McCain rolls back the years
Trainer Ginger McCain admitted a fourth
Grand National success has been a long time coming after Amberleigh House
claimed the Aintree honours 27 years after Red Rum's famous win.
McCain won the National three times in the 1970s with the legendary
'Rummy', and saddled Amberleigh House to be third last year.
A tearful McCain said: "Graham said he was going to hold him
up more this year and he was quite right.
" I never thought I was going to win another National. He was foot-perfect.
He's a professional. He's the best thing that has happened to me for
a long, long time.
" The credit for it goes to my son (Donald) - he lives for the horse and
rides him in all his work."
A thrilled Lee said: "When he stops going around here I'm not going
to take any more rides! I can't believe it has happened, I'm overjoyed.
" It's just a fairytale, a dream. I cannot believe it, he was just so tough.
" I didn't have a very good passage over the first six fences with loose
horses. He had to jump Becher's from a standstill first time round and
he got a bit of a fright.
" But I just hunted away on him and never thought of winning in order to
get his confidence back. He was so brave and all I had to do was steer."
Lee: Plan worked like a dream
jockey Graham Lee revealed that he had been determined to conserve Amberleigh
House's Grand National challenge until as late as
The plan worked like a charm as Amberleigh House edged past a fast-fading
Clan Royal down the final straight to win by three lengths.
After we had been beaten here by Clan Royal at the start of the season
I went home and watched the video over and over and was really angry
for going too soon," he said.
He only has one run in him and I had to decide whether to try and catch
the leaders or wait for them to come back to me and it worked out.
Plan A went out of the window after the first three fences but he was
very brave and very surefooted.
When we went over Becher's first time I promise you he jumped the fence
at a standstill and there aren't many who would have been able to do
what he did.
It is the best day of my life for a long, long way. My wife Becky was
here today and I am so pleased because she has to put up with all of
my bad moods when things don't go well at the office.
It has just topped off an unbelievable season. I still can't believe
that I have won the biggest race in the world. I am totally numb. All
I want to do now is go home and watch a replay of the race to make sure
it really did happen."
So near for McManus' clan
Clan Royal's owner JP McManus admitted he
thought his charge had done enough to win the Grand National.
Clan Royal jumped the last in front but tired down the final straight
to allow Amberleigh House to edge past in a thrilling finish to the showpiece.
McManus said: "I was hoping for a minute, but it was a long way
He ran his heart out - he's very game. He beat the horses around him
and suddenly one comes from the pack, but that's what it's all about.
Grand Nationals change from the last fence to the line and this is another
one. It's a long way from the elbow to the finish."
Trainer Jonjo O'Neill added: "He ran a blinder."
Owner David Johnson, who has not enjoyed the best of fortunes in previous
Nationals, said of Lord Atterbury: "It was fantastic to get a finisher.
He has left his Cheltenham form behind and Mark (Bradburne) gave him
a fantastic ride.
He has just been beaten by two better horses on the day. He's still a
young horse and there's a lot to look forward to."
Jimmy Mangan, trainer of Monty's Pass (20-1), said: "He ran a blinder
with a big weight. It was unbelievable. He jumped marvellous.
I couldn't be more happy. The rain just came at the wrong time for him.
I'll be back next year for sure and he'll be trained especially for the
race - he loves it around here."
David Casey, rider of Hedgehunter, who had been jumping brilliantly until
the very last fence of 30, said: "He almost travelled too well and
did too much in front.
It's unfortunate. I'm disappointed, but more so for the horse - he didn't