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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
A National fairytale
BBC TV racing pundits give their reaction to Amberleigh House's Grand National win - the fourth in the race for Red Rum's trainer Ginger McCain.


Clare Balding

It was just an extraordinary performance from Ginger McCain and Amberleigh House.

He has been telling us for years that he would come back and win the National again but to actually do it in this style was stunning.

It was an incredible ride from Graham Lee.

They were at the back of the field for most of the race, and even over the last fence he was behind Clan Royal and Lord Atterbury - so to make up all that ground just shows its class.

The other thing for Ginger is that for all these years he has been coming here and has had to talk about Red Rum - now he has another winner to mention.

I've always thought Amberleigh House was a cracking horse - and he has proved it.

It was a cracking race - I'm just glad that all the horses and jockeys are OK because there were some hard falls out there.

Lord Atterbury deserves a mention as I thought he put in a great performance, but the day belongs to Ginger - what a fairytale end to an incredible race.


Lydia Hislop

Everyone was really surprised as Amberleigh House was an older horse (12 years) and had run in the race before and not won.

After all his success with Red Rum, no-one thought Ginger would produce another winner.

But as Norman Williamson pointed out during our coverage, we should have suspected something after his excellent performance at the Becher Chase.

And interestingly enough, he was just pipped to the line in that race by Clan Royal - the irony wasn't lost on anyone.

It was an impressive ride from Graham Lee - he has shown promise for a number of years and proved that given a quality horse he will deliver the goods.

The dazed look on his face at the end of the race said it all - he was expected to take a couple of wins at the big meetings this year, but I'm not sure he thought it would be at the biggest one of all.

Spare a thought for Liam Cooper on Clan Royal. He lost his whip, but even so probably thought he had it in the bag with the finish in sight.

But that's the Grand National for you - and it was probably the most exciting end to a National I have ever seen, and definitely the most competitive.


Rishi Persad

It's hard to imagine that Ginger trained Red Rum and won the National three times 30 years ago - that's longer than I've been around.

It's an astonishing achievement to have such success over that time period - most people involved with sport only have a small window where they can excel.

I was slightly disappointed with Davids Lad, who I had been tipping to win for the past year - but you have to give him credit for finishing.

He's probably past his best and not himself anymore - but that said it was good to see him make it to the line.





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