Doctor’s orders for Pineau National win

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Grand National 2014 gallery. Pics by Jack Maguire

Grand National 2014 gallery. Pics by Jack Maguire

Pineau De Re ensured a fairytale win for part-time trainer Dr Richard Newland, as his horse won an incident-packed Grand National at Aintree.

Newland, who only trains 12 horses and treats it as a hobby alongside his medical practice, won the first £1million National at his first attempt with the 25-1 shot, who benefited from a well judged ride by Leighton Aspell to score in front of a bumper 70,000 crowd.

The race, which has drawn criticism in the last couple of years from animal rights groups, saw all forty runners and riders return home safe for the second year running, following modifications to improve its safety.

The contest showed little sign of being any easier on this occasion however, with the fences ending the chances of a host of runners, including the joint favourite Teaforthree, who unseated his rider, as well as fancied horses Burton Port, Long Run and Tidal Bay, ensuring that only eighteen completed the grueling four-and-a-half mile test.

The drama over the fences was eclipsed by the incredibly unlucky Henry Brooke, whose mount Across The Bay had his chances ended by a loose horse, which caused him to run out markedly from the field at the beginning of his second lap.

Pineau De Re battled on to show the most resilience in the closing stages and pulled clear to score by five lengths, ahead of Balthazar King in second place and champion jockey AP McCoy’s mount Double Seven in third.

His trainer explained that he had dreamed of success in the National.

He told Channel 4 Racing: “It’s an incredible day, one you dream of. My wife asked me a couple of years ago what I wanted to achieve from racing and I said I wanted a National so it’s incredible for me.

Grand National 2014 gallery. Pics by Jack Maguire

Grand National 2014 gallery. Pics by Jack Maguire

“I work full-time in a health care business so racing is very much a hobby for me and I try to run it as a small business.”

John Provan, Pineau De Re’s owner, could not hide his delight at winning the world famous race.

He told Channel 4 Racing: “We’ve brought everyone today. We’re all sharing in this magic moment, it’s absolutely fantastic. We love taking on the big guys and it’s hard to get a really big jockey, but Leighton Aspell was absolutely perfect.”

Aspell, who retired from for 18 months in 2007 after falling out of love with the game, explained that he only began to believe he could win in the closing moments of the race.

He told Radio 5live: “It’s a wonderful feeling. Briefly off the elbow, I heard the commentator say I was six (lengths) clear and that just gave me a little bit of confidence that even if we tire badly we could hang on here and thankfully he did.”

Additional reporting by Jack Maguire

About Nick Seddon, JMU Journalism