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Mad Max victorious at Aintree

08/04/10 - Grade Two winner and Grade One runner-up for Kayf Tara

A front-running round secured victory in the G2 Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase for the giant Mad Max, an eight-year-old son of Kayf Tara.

“We upped him in trip and let him go on and do what he wanted to do which is to just gallop,” said his trainer Nicky Henderson. “I’ve always wanted to do that with him. He’s such a big horse that these are only like hurdles to him.

“I was dying to go two and a half (miles) with him to give him more of a chance to catch his breath. He did run a great race in the Arkle to be fair. If he hadn’t blundered two out he could have been second or third instead of fourth. He wants good ground. He’s got a big prize now and he deserves one.”

Owner/breeder Paul Murphy races Mad Max with Carole Skipworth, the partnership that also raced Mad Max’s dam, the TBA National Hunt Broodmare of the Year, Carole’s Crusader.

Interviewed in the winner’s enclosure at Aintree after the race, a delighted Murphy said: “I decided to watch on the big screen in the paddock because I didn’t want to show my emotions. We had a dream run - Barry (Geraghty) just took him out and bowled him along and it was just a fantastic run.

“Carole’s Crusader is in foal to Kayf Tara again so in a couple of weeks we’ll have either a full-sister or full-brother to Mad Max which will be a horse to look forward to in the future.”

Also posting an excellent performance at Aintree was Carruthers, who displayed his usual gameness in finishing runner-up to What A Friend in the G1 Totesport Bowl.

Now seven, Carruthers, who also ran fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, was bred by Lord Oaksey.

Kay Tara will also be represented in Aintree’s main event, the John Smith’s Grand National, on Saturday by Cheltenham runner-up The Package, who is to be ridden by Graham Lee.