IT might have only been a maiden hurdle, but to jockey Paddy Brennan it clearly meant a whole lot more.
His mount Minella Tara looked beat for all money as the runners headed down the Southwell straight.
Favourite Can You Call looked home and hosed, so much that Brennan and Minella Tara hit a huge 999-1 in-running to get up for the £3,700 first prize.
Brennan has ridden plenty of big winners through the years, but none were probably as unlikely as this one!
And as the pair somehow mowed down Can You Call late in the day, Brennan let out an almighty scream and stood with a clenched fist as he crossed the line.
Earlier in the afternoon, Brennan took a nasty fall from Yauthym and other riders might have sat out the rest of the action.
But Brennan stuck it out and was rewarded with another winner for flying trainer Fergal O’Brien.
Brennan said: “I was thinking turning for home we’d be happy to be third or fourth but I got a sniff coming to the last.
“I got some kick out of that!
“But that’s Fergal’s horses for you, they hit the line hard and they’re never really beat.
“I was so lucky to get up after the fall and that the horse is all right. Mammy told me not to be soft!”
For O’Brien, already enjoying a career best season with 80 winners, it was no surprise.
He said: “That would have meant a lot to Paddy.
“He took a horrendous fall and the owners are good friends of his and he also did the pre-training of Minella Tara.
“You just can’t write him off, can you!”
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