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Sideways Stable's Jury Duty claimed the Grand National trophy on Saturday. (Tod Marks photo)

Sideways Syndicate’s Jury Duty, the heavily favored vanguard of an unprecedented Irish invasion, took command on the final turn of the Far Hills Races’ $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) on Saturday and rolled clear to a 3 1/4-length victory in America’s richest hurdle race.

Owner-trainer Emmet Mullins’ Tornado Watch launched a big move on Far Hills’ final turn to finish second and complete an Irish exacta. Two American contenders, Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose and Harold A. “Sonny” Via’s Hinterland ran third and fourth, respectively in a field of nine.

Trained by Gordon Elliott, who has made American jump racing a profitable adjunct of his successful Irish stable, Jury Duty went off as the 13-to-10 favorite and paid $4.60 to win after running the Grand National’s 2 5/8 miles in 5:14.80.

The jury was out on the verdict for some time as the Far Hills stewards examined a late change of lanes by Jury Duty. Tornado Watch’s jockey, David Mullins, claimed foul, but the original order of finish was left unchanged.

Robbie Power, who shipped in with a squad of overseas jockeys for the Far Hills card, gave Jury Duty a tactical ride on a solid favorite, keeping the seven-year-old Well Chosen gelding outside and quiet while in the second flight behind a pace set first by Elliott-trained Clarcam and then by Bruton Street-US’s outsider Jaleo, who shipped in from England for trainer Ben Pauling.

Jury Duty and Power powered past the fading speed on the final turn as Tornado Watch, All the Way Jose, and Hinterland launched their bids. The American contenders failed to make a lasting impression, but Mullins switched Tornado Watch to the inside and was in striking range.

Bending into the stretch, Jury Duty switched to the inside, and Mullins took up on Tornado Watch. Both riders continued to ride to the wire, with Jury Duty widening his advantage to the finish line.

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SOME FACTS ABOUT JUMP RACING IN NORTH AMERICA

$5,998,500

NSA PURSES IN 2017

480 HORSES

RAN IN 2017

+1,000,000

SPECTATORS EACH YEAR

12 STATES

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