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Ashroe Diamond sparkles at Aintree for Team Mullins

Ashroe Diamond gave Willie Mullins his first victory of the 2022 Grand National meeting when taking the concluding mares’ bumper.

Ridden by his son, Patrick, the well-backed 9-4 favourite travelled strongly in the Grade Two affair and quickened well when asked, and while Law Ella gave chase as the winner briefly threatened to idle a touch, she was six lengths adrift at the line.

“She was good, she’s been doing everything right at home. We were a little worried when we saw the rain coming, Paul (Townend) thought it was dead enough for Kemboy and I thought it might be too dead for her but she didn’t seem to mind,” said Mullins.

“To me it looked like she was running quite free in the early part of the race, but once Patrick got her settled he just sat, he said turning for home he was worried about something coming up behind him rather than the ones in front, he thought he had those covered.

“He was confident I think that they had gone fast enough and the ones in front wouldn’t be going away.

“There’s a mares’ bumper there (Punchestown), it’s a little soon but we’ll have a look at it as there’s nothing else for her. There’s a good chance she’ll go there.”

Evan Williams’ sparingly-raced The Last Day came from off a searing pace to win the Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase.

A faller at the last when set to win at 25-1 on his last outing at Haydock, the 10-year-old was having just his eighth run over fences in four years.

Patiently ridden by Adam Wedge as Henry de Bromhead’s Dancing On My Own adopted catch-me-if-you-can tactics, he began to close up before the home turn.

The Last Day on his way to victory
The Last Day on his way to victory (Nigel French/PA)

It soon became obvious it would only concern those two, and The Last Day (12-1) came clear to win by two and a half lengths.

Williams said: “Mrs Rucker must take a great deal of credit for this. The horse has been plagued with leg problems. I send him to her battered and bruised and she sends him back all new and shiny.

“He would have won last time only to fall. We couldn’t do anything about it, but obviously we’re concerned about the weather, and needed the rain.

“His old wheels take a fair bit of looking after and there’s no doubt he’ll go home now.

“With him I can’t look further then tomorrow morning, and if he spent the rest of his life where he’s going it wouldn’t surprise me.”

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