John Smith's Grand National - 6th April 2013 

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Auroras Encore Springs 66/1 Surprise

Sue Smith became only the third female in history to train the winner of the John Smith's Grand National as 66-1 outsider Auroras Encore claimed the Aintree spectacular.

Auroras Encore

Auroras Encore

The winning trainer said: “I don’t think you start preparing a horse to be a National horse but because he ran so well in the Scottish National we knew he would get the trip.

“All winter long the ground has been against us but the way the ground has ended up today has been superb for him.

“We were blocked in for three days with the snow and had a lot of heavy frosts too so have battled against the weather all winter.

“We took both Auroras Encore and Mr Moonshine away to Wetherby for a gallop so he didn’t miss any work with the weather. He did a good bit of work last Tuesday and we schooled them both over the Grand National fences at Malton.

“The horse won around here over hurdles in his younger days so we knew he had the turn of foot and it was just a case of getting luck in running, and we got that today.

“We (Harvey and I) do the training together. Harvey is a hard man. You can’t knock him down and he get gets everyone working hard, including the horses.

“The Last Fling has ran well here for us before but unfortunately we lost him the next season.”

Harvey Smith said: “Today is absolutely superb – top of the class. The boy didn’t miss many strides.

“I sat watching the whole race and didn’t miss a beat. When he came away after the last I thought ‘eh we are in now’.

“I rode around here years ago and the fences weren’t soft and pussy-foot like they are now but it was some experience and led us in a little bit to us doing the job.

When quizzed about the changes to the course and fences, he responded: “Absolutely beautiful. All the horses came back in one piece and so did the jockeys. There were over 30 still standing going out on the second circuit so full marks to Aintree, Lord Daresbury, Andrew Tulloch and even the RSPCA man. He has thrown his bit in, they have all worked hard and it is onwards and upwards now for the Grand National.”

As to future plans, Smith added: “If he comes out of this in a week’s time shaking his head saying ‘come on lads’ then we may have a little run around Scotland too.”




Ryan Mania, partner of the winner Auroras Encore, said: “The race kind of went by in a flash. I tried to jump off around about the jockeys that have been round before. I have got my bit of light, jumped off exactly where I wanted to be and he has taken to the fences. He has jumped from fence to fence and I couldn’t believe the run I got.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better ride and the old horse was loving it as well. I can’t believe, even at the Melling Road, that I was still there. I was happy to be placed at that point and then the front two stopped and I took off in front of them – it was unbelievable.

Adam Wedge, partner of Viking Blond, who was pulled up before the 14th, said: “He was fantastic. He jumped well but just got a bit detached and a bit tired.”

Across The Bay - 14th
© Racehorse Photos

Across The Bay

Henry Brooke, partner of Across The Bay, who finished 14th, said: “It was brilliant – I loved every minute of it. The trip may have found him out maybe. He might have lasted longer if we’d have saved a bit more energy but I don’t know – he was great though.”

Aidan Coleman, on board The Rainbow Hunter, who unseated at the 8th, said: “I came down at the Canal Turn but I was getting a great spin off The Rainbow Hunter up until then. I had nowhere to go and there was a bit of bunching and I came off him.”

Katie Walsh, rider of Seabass, who finished 13th, said: “I had a good spin again on Seabass. He jumped super and crossing the Melling Road I thought I had a squeak but he wasn’t going as well as last year. He got very tired.”

Andrew Thornton, partner of Tatenen, who fell at the 12th, said: “I’ve got a bit of whiplash. I had a great ride over the first 11 but had a disagreement at the 12th. I feel a bit sore and rough.”

Barry Geraghty, on board Roberto Goldback, who was hampered and fell at the 30th, said: “I had a good ride on Roberto Goldback. He struggled a little bit in the ground but jumped well. I was going to complete until Jamie Moore’s horse (Mumbles Head) refused at the last in front of me and I ended up on the fence. The fences rode brilliantly. There weren’t as many fallers and I would say the fences are a little bit more forgiving. You’d make a bad mistake without turning over but the course was in great shape and it was a great race to ride in.”

Balthazar King - 15th
© Racehorse Photos

Balthazar King
Richard Johnson, partner of Balthazar King, who finished 15th, said: “He didn’t quite get home on the ground. It’s still quite slow in places round there. Otherwise he’s jumped well and given me a nice ride.”

Robbie Power, on board Joncol, who was pulled up before the 19th, said: “He jumped ok but the ground was a bit quick for him. He couldn’t go the pace and I got a bit detached.”

Niall Madden, rider of Ninetieth Minute, who was pulled up before the 11th, said: “He was never really going to be honest. He made a couple of mistakes and he we had to call it a day.”

Ryan Mahon, on board Harry The Viking,who was pulled up before the 25th, said: “He gave me a nice enough spin.”

Sam Twiston-Davies on Imperial Commander, pulled up before the 22nd said: “It was a great ride but he just stopped very quick.”

Paul Townend, partner of Quel Esprit, who pulled up before the 24th, said: “I got a good spin off him.”

© Caroline Norris

Wilson Renwick, jockey of Tarquinius, who finished 8th, said: “He got round – but he is a four miler on slow ground and that was a bit quick for him."

Dougie Costello, rider of Saint Are, who finished 9th, said: “Beautiful, I think the experience will do him good.The ground just felt a bit dead and patchy on him. He has probably lost a bit of speed since last year – it might be a bit soon for a Scottish National bid, but he could come back here next year.”

Jason Maguire, rider of Ballabriggs, who pulled up before the 24th, said: “He was probably just rushed of his feet early on. He’s a National winner and you can’t take that away from him.”

Ruby Walsh, jockey of On His Own, who fell at the 25th said: “I don’t know if we had any chance as we were too far out when I fell at Valentines.”

Mark Walsh, jockey of Lost Glory, who pulled up before the 17th, said: “My lad was never going so I looked after him and pulled up.”

Any Currency - 17th
© Racehorse Photos

Any Currency
Ian Popham, on board Any Currency, who finished 17th, said: “Happy to get round though he was a bit tired at the end. I was badly hampered at the Canal Turn first time around and he got a bit detached, but galloped on nicely.”

Paul Carberry, on board Chicago Grey, who pulled up before the 30th, said: “He’s jumped very slow. He’s just a bit too careful at these big fences which meant I got detached quite early. He just took too much out of himself with his jumping.”

David Casey, jockey of Quiscover Fontaine, who finished 16th, said: “I got a great run out but got a bad bump at the Canal Turn the first time – he bottled it for a couple of fences which left me out of the race and I struggled from there on. Otherwise he gave me a great ride.”

Martin Ferris, partner of Becauseicouldntsee, who pulled up before the 21st, said: “I had a great ride round. He jumped well and travelled beautifully. I just got a bit left behind and he got tired. The ground was beautiful and the fences grand.”

Soll - 7th
© Racehorse Photos

Mark Grant, jockey of Soll, who finished 7th, said: “That was brilliant – he’s given me a great spin. He missed the Chair but recovered nicely from that. I thought going over the Melling Road that we might get placed but it’s great to get round.”

Peter Buchanan, jockey of Mr Moonshine, who pulled up before the 27th, said: “I have got a great ride off him and he has jumped fantastic – he just hasn’t got the trip.”

Tom Scudamore, rider of Major Malarkey, who finished 11th, said: “It was the thrill of a lifetime – I just couldn’t go the pace. I have never ridden a horse who has gone round Liverpool like that – he was superb. I just had to point him in the right direction.”

Denis O’Regan, on board Big Fella Thanks, who unseated at the 8th, said: “He jumped super – had a lovely position but just got milled over at the Canal Turn.”

Nick Scholfield, jockey of Teaforthree, who finished 3rd, said: “I am delighted – he gave me a magic ride. He jumped for fun, did nothing wrong and has run his heart out. The weight probably just told up the run in.”

Rare Bob
© Caroline Norris

Rare Bob
Bryan Cooper, rider of Rare Bob, who finished 5th, said: “I got a great spin – he jumped his fences very well and I couldn’t be happier.”

Daryl Jacob, on board Join Together, who finished 12th, said: “He ran well – it was just unfortunate he wasn’t quick enough really. He stays well enough but he was never really travelling in his comfort zone – a little bit off the bridle all the way. No excuses though, he just wasn’t really good enough.”

A P McCoy, partner of Colbert Station, who unseated at the 15th, said: “He just was very keen and hung badly – then I fell off him at the Chair.”

Noel Fehily, on board Treacle, who unseated at the 8th, said: “I had a good spin for a long way, then we got bumped a bit at the Canal Turn. I had a good run up to that.”

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