Former Man United manager Ferguson claims Aintree hat-trick

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Grand National Festival

(Reuters) - Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is no stranger to winning trophies and the Scot added another treble to his collection when three horses he co-owns secured Grade One victories at Aintree on Thursday.

The manager of the United side that won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 1999, the 79-year-old Ferguson had reason to smile again when Protektorat, Monmiral and Clan Des Obeaux won on the opening day of the Grand National Festival.

With 62-1 odds on the treble, it was secured when Clan Des Obeaux, which finished third in 2018 and second in 2019, made it third time lucky after jockey Harry Cobden rode the nine-year old to victory by 26 lengths.

"That's the best day I've had in my time in racing, which is about 20 years or so. It's different to when I was managing my football teams," Ferguson said.

"I was in control of what was going to happen on the pitch, but I'm not in control of that (on the track) as the trainer does all of that and as an owner you hope it goes well. You do get the same excitement when you win big races like that."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond)