When Ryan Mania romped home nine lengths clear on Auroras Encore, he was the first Scot to ride a winner in the Grand National since 1896, and that in itself is drama enough but the stakes were raised after a potentially career ending fall the following day.
Borders native, Mania was airlifted to hospital after he fell from Stagecoach Jasper and received a hoof in the spine whilst running again for trainer Sue Smith at Hexham.
However, he’s been tweeting from his hospital bed and appears to be unharmed in the long term, and in good spirits:
Thanks so much for all the messages. I’m grand. Staying in hospital to get another scan tomorrow then should be home. #highsandlows
Last night Mania was, getting bored now and he’s certainly had to bide his time, but it looks like the celebrations will get underway tonight with a victory parade in his hometown of Galashiels.
Before the parade Mania will attend a reception at Quinns Restaurant, the Galashiels Braw Lad will be hailed a homecoming hero by a parade that leaves the fountain and Auld Mill pub at 7pm.
It will be an immensely proud evening for the jockey who not so long ago was considering hanging up his Silks. Congratulations Ryan, you’ve made it into the record books.
All racing commentators are united in their relief and joy at outcome of this year’s Grand National. After last year’s double fatality the future of the race looked to be in doubt but of the 40 runners on Saturday, 17 finished and there were no fatalities. It seems the changes recommended, softer, pre-watered ground and open spruce fences have slowed the race and improved the safety record.
As a final word, we couldn’t sign off without reporting on the fortunes of our racehorse-training chum, Kim Bailey. Blog readers will know that Bailey had high hopes for his star horse The Rainbow Hunter – see post Pre-Cheltenham Chat – and judging from his post race blog entry below, it seems his aspirations were well founded, even if the race didn’t pan out quite as he expected…..
The Rainbow Hunter ran a tremendous race and jumped superbly to finish 2nd in Saturdays Grand National.. sadly without his jockey Aiden Coleman, who was knocked off at the canal turn!! – Kim Bailey, Bailey’s Blog, 8 April 2013.
Bad luck, Kim, there’s always next year.