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IN PICTURES: Coral Scottish Grand National Festival brings big crowds to Ayr

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Willie Mullins became the first Irish trainer to win the showpiece race on Saturday when Danny Mullins-ridden Macdermott pipped Surrey Quest by a nose in a thrilling finish to the big race at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.

“It’s fantastic and I’m delighted Danny did it,” said Mullins. “Well done Pat Gallagher for letting me bring the horse here and all my other owners, plus David Casey back at home, who plans all this and puts all the entries in.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Paul Townend and Willie Mullins celebrate Macdermott's win in the Coral Scottish Grand NationalPaul Townend and Willie Mullins celebrate Macdermott’s win in the Coral Scottish Grand National (Image: PA)

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

“I was convinced we were beaten so obviously I was delighted when the result of the photo was announced.

 “This is a lovely young horse and I’d say he would be an Aintree National contender for the future, maybe even as soon as next year.”

On a day when the Closutton maestro went a long way to securing the British trainers’ championship by taking his prize money haul to over £3 million, he saddled a magnificent four-timer with Sharjah in the opening leg giving him his first course victory.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

It was also a maiden Ayr strike for Sharjah’s pilot Paul Townend, who went on to complete a treble on Mullins’ other winners Chosen Witness and Quai De Bourbon.

The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle went to Favour And Fortune, trained by Lanarkshire-born Alan King, who also won the Scottish National in 2013 with Godsmejudge.

And Lucinda Russell equalled last season’s record score of 71 for a Scottish trainer when Czech Her Out scored in the hands of Patrick Wadge, who looks sure to crowned champion conditional rider with just a week of the season remaining.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The two days of the festival were graced by welcome sunshine after the recent cold, wet and windy weather, while there were plenty of eye-catching outfits on show in the stands too as race-goers turned out in force to enjoy the biggest day in the Scottish racing calendar.

(Photos by Charlie Gilmour and Robert Perry/PA)

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