WAYNE Hutchinson will be hoping to have further luck at Aintree today when he saddles Walkon in the Grand National.
Yesterday the 33-year-old Swindon jockey steered 10-1 shot Donald McCain Jr.-trained Clondaw Kaempfer to victory in the Alder Hey Children's Charity Handicap Hurdle by a neck to beat Caid Du Berlais.
Clondaw Kaempfer took it up at the second last but was overtaken by Caid Du Berlais before the final flight.
However, Hutchinson, who pulled up Mart Lane in the earlier Topham Chase, didn't panic and gathered Clondaw Kaempfer for one final challenge, producing him in the shadows of the post to land the spoils.
And now he will be hoping that success will give him extra confidence going into the the world’s biggest jump race at 4.15pm today.
The Alan King-trained French gelding is currently priced at 50-1 but the nine-year-old maybe favoured by the casual punters who support Liverpool due its name being a major part of the football club’s anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone.
“It is always nice to get a winner, it gives you a bit of a boost,” Hutchinson told the Advertiser last night.
“I’ll now be heading back to the hotel, have a bite to eat and chill out because it be long day tomorrow.
“I’ll be at the course from 8am and then their will be the briefing for all the jockeys riding in the National at noon, so I’ve got to make sure I’m there for that.
“You’ve just got to treat the day like any other and that is what I am planning to do.”
King will also be hoping for more success after Uxizandre beat the Nicky Henderson-trained Oscar Whisky by a length-and-a-half on the opening day of the Aintree meet.
Meanwhile, Henderson enjoyed a successful day in Liverpool after claiming victory in the Topham Chase with Ma Filleule before Barry Geraghty rode Beat That to victory for the Lambourn trainer in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
Of Ma Filleule’s win, Henderson said: “She enjoyed that. I hoped she would. She seemed very good at home. She was a bit careful the first time and she had another practice on Tuesday just to make sure.
“It looked good, but I was trying to watch three of them.
“I was a bit worried she might get outpaced early on, but she managed to hold her place.
“She got into a great rhythm and it looked she had a nice time.”