NORTON trainer Malcolm Jefferson was delighted make it third time lucky in the North Yorkshire Grand National as Sun Cloud ground out victory in the Catterick mud.
The meeting passed a morning inspection following heavy rain and 4-1 shot Sun Cloud slogged through testing conditions in the three-mile, six- furlong feature in the hands of jockey Brian Hughes.
Jefferson said: “That was grand. He travelled grand and his jumping has got an awful lot better as he was a bit stupid when he first started.
“Classic Capers was called the winner of this race a few years ago (2007) and it turned out he’d got done by a short head. The judge saw the photo and had to change his mind.
“According To Pete got caught right on the line (in 2011) as well, so I’m glad to finally win the race.
“I’m not sure where we’ll go now. This was a nice prize and we’ll just look for a race with some soft ground over a trip.”
It was also a good afternoon for Norton’s Brian Ellison and Great Habton’s Tim Easterby.
Ellison enjoyed a hat-trick, initiated by the Tony McCoy- ridden 15-8 shot Magic Skyline in the racinguk.com Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle.
The four-year-old was last of five at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day, but bounced back with a 14-length victory over Pixie Cut.
Ellison’s 5-2 shot Yorkist made it successive course and distance wins in the Watch On 3 Devices racinguk.com/ anywhere Novices’ Hurdle in the hands of conditional jockey Nathan Moscrop.
Ellison’s treble was completed in the bumper by 5-2 shot Gone Forever, ridden by Craig Gallagher.
McCoy also steered Easterby’s Getabuzz (5-2) to a clear-cut victory in the Go Racing At Wetherby This Saturday Novices’ Hurdle.