BRIAN ELLISON was left cursing his luck yet again after Definitly Red’s Grand National hopes were extinguished through no fault of his own.
Strongly fancied to go close under Danny Cook, he was badly hampered by the fall of The Young Master at Bechers Brook on the first circuit.
Cook was nearly unshipped, worked wonders to stay in the saddle, but his tack slipped under the horse’s belly and he was pulled up shortly after.
For Ellison, touched off in a Grade One earlier on the card with Forest Bihan, it was another unfortunate episode.
“He’s fine, he was just unlucky,” said the Malton handler.
“He jumped well to Bechers and jumped that well but The Young Master fell in front of him and unfortunately he was straight behind him.
“He went over the top, Danny went up in the air and as he came down, the saddle went under his belly and then he couldn’t pull him up and jumped the next fence with no saddle.
“It’s just unfortunate but the horse is fine. That’s the thing with the National, you have to keep out of trouble and, unfortunately, we didn’t.”
Having been 10lb “well-in” for the National, Ellison is not looking immediately to handicaps next season and hopes the Charlie Hall at Wetherby could be the springboard towards a Gold Cup bid.
“We have all the hype about winning the National and it would be great to win but the main thing is I’ve got a horse for next year to go to war with,” he said.
“He’ll come back and we’ll go to Wetherby. Hopefully, he might be a Gold Cup horse, we’ll see. He will run in good races next year.
“He was 10lb well in this year and next year he’ll be 10lb wrong - that’s why we went, because we were so well in.
“Unfortunately, we met a lot of trouble. He’s rated 159 and is only 10lb off Gold Cup class, he’s improved 19lb this year and could improve again next year.”