Calgary Bay - Calgary Bay - 28/01/2012

Knight and Elsworth strike again with Calgary

Report: Doncaster, Saturday

Sky Bet Chase (Listed) 3m, 5yo+

THE combination of trainer Henrietta Knight and jockey Dominic Elsworth won their second big race on successive Saturdays when Calgary Bay ran out the smooth winner of the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

Elsworth rode a masterful race on 12-1 shot Calgary Bay.  Held up way off the pace for much of the way,  Elsworth crept into contention on the final circuit and made his challenge approaching the last, pulling away from Shakalakaboomboom - who travelled well for a long way - on the run-in.

The prominently ridden Fruity O'Rooney held on for third despite his jockey Jamie Moore having to contend with a slipped saddle.

Elsworth and Knight were successful with Somersby - like Calgary Bay owned by Camilla Radford - in last Saturday's big race, the Victor Chandler Chase.

Bottom-weight Carrickmines made the early running at a sound clip in the £75,000 contest, which had been abandoned owing to the weather in the last two seasons, before Wymott took over at around the halfway stage.

Stalking the leaders were the fancied 6-1 shot Shakalakaboomboom and Aiteen Thirtythree, who was gambled into favouritism. However, whereas the former ran a good race to finish second, Aiteen Thirtythreefolded tamely when asked for his effort.

Once Wymott shot his bolt the race looked between the eventual second and third before the quietly ridden Calgary Bay loomed up on the outside full of running.

Calgary Bay was cut to 25-1 (from 33) by  Paddy Power for the John Smith's Grand National. The nine-year-old only got as far as the fourth fence in last season's Aintree spectacular, but Knight is keen at another crack.

She said: "Theaim has always been the National and we were thinking about Cheltenham but we'll go straight there as he deserves a rest.

"I can't believe how well things have gone lately, we've been terribly lucky."

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.