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You’re on a winner with Range Rover Sport 

I didn´t manage to back the big winner on my first trip to the Grand National earlier this month – truth be told I didn’t get a sniff of any winners all day at Aintree.

Like many thousand other punters I would have been better using a pin to pick my selections rather than spending time studying form.

I still enjoyed being at this tremendous sporting event – part of a record sell-out crowd of 70,000 race-goers.

And on my return there was a real thoroughbred waiting for me in the driveway – a Range Rover Sport.

This is a model buyers don’t have to gamble on as it’s a proven winner.

The silverware has been flying in since its launch last year with awards for the best 4×4 and top SUV mounting up in the trophy room.

The Sport is a key member of the Land Rover stable, alongside siblings Range Rover and Evoque.

It’s available in four trims – SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic – with a choice of three engines – TDV6 258bhp, SDV6 292bhp and supercharged 5-litre V8 510bhp petrol.

Prices start at £51,500 and the test vehicle was a gleaming top-of-the-range SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic costing £74,995.

All Land Rovers come with a quality interior and this Sport model’s was exquisite

Standard features on entry models include automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, two-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, DAB audio system, power tailgate, HD navigation and all-terrain driving system.

HSE additional features include 20-inch alloy wheels, Oxford perforated leather seats featuring 14-way electric front seat adjustment with memory function, heated rear seats, power steering column adjustment, front fog lights, paddle shift controls, heated windscreen, rear view camera and aluminium Range Rover treadplates.

HSE Dynamic brings extra styling and handling features, including stainless steel pedals, a bright finish for the twin tailpipes, a gloss black grille and vents, 21-inch alloys, illuminated treadplates and twin speed transfer box.

The Autobiography Dynamic test flagship had a plush interior that included ivory leather seats and the sliding panoramic roof brought lots of light in.

It also comes with a top Meridian surround sound audio system but if your music tastes demand more you can add a stunning £5,000 1700-watt Super Premium system that has 23 speakers and was one of the options on the test model.

There is lots of space in the wide cabin, allowing driver and four passengers to travel in real comfort and luxury.

Fire up the engine, slip the eight-speed automatic into drive, put your foot down on the accelerator pedal and you’re off – there’s no chance of a false start here, unlike the National.

And the Sport model doesn’t disappoint as it leaps forward from the starting line to 60mph in just 6.8 seconds.

That’s pretty smart for this big SUV which is capable of reaching 130mph and it continues to impress as it gallops up to motorway speed.

There is no fear of the Sport failing to go the distance with the miles covered smoothly and quietly in a model that would be ideal for long journeys.

It’s not too thirsty either with an impressive combined fuel consumption figure of 37.7mpg.

The new Sport didn’t disappoint on minor roads either where, once again despite its size, it displayed super road holding.

The 3-litre 292bhp engine is ideally suited to the Sport with lots of mid-range power coming through the auto transmission instantly when required.

I only sampled the Sport on the tarmac but it is also a real off-road performer and improved features include up to 278mm obstacle clearance, wading depth of 850mm and a Terrain Response system for different driving conditions – rock crawl, mud and ruts, sand, grass/gravel/snow or road.

The new model looks muscular and sporting and delivered big time in real driving enjoyment.

Unlike my racing selections, the Range Rover Sport is a sure-fire winner that even my bookie mate Badger wouldn’t bet against in the competitive SUV field.