McKiernan's Follow The Plan in shock Aintree win12/04/2012 - 15:44:37
Follow The Plan stunned punters with a 50-1 shock success in the Betfred Bowl Chase at Aintree.
Tom Doyle brought Oliver McKiernan’s nine-year-old to lead after the second last and win in tremendous style by three lengths.
Burton Port (4-1) just held on for second with the vastly-improved Hunt Ball (6-1) a neck away in third and Medermit close behind in a bunch finish for the places.
Last year’s winner Nacarat and Hennessy victor Carruthers cut out the early running.
The strongly-fancied favourite Riverside Theatre was never travelling well and he was pulled up as was Diamond Harry before the race really began in earnest.
Follow The Plan was always going well and once he hit the front never looked like getting caught.
The winner had previously won the Punchestown Gold Cup last season.
McKiernan said: ``We followed the same plan as last year when he was third in this so I imagine we'll go on to Punchestown with him.
“The ground drying out helped our horse, he’s not as good on soft ground.
“He’s not a horse that can hit the front too soon and he needs something to aim at. We’re very happy.
“The way he was working at home we were happy but early on he was sticky at his fences.
“The Punchestown race is only 10 minutes down the road so we loved winning that but we’re delighted.”
Doyle added: “Once we were over the first he jumped really well and travelled great.
“He’s not a horse that wants to be in front too soon but we ended up being there too soon. He jumped so well I had to.
“He jumped the last well and he’s been a good horse to me, that’s three Grade Ones he’s won and he probably hasn’t got the credit he deserves.
“I couldn’t believe how well he was going, I was just trying not to do anything wrong.”
Henderson said of his runners: ``Barry (Geraghty) said Riverside Theatre was never travelling. It's funny, I know he won the Ryanair but he has gone backwards since Ascot.
“I think next season he might even go King George, Cheltenham and then bed.
“It’s a shame Burton Port hasn’t managed to win a race this season as he has run some really good races. He’s quite a small horse and we weren’t quite sure about the National this year. He has run well and we’ll sit down and think about what we do next.”
Keiran Burke said of Hunt Ball: “It was another good, solid run and he has showed he has stayed three miles. We know the dream is still alive and we can aim him at the good races next season.
“I think he’ll have a break now, he hasn’t lost anything in defeat, and this will all count next year.”
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