Pineau De Re wins Grand National

Pineau De Re (25-1), ridden by Leighton Aspell, gallops to a five length Grand National victory at Aintree.

    Pineau De Re' win earns Dr. Newland a record $1.65 million in prize money [AFP]
    Pineau De Re' win earns Dr. Newland a record $1.65 million in prize money [AFP]

    Pineau De Re ended a chaotic Grand National Steeplechase by breaking clear to win by five lengths, with a host of favorites among the 22 horses to fail to complete the world's toughest jumps race.

    Ridden by Leighton Aspell and trained by a doctor who looks after 12 horses as a 'hobby', the 25-1 shot jumped the last of 30 fences in the lead and pulled clear to win easily from Balthazar King (14-1) in second and 10-1 joint-favorite Double Seven in third.

    2014 Grand National top five

                Horse           Margin

    1st   Pineau De Re

    2nd  Balthazar King   5 L

    3rd   Double Seven     1 1/4 L

    4th  Alvarado             10 L

    5th  Rocky Creek        2 1/2 L

    The famous race has been tainted by a string of deaths over the fearsome fences in recent years but organisers said all 40 horses and jockeys returned safely after the race, despite the fact that there were only 18 finishers.

    Aspell, who finished second in his debut National in 2003, retired in 2007 but returned to the saddle within two years saying he missed the weighing-room camaraderie and the thrill of racing.

    The 11-year-old Pineau De Re is the third straight outsider to win the thrill-a-minute National, which is screened to a worldwide TV audience of about 600 million.

    Teaforthree, Long Run and Tidal Bay were among the well-backed horses that failed to finish the race, which began on the second try after a false start.

    Pineau De Re was never far from the front but moved into serious contention after jumping the Canal Turn, with only six more fences left in the 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometre) trip.

    After clearing the last, he had more energy than his rivals and never looked like being beaten.

    Dr. Richard Newland, who studied medicine at Cambridge University, is a medical practitioner in a village called Claines in central England and only took out a licence to train horses in 2006.

    Record prize money

    Pineau De Re was his first runner in the National and his timing was perfect as this was the first year that prize money climbed to $1.65 million.

    "This is a hobby for me really," Newland said, "I'm lucky enough to be able to do this (train horses) and enjoy it but if you do it as a full-time job, there's a higher level of stress and less fun."

    SOURCE: AP


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