I did have a quiet moment to myself after Druids
17 April 2015
What happened to The Druids Nephew and me at last weekend’s Crabbie’s Grand National was unfortunate and that’s putting it mildly.
We came to the 25th fence and jumped it well enough but slipped on landing and were out of the race.
I don’t know why it happened. He was jumping fantastically and he was used to the fences and the rhythm of the race.
He was running such a good race. I was delighted at the time and he could not have been going any better.
The horse did not deserve it – none of us deserved it.
I was never complacent though and it was always a case of one fence at a time. Winning the race never crossed my mind.
Remember, it was still a long way out and the others, like Leighton (Aspell) and AP (McCoy), behind me, would have been thinking they were travelling equally as well.
The horse is fine. He’s young and will have a great chance next year. It would be nice to ride him again, but that’s out of my hands.
I did have a quiet moment to myself afterwards but didn’t allow myself to get down for too long. Sometimes you have highs as a jockey, sometimes you have lows. You can’t change the result and you move on. There are more important things in life to worry about.
Well done to team Many Clouds
It was a fantastic achievement for Leighton Aspell to win the race for a second time. He’s a top man and no-one would have a bad word to say about him.
The same applies to Oliver and Tanya Sherwood and their team. They are always so pleasant to deal with. Similarly, it was great for Lambourn and I was also delighted for Trevor Hemmings who is one of racing’s biggest supporters. He is very loyal to his people and to win a third National – a race which is so meaningful to him – is wonderful for the sport.
Headcam footage was run-of-the-mill for us jockeys
I have had lots of nice messages for my head-cam footage on Bennys Mist in the Topham Chase the previous day, which I was very appreciative of.
For anyone who didn’t see the footage on Channel 4, I was unseated and had to get the all-clear to emerge from the bottom of the fence and then went off to find Benny in the holding pen.
What I would say is that every single jockey would have done exactly the same. That’s the norm, not the exception. It’s just I was the one lucky enough – or unlucky, given I was unseated – to be wearing it at the time.
Ground may count against Houblon
So from one national to another, and I am on my old friend Houblon Des Obeaux in the Coral Scottish Grand National.
He ran exactly as I anticipated in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. I did tell everyone that I thought he would run like that. I was hoping I would be wrong but 11th was still a fair effort.
I would not want the ground to dry out too much. I see they are watering so the ground must be pretty quick. If the ground was good to soft or worse, he would have a clear chance. He has been second in three top-class races this season and should stay the trip.
The QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle looks very competitive but Roman Flight could be a contender and get placed. He was going well when falling at the last in the County Hurdle and I think he was still remembering the experience when not fluent over the first couple of hurdles at Plumpton on Easter Sunday. I think Ayr will suit him far better.