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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
McCain toasts fourth win
Grand National-winning trainer Ginger McCain said claiming a fourth victory in the Aintree showpiece with Amberleigh House was "unbelievable".

Ginger McCain holds the Grand National prize aloft
I never thought I was going to win another National
Ginger McCain

McCain, who trained Red Rum to three famous victories in the 1970s, had talked up his horse's chances before the race but admitted he thought he had already used up his share of Grand National luck.

"I never thought I was going to win another National," said the 73-year-old.

"He is 12 now and I honestly wondered whether his best chance to win the race might have been when he was third last year.

"I would have been delighted to have been in the first six or eight.

"Amberleigh House is the best thing that has happened to me for a long, long time.

"The credit for it goes to my son (Donald) - he lives for the horse and rides him in all his work," added McCain, who becomes only the second trainer after Fred Rimell to land four wins in the world's most famous steeplechase.

But he added that he would not be handing over the reins at his stables in Cholmondley just yet.

"I did think that if I won today, I might let the lad take over. Well, bugger it, Fred Rimell only trained four and I might just be able to squeeze in another one in the next couple of years!" said McCain.

It is the best day of my life for a long, long way
Winning jockey Graham Lee

Winning jockey Graham Lee described the victory as "a fairytale".

"After we had been beaten here by Clan Royal at the start of the season I went home and watched the video over and over and was really angry for going too soon," he said.

"He only has one run in him and I had to decide whether to try and catch the leaders or wait for them to come back to me and it worked out.

"Plan A went out of the window after the first three fences but he was very brave and very surefooted," added the northern-based jockey.

Owner John Halewood, who was born in Liverpool, said it was "the best day of my life".

"I'm a local lad and the first year I came with my dad we had to go down to stand at the Canal Turn because we couldn't afford to get into to the enclosures," he said.

"Who would have believed that one day I would be back owning the winner of the world's greatest horse race?"


WATCH AND LISTEN
Amberleigh House trainer Ginger McCain
"I thought I'd never win another National"




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