• Racing/
  • Boston Bob Bounces Back

Betfred Melling Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f

  • (5yo+, 2m 4f, Class 1, 10 runners)
  • Winner £112,540 2nd £42,400 3rd £21,220 4th £10,600 5th £5,320 6th £2,660 7th £1,320 8th £680
  • Going: Good (Good to Soft in places; National: Good to Soft, Good in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 58.10s
  • Off time: 15:06:15
  • Last Updated: April 4 2014, 16:24 BST

Boston Bob bounced back to form with victory in the Betfred Melling Chase at Aintree.

Boston Bob (right): Ready winner of Melling Chase
Boston Bob (right): Ready winner of Melling Chase

Willie Mullins' nine-year-old had been somewhat disappointing over fences having looked a useful novice earlier in his career. but those that kept faith with him were rewarded for their patience as the 5/1 chance scored under Paul Townend.

Hopes may not have been high in the early stages of the contest as Boston Bob dropped himself out during the early stages of the contest but under a sympathetic ride, he was gradually allowed to get into contention and stole a decisive march up the inside of his rivals to secure the race despite a rather unorthodox negotiation of the final fence.

Fellow Irish raiders Days Hotel and Rathlin were allowed to set the fractions, and the last named started to build up a lead as they went out into the country for the second time

The pack began to close with three to jump with well backed favourite, Rajdhani Express among the closers, but all eyes were on Ballynagour, as the Cheltenham Festival winner appeared to be travelling with any amount in hand.

David Pipe's charge did not find anywhere near as much as promised and while Rolling Aces battled on dutifully, he emptied out quickly as the winner went on after the last.

A delighted Paul Townend said of the winner: "I thought we might be placed when we were at two out! I thought it was a very good performance. He had two horrible falls last year and he's got his confidence back and jumped super today."

Owner Graham Wylie added: "After the Ryanair Chase, Ruby (Walsh) got off him and said he really enjoyed it, so we thought we'd bring him here.

"We thought the distance might be a bit too hot for him as he's a three-mile horse really, but what a brilliant ride by Paul.

"We started him over hurdles to get his confidence back and then Willie (Mullins) decided he wasn't going to go for the World Hurdle after his run in the Cleeve."

Mullins said: "He liked the nice ground. We gave him a break and brought him back.

"He ran very well in Cheltenham. I was happier that he ran better than his finishing position, so I thought I'd enter him in the two races here.

"It was easy to pick this race. Even though two and a half was not his trip, I thought it was a much easier race.

"We've plenty of time to go on to Punchestown. His owner might have two runners in the Gold Cup at Punchestown - On His Own and this fella."

Reacting to the race Sky Bet's Michael Shinners said: "Boston Bob hasn't really lived up to the high expectations this year, but bounced right back to form today. He needed a good pace which he got and was given an excellent ride. We are 14/1 for the Ryanair and 20/1 for the Gold Cup both first show."

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