Sussex jockey Aspell wins National with Pineau De Re

Leighton Aspell celebrates on Pineau De Re

Leighton Aspell celebrates on Pineau De Re

First published in Sport

SUSSEX jockey Leighton Aspell rode Pineau De Re to Crabbie's Grand National glory at Aintree for trainer Dr Richard Newland today.

The 11-year-old was a 25-1 shot after finishing third in the Pertemps Final over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival but Pulborough-based Aspell brought him home to secure a momentous five-length victory.

He jumped the final fence in a clear lead and his pursuers never looked like bridging the gap as he galloped all the way to the line.

Balthazar King ran a fine race to finish second, ahead of champion jockey Tony McCoy aboard Double Seven. Alvarado stayed on from a long way back to finish fourth.

Aspell, who at one stage had retired from riding, said: "It's a wonderful day. This is what we do it for.

''I've been watching the National since I was a very young boy.

''As much as you enjoy sharing everyone's success, you crave a bit too.

''To get a chance to ride in the National is a great thing, and to get on one with a chance is even better.''

Aspell went on: ''I was very conscious that I didn't want to be in front too soon over four and a half miles.

''He's a small horse, so he finds jumping hard enough.

''When I got a bit of daylight I knew I'd be fine because that was my only worry, a lack of daylight.

''Once he was in daylight he really enjoyed that part of the race.''

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