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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Grand National hero welcomed home
Jockey Niall Madden, Numbersixvalverde and trainer Martin Brassil
Jockey Madden and trainer Brassil with Numbersixvalverde
Grand National hero Numbersixvalverde was reported to be fine form after returning back to Ireland following his win in the Grand National at Aintree.

The 10-year-old horse arrived at trainer Martin Brassil's County Kildare yard late on Sunday and a group of local residents greeted him.

"He's great - everything is absolutely A1 with the horse," said Brassil.

"We had a good journey home and then had a bit of a homecoming. We had a few drinks and a bit of a chat."

Numbersixvalverde beat last year's National winner Hedgehunter by six lengths in a thrilling finish to the four-and-a-half-mile marathon.

The local council is set to mark the achievement with a reception on Monday night and Brassil is also considering parading his stable star at the local point-to-point meeting.

"Moments in racing don't come any more special than winning that race. Most people regard it as the greatest steeplechase in the world, I suppose," said the trainer.

Brassil said the horse would be given a break before returning next season, with the big Aintree race as his target again.

Trainer Willie Mullins said Hedgehunter would be aimed at the Cheltenham Gold Cup and National again next year after finishing second in both races in 2006.

He might also renew rivalry with Cheltenham winner War of Attrition in the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown later in April.

Madden hailed after National win
08 Apr 06 |  Horse Racing
Numbersixvalverde wins National
08 Apr 06 |  Horse Racing


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