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Regal Encore may be owned by the prolific Irish gambler J. P. McManus, but, unlike many of his entries, is trained in a small Somerset yard that boasts only 25 or so horses.

The Cork man followed up his first Leading Jockey Award at the Cheltenham Festival with a narrow win aboard Gordon Elliott's Gigginstown-owned runner at Aintree. "I can't believe it, to be honest". But Davy went by me on a fresh horse at the second last and I wasn't going to win that race to the Elbow. When I first went in it was with the thought that having a horse is the quickest way to get rid of money but sometimes you can be lucky. "She always knew it was worthwhile for her child".

ANIBALE Fly can give the Cheltenham Gold Cup form the ultimate boost by winning the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

It has not all been plain sailing for Russell in recent weeks.

Dedicating the victory to fellow jockey Pat Smullen - who was diagnosed with cancer last month - proclaiming him "as tough as nails so this one's for Pat" and his late mother Phyllis, the showpiece had delivered its usual drama.

The Grand National course is often seen as one of the biggest killers because of its demanding terrain.

Gordon Elliot's eight-year old secured the most famed title in horse racing when he held of Pleasant Company to take the honours at Aintree.

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'Tiger Roll really did tire on me, ' he added.

"It's well known we parted company over the most legendary cup of tea in racing". Davy's career has been up and down, characterised by periods of great talent and achievement but also fallow periods. I've been coming for years and been satisfied leaving not winning, because it is such a marvellous event. "To be champion trainer in Ireland in the past you needed to win 50 or 60 races, but now you need to win 100-plus, and he's doing that".

"AP McCoy rode one victor of this race in 20 years, Ruby has won one, Barry has too, and now Davy has and it's a great thing to have on your CV".

Don't miss the full report from the Randox Health Grand National - including analysis, pictures and comment - in the 19 April issue of Horse & Hound. "It is wonderful to have finally won; it is a marvelous event", he said.

"He (Pleasant Company) seemed to get a little bit exhausted and then get a second wind". "She would get me out of bed at six in the morning and drive me round the country". He jumped from fence to fence and you couldn't ask for any better.

"After yesterday's great result, we'd love to try again and I think we can safely train him for the race". "It's unbelievable for Davy Russell - his father Jerry is, I'm sure, very proud watching him at home". "I hope everyone who has supported me along the way can enjoy this".

"It was a four-and-a-quarter-mile race and a war of attrition".


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