Oliver McKiernan and jockey Tom Doyle.
There was a huge win for Lacken native Oliver McKiernan at day one of the Aintree festival when Follow The Plan at 50-1 produced the biggest shock in the Betfred Bowl since the race was first staged in 1984.
The outsider, trained and owned bby the Rathcoole-based former Lacken Celtic footballer, was equipped with cheekpieces and the headgear brought obvious benefits.
Tom Doyle sat motionless on his mount as they turned into the straight with all of his rivals off the bridle. Although Doyle got to work on the run-in, he never really looked in any danger and comfortably held off the fast-finishing Burton Port (4-1) by three lengths with memorable Cheltenham Festival winner Hunt Ball (6-1) back in third.
"When I walked the course I thought we might have a chance because the sun was out, the ground was drying out and our fellow just loves decent ground," said McKiernan. "We put the cheekpieces on and they seemed to help, although he jumped stickily enough at a couple in the early stages.
"He's a funny old horse because he does it nicely enough but then just tends to pull himself up in front, but there's plenty of ability there when things go right."
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|Date:||Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:45:42 PM|