Saturday, April 8, 2000
INTERIM JOCKEY MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL QUOTES
Winning jockey on Papillon of the 2000 Martell Grand National, on his first ride, Ruby Walsh,20, said: "He's unbelievable - he's some jumper - from fence to fence.
"I went a bit long on him at the Canal Turn but otherwise from that he was unbelievable. The whole way,he jumped brilliant.
"Norman (Williamson) passed me at the second last and Papillon just picked up and away he went. I couldn't believe it.
"The horse is so good, he made it for me."
Papillon was backed at the racecourse from 16-1 into 10-1. Dark Stranger was the 9/1 favourite. He fell at the 3rd.
All the Martell Grand National runners have returned without serious injury.
He has a leg injury which is being examined. It is not thought to be serious. He fell at the third on Dark Stranger
Dean Gallagher was kicked in the chest but is not seriously injured. He like Tony McCoy have been signed off for the rest of the day. McCoy has a slight leg injury.
THE WINNING TRAINER
Ted Walsh, the trainer, said: "It's great - that's an understatement. It was a wonderful feeling, with Ruby on board and Betty Moran owning the horse. We have had him since he was a five-year-old.
"He jumped super and Ruby gave him a lovely ride - the race is one in which you have to have so much luck in it.
"We had all the luck today - everything went our way and I am proud of the whole family. It is a great day to be alive. I have been a very lucky person in racing - this is one of the great days."
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Ruby Walsh, winning jockey
"The race went super for me. I was able to get a possy straight from the start and though he was a bit keen over the first two he soon settled into a rhythm.
"I was tracking Paul Carberry on Bobbyjo when he made a mistake at the fence after Becher's and then I went and joined up with Richard Johnson (on Star Traveller).
"My horse would not turn at the Canal Turn and I carried Richard halfway across the country, but after that I just decided to make the best of my way home.
"I can never say that I always thought I was going to win as I thought that about the Irish National halfway up the run in and then we were beaten by Bobbyjo.
"I had looked round at the fourth last and all I could see were Jason (Titley) On Lucky Town and Norman (Williamson on Mely Moss). They were both going very well and so I knew that I would not be able to take an easy as I would have liked to do.
"I just had to keep going at the gallop I was going. I could never get rid of Mely Moss, he was a real thorn in my side but my fellow has run on really well, all the way to the line.
"Most of this season has been a nightmare for me. I broke my collarbone early on and I was only back a few days when I broke my leg in the Pardubice. I came back in January and then had a fall schooling which opened the fracture again, but this healed up quite quickly and I was able to have a couple of winners.
"I was a bit concerned when I first came back but having had the winners I was able to get going again. I think I might do a bit of celebrating tonight."
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Ted Walsh, winning trainer
"It is a fairytale race. It must be a huge price against a father and son winning the race, and an even bigger price against that happening in back to back years like it has done with us and the Carberrys.
"When I won the Triumph Hurdle with Commanche Court that was the best day of my life. Cheltenham is the greatest meeting in the world, but the National is the greatest race in the world and this is right up there with Commanche Court.
"It is doubly nervous when you have your son riding in the race and I was very worried before the race. I just hoped that the horse would come back alright and that Ruby would be fine as well; it is a double bonus when you win but doubly nerve wracking before the race.
"This horse can be a bit of a monkey. Sometimes last `year some of the jockeys thought he should have a pair of blinkers, but when I tried them on him he ran even worse. He can be a bit leery and the blinds made him worse; I made a mistake putting them on.
"He was very disappointing at the start of this season and then when I found a cross country race in which he had 28lb in hand of his nearest rivals he like an even bigger mule.
"But then I just left him alone for a while and then when he ran in a two-mile chase in Naas he looked a bit better and last time I was very pleased with his run over hurdles in Leopardstown.
"My father was a contemporary of Vincent O'Brien and Vincent either had schooled all his three Grand National winners over hurdles or run them in hurdle races before they came here to win.
"Tommy Carberry did the same last year with Bobbyjo, and I thought I would do it. I had no doubt that the horse could jump round Aintree, he has jumped round cross country fences in Ireland and it was just a question of him coming here confident and happy.
"I was a bit concerned about him over the first two, but once he had settled into a rhythm he was always going happily. I knew that if he had fallen at the first people would say what an idiot I was; it all worked alright.
"Ever since he was a young horse, he was fourth in the Irish National as a six year old, jockeys have said that he was the sort of horse who could win a National. That is 27 runs he has had over fences and he has never fallen in any of them.
"I am amazed at the price he started at, 10-1, in view of the fact that he was at 40-1 or 50-1 two or three days ago. My good friend Mike Dillon was able to accommodate me at a good price, but I have no idea where all the money came from for him. Maybe Sir Alex Ferguson took an interest !"
MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL PLACED QUOTES
Mely Moss just failed to bring off an outstanding training feat on his seasonal debut by Charlie Egerton when finishing second to Papillon in the Martell Grand National.
"The first thing I said was ‘bugger it' but in retrospect I'm delighted," said Egerton. "It's one of those things that you have to take on the chin.
"There's a personal satisfaction but of course you want to win - how many opportunities do you get like that in life? But we will train him for Liverpool next season.
"Norman (Williamson) said that when he got within half a length of Papillon that horse saw him and picked up again. Halfway up the run-in I thought we might catch Papillon.
"He has run a blinder for the first run of the season and even if he had not had an interrupted preparation I don't think he'd have finished any closer.
Peter Beaumont was thrilled by third-placed Niki Dee. "I'm delighted and I had hoped he would put in a good run. I couldn't separate Young Kenny and Niki Dee beforehand," said the Brandsby handler.
"He's been second carrying a big weight a number of times before and deserved a good run."
Niki Dee's jockey Robbie Supple added: "I'm delighted - we were always going well. Turning for home I thought we were there with every chance."
"Young Kenny was fine but just got a bit too close to the fence," added Beaumont.
"He's another Red Rum but not quite as good," said Josh Gifford of fourth-placed Brave Highlander, who had finished fifth in last year's race.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to bits and looking at Mr (Nick) Embiricos (owner) I think we'll be back next year. He won't run again this season - I made that mistake two years."
Embiricos added: "I never thought we'd be anywhere near here again. All credit to the trainer who has trained him all season for this run."
MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL JOCKEY QUOTES - MORE TO FOLLOW
Third-placed Niki Dee's jockey Robbie Supple added: "I'm delighted - we were always going well. Turning for home I thought we were there with every chance."
Robert Bellamy, who fell at the first on Norwegian challenger Trinitro, said: "After all the hype and interest beforehand I was sorry I couldn't repay them. He was running very quick towards the first - I was in second or third - and went to take off at the first fence but I think we only went about one foot off the ground. It's the first fall in his life and I'm very disappointed."
Andrew Thornton, who was brought down at the 26th on Stormy Passage, said: "I was travelling so unbelievably well but just got in a little tight at Becher's and tipped. I don't really know what happened and I wasn't even sure whether I was brought down. I was popping them very well and he was really enjoying himself."
A disappointed Mick Fitzgerald on 22nd fence faller Esprit De Cotte said: "There we go, that's life."
Richard Johnson pulled up long-time ante-post favourite Star Traveller before the 27th. He said: "Whether or not he jarred himself I don't know but I pulled him up. He gave me a brilliant ride but made a mistake and then the fence after the Canal Turn he didn't feel 100 per cent so I pulled him up. He gave me a brilliant ride and I'm looking forward to coming back."
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES (contd)
Betty Moran, winning owner
"I feel just like I did on Belmont Day, when my horse Creme Fraiche won, and I am a bit pink in the cheeks from all the cheering.
"I watched the race in the McManus's box and at one time it looked as if we might be first and second with Papillon and Lucky Town.
"I had never been to Liverpool before yesterday, and though some of the papers had described me as an Aintreephobe, I was never that and I certainly like the place now.
"I still just cannot believe it, and now I am looking forward to High Yield, whom I bred, in the Kentucky Derby and Bernstein, in whom I have a share, in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket."
Mrs Moran had at one time not been keen on the idea of running Papillon in the National, and was against the idea when Ted Walsh suggested it to her last year.
Ted Walsh explained that he was able to talk her round this time, saying that "when we walked the course she decided that the fences were not as terrifying as she had feared.
"My record round here was stinking. I rode Castleruddery in the National and he put the brakes on at the fence before Becher's, and then I had a ride in the Foxhunters' who fell at the third or fourth. To tell the truth I was never that fussed about riding here."
THE 10/1 WINNER OF THE 2000 MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL
PAPILLON (IRE) FACTFILE
b g Lafontaine - Glens Princess (by Prince Hansel)
Weight: 9-10-12 Form: 6/10182/26514180-8754931
Owner: Mrs Elizabeth Moran Trainer: Ted Walsh IRE
Jockey: Ruby Walsh Breeder: E McCormack
Had just one outing in season 1995/96, but it was a winning one at Punchestown in a novices' hurdle on January 31. Next term Papillon went novice chasing on his seasonal bow at Fairyhouse on November 20. He won there, and followed up with a couple of placed outings in similar contests at Navan and Punchestown. He was successful on his first appearance in handicap company at Fairyhouse on February 23, easily landing the EBF Final Novices' Handicap Chase. He then put up a fine showing for a novice in the Jameson Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse at the end of March, finishing fourth behind Mudahim. He had one more outing that season, placed sixth at Punchestown on April 23 in a handicap chase. The 1997/98 campaign was highlighted by a fine second to Bobbyjo in the Jameson Irish Grand National, and he might well have won if he had not been badly hampered early in the race. He did win two contests that season, both handicap chases, first time out at Fairyhouse and at Cheltenham in January. He also ran at the Cheltenham Festival in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Amateur Cup Handicap Chase, finishing eighth behind In Truth. Last season, Papillon managed to win on his fourth outing in a handicap chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, having earlier finished sixth in the Murphy's Gold Cup Handicap Chase behind Cyfor Malta at Cheltenham. His next success came in a Grade Two chase at Naas on February 27, before he took part in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, coming eighth behind Call Equiname. Papillon sustained an injury during his third appearance in the Jameson Irish Grand National on April 5, where he was pulled up, and that run completed his season. He has been disappointing on occasions this season, failing to get his nose in front, but he ran his best race on his latest outing at Leopardstown on March 19 in a handicap hurdle, when finishing third under joint top weight on only his second run over the smaller obstacles. His handler, Ted Walsh, believes that good ground brings out the best in his nine-year-old, and that he'll run a good race at Aintree.
Race Record: Starts: 27 1st: 7; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 2; Win & place prize money £401,263
Betty Moran, whose family wealth derives from SmithKline Beecham, is best-known as a leading Flat owner-breeder, Brushwood Stable, in her native America. She was brought up at Brushwood Stable farm at Chester County in Pennsylvania, which had been bought in the 1940s by her late father Claude Ranney and now extends to 240 acres. The best Brushwood flag-bearer was Creme Fraiche, who had cost $160,000 as a yearling in 1983, and went on to win the Belmont Stakes and $4 million prize money. He is pensioned off at Brushwood. She also had a small share in the 1993 Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair. But there could be even better to come this year with two leading home-bred classic hopefuls on either side of the Atlantic. High Yield, is a leading fancy for the Kentucky Derby, while Bernstein could go for the 2,000 Guineas. Both horses race for partnerships that include Michael Tabor and John Magnier. Mrs Moran's son, Mike, trains at Unionville, Pennsylvania. The Brushwood colours of green and blue are those of her boarding school, the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She rode horses for the first time during a summer holiday in Wyoming and bought her first racehorse, a jumper, in 1974. Her first horses were trained by Morris Dixon and then Burley Cocks, and she concentrated on the Flat from the late 1970s. She has known the Walsh family for 30 years, initially through Ted's late father Ruby, and only has the odd ‘fun' jumper nowadays. But she will be at Aintree to cheer on Papillon.
Grand National Record (since 1980): 2000 PAPILLON (1st)
Born at Fermoy in Co Cork and now based at Greenhills near Naas in Co Kildare, Ted Walsh is a racehorse trainer, journalist, and broadcaster with RTE and Channel 4. His father, Ruby, had a public house and kept a livery stable in Fermoy. In 1954 the Walsh family relocated to the United States, but came back to Ireland less than two years later, and Ruby rented a yard at Chapelizod. The Walshes later moved to a farm in Kill, Co. Kildare, which Ted has now extended to 60 acres. Walsh has been Irish champion amateur jockey on 11 occasions, and has ridden four Cheltenham winners, including the 1979 Queen Mother Champion Chase on Hilly Way. He describes Commanche Court's Elite Racing Club Triumph Hurdle win at the 1997 Cheltenham Festival as the highlight of his career in racing. It was especially memorable since he selected, purchased and trained Commanche Court for winning owner, Dermot Desmond. Ted and Helen Walsh have four children - champion jockey Ruby, Jennifer, Ted Jnr and Katie.
Grand National Record: 1992 Roc De Prince (17th), 2000 PAPILLON (1st)
Based in Co. Kildare, Ireland, he is the son of 11-times Irish amateur champion jockey, Ted Walsh, who is now an established trainer, and television pundit. Ruby is the second eldest of Walsh's four children, and is associated with the powerful stable of Willie Mullins, having spent time with Noel Meade and Aidan O'Brien. Walsh coasted home as last year's champion Irish jumps jockey in his first season as a professional rider, winning 96 races in the process. Paul Carberry was the nearest competitor, finishing on 71 winners, and he was at one time a serious rival for the title until he sustained a bad fall only days after Aintree which put him out for the remainder of the season. Aged 18, Walsh had previously followed in his father's footsteps, finishing champion amateur jockey despite still studying for his Leaving Certificate. Walsh was himself injured in a fall in October in the Czech Republic, fracturing a leg which kept him out for five months until March 4, when he returned at Tramore to ride Make My Day into third place for his father. He had his first winning ride after his comeback a week later, completing a double on Gabby Hayes and The Next Step at Navan.
Grand National Record: 2000 PAPILLON (1st)
FOURTH RACE MORE JOCKEY QUOTES
MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL
Richard Johnson, rider of Star Traveller who was pulled up at the 27th fence commented: "I had a very, very good ride. He made a mistake there and I pulled him up slightly lame. Hopefully, he'll be back in the future."
Tony McCoy sustained a leg injury on Dark Stranger and has been stood down for the rest of the day.
Dean Gallagher, rider of the Martin Pipe-trained Art Prince, who fell at the first, was also injured and said: "I have just bruised my ribs. He landed too steeply and just went over."
Rupert Wakley, jockey of Druid's Brook, who unseated his rider at the 12th, trained by Kim Bailey in Preston Capes, said: "He came to one after the ditch and I've gone 6.30 to the sky."
Esprit De Cotte's rider, Mick Fitzgerald, fell 22nd, said: "He was an absolute dream. He jumped fence to fence and put down on me at Bechers and you don't do that around here."
The jockey of the Philip Hobbs-trained Village King, Jim Culloty, a 20th fence faller, remarked: "He was going exceptionally well but got in too deep. It was his first mistake of the race."
Stormy Passage's rider, Andrew Thornton,who fell at the 22nd, said: "He went at Becher's (second time around). He was going ok, jumping nicely - who knows?"
Brendan Powell, who rode Young Kenny, a tenth fence faller, said: "He was a little bit awkward on the Canal Turn. He got a little bit close, he didn't catch much of it, but just tipped over. It's disappointing more than anything else."
Richard Guest, rider of Norman Mason's Red Marauder, who fell at the sixth, said: "I'm disappointed but we're all safe. He put a leg out but it was slippy. That's racing - what can you do?"
FOURTH RACE EVEN MORE JOCKEY QUOTES
MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL
Ken Whelan, Buck Rogers' jockey, who fell at the 24th, commented: "He was absolutely brilliant but he just caught the fence."
Robert ‘Chocolate' Thornton, rider of Torduff Express who fell at the 13th, said: "He was brilliant but he got a bit tight because of a loose horse."
Timmy Murphy, rider of Flaked Oats who fell at the 20th, commented: "He gave me a very good ride, travelled well and jumped well but just put down on me."
Norman Williamson (second, Mely Moss): "It was an exceptional piece of training by Edgie to bring him here to run like that on his first appearance of the season. He jumped brilliantly and everything went according to plan, and if it had been any other horse in front of me when we were going to the last I would have felt sure to win.
"But I know how tough Papillon and what a hard horse he is to pass. When I got on the rail at the elbow I thought for a stride or two that I might get him, but what I thought in the first place about him being so hard to get past proved to me right.
"It was a brilliant ride, but it is that bit harder to take when you are second rather than fourth or fifth; the closer you get the harder it is to take, but that's how it goes."
Mick FitzGerald (Esprit de Cotte, fell 22nd): "He was brilliant, but it was just unbelievable what happened. I wanted a long one at Becher's and he just put down on me and that was that. I was giving him a bit of a breather and was just going to get back into the race again."
Thierry Doumen (Djeddah 9th): "He gave me a lovely ride though he did make one or two mistakes. He was about tenth when we went out for the second time round, but from Valentine's second time he was getting tired. He had a lot of weight and it was just too much for him in the end."
Carl Llewelyn (Senor El Betrutti, fell 1st): "He jumped the fence well but landed too steeply and just slithered along."
Barry Geraghty (Call It A Day, 6th): "He gave me a brilliant ride and jumped marvellously. He did not have the best of runs and if I had had a clearer passge he might have run on into fourth or fifth, he was staying on at the end."
THE MARTELL GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLE CHASE (SHOWCASE HANDICAP) (CLASS A)
Class A, Grade 3, Showcase Handicap, 3.45pm Saturday, April 8, 2000, 4m 4f, £500,000 guaranteed, six-year-olds and upwards who are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the senior BHB National Hunt Handicapper following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 6. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at January 26 may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performance to February 6 would merit a minimum rating of 110, and that the horse has either won a chase or hurdle race, or has run at least three times collectively in chases or hurdle races by February 6. At the Handicapper's discretion, such horses may be allocated either a rating, or will be allotted top weight under Order 95 (iii) (b). No penalties after the publication of weights. Entries closed January 26 (108 entries), weights released February 8 (99 weighted), first forfeit stage February 22 (85 entries), second forfeit stage March 21 (64 entries), five-day confirmation stage April 3(52 remain), final declaration stage 10am April 6. (Form correct up to March 20). A maximum of 40 runners can go to post. Overnight declaration stage (40 declared).
1) PAPILLON (IRE) 9-10-12 Betty Moran Ted Walsh IRE Ruby Walsh 10-1
2) MELY MOSS (FR) 9-10-01 Darren Mercer CharlieEgerton NormanWilliamson 25-1
3) NIKI DEE (IRE) 10-10-13 George Dilger Peter Beaumont Robbie Supple 25-1
4) BRAVE HIGHLANDER (IRE) 12-10-00 Nick Embiricos Josh Gifford Philip Hide 50-1
5) ADDINGTON BOY (IRE) 12-11-02 Chiu Fat Yeun Ferdy Murphy Adrian Maguire 33-1
6) CALL IT A DAY (IRE) 10-10-11Jane Lane Alan King Barry Geraghty 50-1
7) THE LAST FLING (IRE) 10-11-05 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith Seamus Durack 14-1
8) LUCKY TOWN (IRE) 9-10-05 Mrs Noreen McManus Enda Bolger IRE David Casey 20-1
9) DJEDDAH (FR) 9-11-08 John D Martin Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 16-1
10) HOLLYBANK BUCK (IRE) 10-10-04 Sarah Warner Tony Martin IRE Peter Niven 33-1
11) BOBBYJO (IRE) 10-11-06 Bobby Burke Tommy Carberry IREPaul Carberry 12-1
12) KENDAL CAVALIER 10-10-06 Michael Wingfield Digby Toby Balding Barry Fenton 33-1
13) SUNY BAY (IRE) 11-11-12 Andrew Cohen Simon Sherwood Chris Maude 66-1
14) FEELS LIKE GOLD (IRE) 12-10-07 Independent Twine Man. Co Nicky Richards Brian Harding 28-1
15) CAMELOT KNIGHT 14-10-00 Michael Gates Nigel Twiston-Davies Ollie McPhail 150-1
16)KINGDOM OF SHADES (USA) 10-10-04 Michael Fenn Venetia Williams Tom Jenks 50-1
17) CELTIC GIANT 10-10-00 Richard Gilbert Len Lungo Bruce Gibson 100-1
F 1) ART PRINCE (IRE) 10-10-00 Terry Neill Martin Pipe Dean Gallgher 100-1
F 1)ROYAL PREDICA (FR) 6-10-04 Peter Deal Martin Pipe Glen Tormey 50-1
F 1)TRINITRO 9-10-03 Ms Liv Saether Myskja Rune Haugen NOR Robert Bellamy 100-1
F 1) SENOR EL BETRUTTI (IRE) 11-10-12 Gerard Nock Susan Nock Carl Llewellyn 100-1
F 1) MICKO'S DREAM (IRE) 8-10-10 S.P.O.R.T. Racing Club Willie Mullins IRE Jason Titley 14-1
F 2) SPARKY GAYLE (IRE) 10-10-08 Raymond & Anita Anderson Green Colin Parker Brian Storey 33-1
F 3) DARK STRANGER (FR) 9-10-01 Terry Neill Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 9-1F
F 4) CHOISTY (IRE) 10-10-00 Fred Sainsbury Ted Haynes Robert Widger 50-1
F 4) EARTHMOVER (IRE) 9-10-05 Roger Penny Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 14-1
F 6) RED MARAUDER 10-11-02 Norman Mason Norman Mason Richard Guest 18-1
F10) YOUNG KENNY 9-12-00 Gareth Read Peter Beaumont Brendan Powell 14-1
UR 12) DRUID'S BROOK 11-10-00 Major Tony Everett Kim Bailey Rupert Wakley 66-1
F 13) TORDUFF EXPRESS (IRE) 9-10-03 Two Plus Two Paul Nicholls Robert Thornton 50-1
F 13) THE GOPHER (IRE) 11-10-03 John Egan David Wintle Warren Marston 66-1
UR 14) MERRY PEOPLE (IRE)12-10-00 Karl Casey John Queally IRE Garrett Cotter 40-1
PU 17) LISTEN TIMMY (NZ) 11-11-05 Stan Clarke Alan King Tony Dobbin 50-1
F 20) FLAKED OATS 11-10-00 Harold Morris/Daily Mail Paul Nicholls Timmy Murphy 50-1
F 20) VILLAGE KING (IRE) 7-10-11Bill Edwards-Heathcote Philip Hobbs Jim Culloty 50-1
BD 22) STORMY PASSAGE (IRE) 10-11-03 Peter Luff Philip Hobbs Andrew Thornton 50-1
F 22) ESPRIT DE COTTE (FR) 8-10-08 Trevor Hemmings Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 50-1
F 24) BUCK ROGERS (IRE) 11-11-00 Josephine Skinner Victor Bowens IRE Ken Whelan 50-1
PU 27) STAR TRAVELLER 9-10-11 Jill Griffith/Liz Strachan Henry Daly Richard Johnson 10-1
F30) ESCARTEFIGUE (FR) 8-11-09 Darren Mercer Paul Nicholls Jimmy McCarthy 50-1
Distances: 1.25, 12,7,nk,3,4,9,2,27,7,4,1.5,11,0.75,17,22
Tote Win £13.00 Places £2.70, £6.30, £6.40, £9.60
Patrick Martell, president of the big-race sponsor, received surprise presentations from trainers and jockeys after the second race.
Nicky Henderson, accompanied by trainers like Toby Balding, David Nicholson, Martin Pipe, Josh Gifford and Peter Easterby presented a model of two hunting labradors.
Mick Fitzgerald, joined by virtually all the leading riders, presented a silver jockey leading a horse.
The presentations, which had been organised by the trainers and jockeys, were given in appreciation of Martell's contribution to racing.
OFFICIAL REACTION TO THE DAY
Dickon White, Marketing Manager for Aintree Racecourse, said: "It has been a very, very successful Martell Grand National day with a very large crowd. Tatts was sold out on the day and a lot of people who had wanted to go into Tatts were happy enough to go into the Steeplechase Enclosure; those who came to see the race did not really mind where they watched it.
"It is great to have an Irish winner. We realise that we will never be Cheltenham a far as they are concerned, but in the weeks before the race we had lots of inquiries, not just from owners and trainers, but also from people who just wanted to come over as visitors.
"There were no problems as far as the police are concerned, and all the security services did a marvellous job. There were inevitably queues at peak times but everyone was very patient and it was very good natured."
The total attendance was 59,794, which compares very well with last year's 49,400, an increase of 10,394 (+ 21.4%).
FINAL DAILY TELEGRAPH TROPHY STANDINGS
1st 2nd 3rd
Norman Williamson 2 2 2
Richard Johnson 2 - 4
Tony McCoy 1 3 2
Carl Llewellyn 1 2 1
Paul Carberry 1 1 -
Jimmy McCarthy 1 1 -
David Casey 1 - 1
Barry Geraghty 1 - 1
Mattie Batchelor 1 - -
Philip Carberry 1 - -
Jim Culloty 1 - -
Mick Fitzgerald 1 - -
Richard Guest 1 - -
Miss Polly Gundry 1 - -
Richard McGrath 1 - -
Mr David O'Meara 1 - -
Mr David Russell 1 - -
Ruby Walsh 1 - -
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink