As De Mee just Grand in Sefton
As De Mee barely put a foot wrong as he justified market support to lift the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree.
As De Mee: Grand Sefton winner
The six-year-old, owned by Andy Stewart's family and actress Dame Judi Dench, stamped his authority on the race over the Grand National fences from the penultimate obstacle.
Paul Nicholls' charge, backed down to 4-1 favourite, galloped on resolutely for Sean Bowen to come home five lengths clear of Seefood. Henryville was two lengths away in third, with Seventh Sky fourth.
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Witness In Court had made the running until falling at the ninth fence with Seventh Sky going on at the Canal Turn, but it was just a matter of time before As De Mee took command.
Speaking from Sandown, Nicholls said: "He's a really good horse for a novice. Sean gave him a fantastic ride – you can't go for him too soon, you've got to keep taking a pull on him.
"It was a really good ride and good to have a winner for Andy and Dame Judi Dench.
"He's got plenty of talent, but he's just a bit naughty. At Cheltenham the other day he got a bit behind and didn't want to know.
"He just loves to be up there and hopefully we'll aim him for the Topham back there in the spring, hopefully."
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