• Racing/
  • Ruacana Strikes For Ferguson

coral.co.uk Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 110y

  • (4yo, 2m 110y, Class 1, 8 runners)
  • Winner £19,932 2nd £7,480 3rd £3,745 4th £1,866 5th £938 6th £469
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 5.30s
  • Off time: 13:38:10
  • Last Updated: January 5 2013, 15:13 GMT

John Ferguson's Ruacana appeared to be a fortuitous winner of the coral.co.uk Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.

  • Swnymor falls at the last when looking all over the winner...
  • ...Ruacana comes through for John Ferguson 

The first Grade One of the season for juveniles looked sure to be won by Swnymor who had just taken up the running approaching the last.

Tim Vaughan's charge took a crashing fall at that flight, however, with Richard Johnson thrown into the path of the chasing Megalypos.

Tony McCoy's mount was hampered as he avoided the stricken jockey allowing Denis O'Regan and Ruacana to come through and land the prestigious prize from Caid Du Berlais.

The market principals were all held up in rear in a slowly run contest as Vasco D'Ycy, Zandy Man and Dalmo all raced a little too freely at the head of affairs.

Despite the lack of pace, Ruby Walsh was niggling at Caid Du Berlais from a long way out and never looked happy aboard the French import who was sent off as favourite to provide Paul Nicholls with a first winner in this race.

It appeared as though fourth might be the best that he could hope for halfway down the home straight but he was only beaten a length and a quarter after the drama at the last.

  • Former Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander works before racing.
  • The jockeys emerge for the opener...
  • ...it's close at the last but ...
  • ...O'Faolains Boy makes a winning hurdling debut for AP McCoy
  • Keppols Hill wins the beginners' chase for Ruby Walsh and Paul Nicholls
  • Drama in the Grade One Finale Hurdle - Swnymor falls at the last when looking all set to win
  • Ruacana comes through to pick up the pieces
  • Amigo lands the handicap hurdle for the David Pipe team
  • Teaforthree and Monbeg Dude jump the last together in the Welsh National
  • ...and the latter eventually gets the better of the market leader.
  • It is another ice cool ride from a jubilant Paul Carberry
  • He then talks connections through how he did it on the big screen replay
All the best images from Coral Welsh National day at Chepstow

It was a second win from as many starts for Ruacana, a useful handicapper on the Flat for Michael Bell, following his debut success at Catterick and a first Grade One winner for his trainer who is better known as Sheikh Mohammed's long-standing bloodstock advisor.

Ferguson said: "He was consistent for Michael Bell and it was very kind of his owner to lease him to Bloomfields (Stud, in whose colours the winner ran).

"On his Flat form I had a strong feeling he would go in the ground and I thought Denis gave him a smashing ride - although we did have a bit of luck on our side.

"We'll get him home and then decide what we do next. Obviously everyone wants to have runners at Cheltenham, but there's no point just going there for the sake of it and we'll see how things pan out."

Coral make the winner 16/1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle with the unlucky Swnymor 12-1 but the Sky Bet make the Cape Cross gelding a 25/1 chance with the Leeds based firm also longer about Swnymor (16s) with Caid Du Berlais also quoted at 25s.

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