GALASHIELS jockey Ryan Mania will be the toast of the Borders tonight after winning the 2013 Grand National on his debut appearance.
The 23-year-old becomes one of the youngest jockeys ever to win the prestigious Aintree event on the Sue Smith trained Auroras Encore. He said: “We were slightly worried this morning as the horse had a niggling shoulder injury.
“I got a dream ride around and couldn’t believe my luck. He finished so well, I couldn’t fault the old horse. He’s brilliant.”
Ryan, on the 66/1 shot raced away from Paul Moloney on Cappa Bleu (12/1) after he stuttered over the 30th hurdle of the steeplechase, eventually winning by nine lengths.
Teaforthree, among the pre-race favourites going off at 10/1, finished third, ridden by Nick Scholfield with Oscar Time, another 66/1 outsider, coming in fourth.
The victory crowned an excellent spell of success for Borders horse racing following yesterday’s success in the John Smith’s Foxhunters Chase, at the same course, for Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd and Hawick Jockey Jamie Hamilton on the 100/1 Tartan Snow.