Waley-Cohen finishes second at Grand National

By David Gold, April 11, 2011
Sam Waley-Cohen

Sam Waley-Cohen

Sam Waley-Cohen came within two and a half lengths of becoming the first amateur jockey to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National in the same year, as Oscar Time came second behind Ballabrigs in Saturday's big race at Aintree.

The race was marred by the deaths of two horses, Ornais and Dooneys Gate, which forced two fences to be missed on the second round in Liverpool.

It was an impressive showing by Waley-Cohen, who was bidding to pull off an impressive treble, having won the King George VI Chase at Kempton in January.

Ballabrigs had been leading for much of the race, and going into the final fences it was Niche Market who was competing most stubbornly for the lead of the race.

Following an assured ride in the middle of the field, Oscar Time started to gain ground on Jason Maguire's Ballabrigs.

After overtaking Niche Market and then Tony McCoy on Don't Push It, it was 28-year-old Waley-Cohen, who runs a string of dental practises in his spare time, who looked as though he was set to take the lead.

But as he closed on Maguire at The Elbow, the Irish jockey pushed on to finish strongly and hold off Waley-Cohen over the final lengths.

Last updated: 1:39pm, April 11 2011