Pineau De Re: Grand National winner's poor return explained

Pineau De Re, ridden by Leighton Aspell
Pineau De Re won the 2014 Grand National as a 25-1 shot

Trainer Dr Richard Newland was asked to explain the performance of his Grand National winner Pineau De Re after he placed 11th on his return to action.

The 11-year-old was beaten by 66 lengths in the 15:00 GMT at Cheltenham but stewards took no further action.

"I tried to explain to the stewards that is how he has to be ridden. I was happy with the ride," Newland said.

It was the horse's first race since winning the National by five lengths in April as a 25-1 shot.

Stewards were concerned the gelding was never placed in a challenging position and opened an inquiry under regulations known colloquially as the "non-triers" rules.

However, they "noted" the explanations of Newland and jockey Daryl Jacob that Pineau De Re has to be held up but then got a little more tired than expected.

Pineau De Re is likely to return to Cheltenham's December fixture as part of the build-up to the defence of his Aintree crown in April.

The 15:00 Hurdle was won by David Pipe's Katkeau, making his first start for more than 600 days.

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