18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Wagering and T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly | Advertising Disclosure

Brassil warms up for Aintree with well-backed flat winner

Saffronandblue and Ronan WhelanSaffronandblue and Ronan Whelan
© Photo Healy Racing

Aintree Grand National winning trainer Martin Brassil landed Leopardstown's concluding Leopardstown Golf And Driving Range Handicap today with well-backed Saffronandblue (morning 14/1, returned 7s), which won eased-down.

Unplaced five times last year, the four-year-old reappeared under jockey Ronan Whelan and having gone in pursuit of leader Atbay two furlongs out, soon went by and won eased-down - comfortably keeping runner-up Angel Of Fire at bay.

Brassil said “it's a pleasant surprise as we were just hoping he'd run a nice race.

“I thought he had grown up a bit mentally over the winter from his previous run in Gowran and was looking forward to seeing how he'd run but I couldn't honestly say I thought he'd win.

“Fast Companys generally handle that ground and we were banking on that. I told him (Ronan Whelan) to ride him with a bit of patience and to finish well. In that grade they can't keep it up if they go too fast early on.”

Numbersixvalverde's trainer has fancied Panda Boy for Saturday's Aintree showpiece race along with stablemate Desertmore House, which is currently waiting in reserve - being numbered 37.

Quotes from Gary Carson

Tote €8.70 €2.50
About Tom Weekes
A lifelong racing fan, Tom began writing point to point reports in 2002 and has reported for irishracing.com since 2003, when he joined Irish Racing Services - since taken over by the Press Association. Has ridden a point to point winner and won the 2018 Irish Field Naps Table.