Our Channel (Ryan Moore) beats Marzocco

Our Channel (yellow silks) beats Marzocco (far side) by a head

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Moore magnificent as Our Channel lands Trial

Report: Epsom, Wednesday

Investec Derby Trial (Conditions Race) (Bobis Race) (Class 2) 1m2f, 3yo

IT MAY not have been a performance that screamed potential Derby horse but Our Channel was given a ride by Ryan Moore that would have more than merited winning a Classic as he stole the race from the front with a typically clever ride.

Turning into the straight the majority of the field fanned out towards the centre of the track, but Moore stuck to the far side and kicked early, stealing a few lengths on his rivals.

As the field surged inside the final furlong Moore allowed his mount to drift down the camber towards the charging Marzocco and Stars Over The Sea and possibly intimidating them out of it as he forced Marzocco to switch around him and held on by a head at odds of 14-1.

With the winner guaranteed a place in the Derby field Paddy Power inserted the William Haggas-trained son of English Channel at 50-1 in their Classic market.

Maureen Haggas, wife of winning trainer William, said: "He is in the Derby and I think the owner would love to run in it. The owner was instrumental in running here today, he wanted to come here, and I think he would love to have a runner.

"I wasn't sure he'd stay but there is only one Derby and he is an honest little horse. I wouldn't be certain that he would get the Derby trip but on good ground he'd probably get a bit further than today. Ryan gave him a lovely ride."

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.