

Owner Terry Neill ended a 20-year wait for a winner at his local course when War Singer lifted the John Smith's Aintree Legends Charity Race.

War Singer wins in Neill's red and white silks
War Singer wins in Neill's red and white silks

Walton-born Neill once had the favourite for the Grand National, but was happy just to finally have his red and white colours carried to victory at his beloved Aintree.

"This is my first ever winner here. I've been trying for about 20 years," he said.

"I had many horses in the National and had the favourite one year in Dark Stranger with Tony McCoy riding and it fell at the third."

The David Pipe-trained War Singer was partnered by Tony Dobbin, successful in the famous Monday National in 1997 on Lord Gyllene.

Dobbin was winning the one-mile-five-furlong contest in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust for the second time in three years.

Leading a furlong out, War Singer stretched four lengths clear of Cool Macavity, ridden by retired Flat jockey Richard Hills, with Rosie's Lady third in the hands of Jim Culloty.

"I was in the paddock and Pipe senior (Martin) told me this was one of their coups, so that made me nervous," said Dobbin, who retired in 2008 and is now assistant trainer to his wife Rose.

"I had a lovely ride but I think I got there too soon.

"It's great to ride in it and it's for a great cause. Hopefully it will continue."

Pipe said: "About three weeks ago I saw on At The Races they were looking for horses for this race. I asked them what the qualifications were and he fitted the criteria."

Bob Champion, with Jonjo O'Neill, led the 11 runners to the start in the colours he carried to victory in the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti.

"That was fantastic. The guys in the race had ridden thousands of winners between them and they clearly still know what they are doing," said Champion.

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