Yala Enki comes home unchallenged to crown fine week for Charlie Deutsch

What a week it has been for jockey Charlie Deutsch. On Monday he lost his claim when riding Luckime to win at Catterick, and on Saturday at Haydock he landed the biggest race of his career when partnering Yala Enki to win the £100,000 Betfred Grand National Trial.

Blaklion, who began the race as favourite for the Randox Health Grand National, struggled home in second, with last year's Eider winner Mysteree the only other finisher.

Blaklion was eased for the Grand National to as big as 16-1, with Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup-bound Total Recall promoted to favouritism at a best-priced 12-1.

This was a race of attrition in which Silsol unseated Noel Fehily at the first and The Dutchman, winner of last month's Peter Marsh Chase, was pulled up with more than a circuit to go having bled from the nose.

Meanwhile, as one has come to expect from a Venetia Williams runner, Yala Enki just kept on galloping.

After Wild West Wind, who travelled well for a long way, stopped quickly, Yala Enki came home by 54 lengths from 9-4 favourite Blaklion, who was dismounted by Sam Twiston-Davies before he came into the winner's enclosure.

His trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies was far from downhearted, saying: "It was too soft for him, it was much softer than when he was second last year. He seems fine and I doubt he'll run again before Aintree."

The Clive Hitchings-owned winner was the only horse in the field not entered for the Grand National, though he could go for the Midlands version at Uttoxeter next month.

Deutsch said: "That was brilliant, I thought he had a chance but I didn't think he would win so easily.

"I saw Blaklion coming upsides turning for home but I thought my horse would stay on. It was his first run at the trip but I felt sure he would get it.

"When he was fourth to The Dutchman here last time he seemed to be struggling the whole way but today he travelled much better. This was my biggest winner, it's been a good week."

Jerry Roberts, representing Williams, said: "I thought he would be suited by the step up to three and a half miles. He used to be a bit keen, but he was only as keen as the others around him and he relaxed today.

"He has a funny way of jumping, he seems to meet each fence differently, but he has a short choppy action and he loves this soft ground. His owner didn't want to enter him for the National this year, maybe next season, but he would need it soft."

Roberts added: "He could go for the Midlands National but would have a big weight. Never mind, there aren't many chases around worth as much as this one, and he's won it."