Mouse misses out on a fairytale ending

No hat-trick for Mouse as Vicente claims a thrilling Scottish National victory for the in-form Paul Nicholls at Ayr

Mouse misses out on a fairytale ending

There was no fairytale ending to the Grand National season for Mouse Morris as Vicente won a thrilling renewal of the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr to put Paul Nicholls back on top in the race for the British trainers' championship.

Nicholls was trailing Willie Mullins by more than £110,000 before the start of play but a treble, culminating in Vicente (14-1) landing the feature, has seen him regain the championship lead.

Mullins' hopes of winning the big race came to a premature end when Measureofmydreams crashed out in the early stages.

Then Folsom Blue, trained by Tipperary based Morris, who had won both the English and Irish Nationals, exited six out to end dreams of the historic hat-trick.

In the straight for the final time, it looked as though Seeyouatmidnight was going to strike for Scottish Borders trainer Sandy Thomson.

However, Vicente was brought with a perfectly-timed run to lead after jumping the last.

Alvarado finished with a flourish to claim second place, two and three-quarters lengths behind the winner. Seeyouatmidnight was a head away in third, with Royale Knight fourth.

Twiston-Davies told Channel 4 Racing: "It worked out really nicely. He travelled well and he was good when he needed to be and that's what counts.

"It's given Paul a real chance of getting the trainers' championship. It's what we all work hard for."

Ch'Tibello takes Scottish Champion Hurdle glory

Willie Mullins' two QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle representatives were out of luck as Ch'Tibello (8-1) took the Ayr contest for Dan Skelton.

Mullins saddled Ivan Grozny and Clondaw Warrior as he bids to claim a first British trainers' title but the latter fared best in third, with 11-4 favourite Ivan Grozny only fifth.

Partnered by Skelton's brother Harry, Ch'Tibello was having his first race since November but it did not stop the five-year-old bounding home to land the spoils in this limited handicap.

Sternrubin made the running but the complexion of the race changed when the field bypassed what would have been the third-last flight which had been damaged on the first circuit.

Ch'Tibello stormed into the lead and was soon several lengths to the good. Cloudy Dream made up a significant amount of ground to get within a length and a quarter of the winner at the line.

"It's been magic and races like that really cap it," said the winning trainer.

"We knew he was on a good mark and had to protect it and I'm glad we didn't get any of that forecast rain."

The successful rider said: "We knew we had a well-handicapped horse and we kept him back for today.

"We went fast over the first two (hurdles) and then slowed right up. It was a dash to the line and I had to make sure I was on the heels of the leaders turning in.

"On better ground, I think you'll see something better. It was a nice pot today."

Le Mercurey (11-2) floored hot-pot Bristol De Mai in the Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices' Chase at Ayr to help Paul Nicholls in his pursuit of Willie Mullins in the trainers' title race.

Bristol De Mai set out to make all the running but had not shaken off Le Mercurey, who loomed large as they turned for home with four fences left.

He put in the better leaps of the pair in the straight for Sam Twiston-Davies and saw off the 1-2 shot by seven lengths

"We always believed in him. Cheltenham was wrong, he doesn't like it there. He's better on a flat, galloping track," Nicholls told Channel 4 Racing.

"We've got a big week in front of us. We're not going to throw the title away lightly. We've a week to play."

Nicholls' cause was then aided considerably by Vicente's Scottish National triumph under Twiston-Davies, and also when Vivaldi Collonges defied top weight in commendable fashion in the Weatherbys Private Bank Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

The seven-year-old was always prominent as Smooth Stepper made the early running before being sent to the front about halfway through this extended three-mile event by Sean Bowen.

Kilbree Chief looked a big danger in the straight, but Vivaldi Collonges (9-4 favourite) continued to jump with aplomb and pulled clear on the run-in to win by five lengths.

"He was a bit sticky with his fences at first, but I put that down to him not running for a while. He's a brilliant jumper once he gets going," Bowen said.

"A race like the Scottish National will probably suit in time. He stays all day and he jumps well. Those staying chases will be handy enough for him.”

"He is a good horse, he's won three from four this year now," said Nicholls.

"He was in the Scottish National, but that was a year too soon. I'll be looking at the Becher Chase and look forward from there."

Gibbes Bay (5-1) tied up a Nicholls four-timer, and a Twiston-Davies treble, by making a winning debut in the Skyform Group Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Nicholls is now £30,000 clear of Mullins in the battle for the championship.

Robbie Colgan handed lengthy ban

Jockey Robbie Colgan was handed a 21-day ban by the Ballinrobe stewards after finishing second on Definite Earl on Friday evening.

Definite Earl never travelled early in the race but stayed on for pressure, passing beaten horses and running on into second place, beaten two and a half lengths.

The stewards decided Colgan did not make sufficient effort and banned him under Rule 212.

Trainer David Broad was fined 2,000 euro and the horse banned from running for 60 days.