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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Monday, 11 April 2011 12:37 UK

Jason Maguire reveals Grand National injury worry

Grand National winner Jason Maguire

Maguire 'overwhelmed' to win Grand National

Jason Maguire has revealed he was close to missing out on Grand National glory and the ride on Ballabriggs at Aintree.

The Irishman, 30, led from the front on Saturday but nearly withdrew because of a thumb injury picked up in a first-day fall at the Liverpool meeting.

"On Thursday evening it was pretty tight, but to be fair they've got brilliant physios at the races," Maguire told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"I got there really early on Friday morning and they did a good job."

Maguire was stood down from racing on Thursday following the heavy fall from Palawi in which he also sustained an elbow injury that required stitches.

"They found an old fracture in there which I didn't know I had, but it was obviously old so I could carry on," added the Stroud-based jockey.

"And with my thumb they just had to strap it up really tight because either it was badly sprained or it was dislocated and went back in again straight away."

The 10-year-old 14-1 shot Ballabriggs was the fifth Grand National success for the McCain family and the second for owner Trevor Hemmings following Hedgehunter's victory in 2005.

Maguire's previous best outing in the famous race was sixth on Cloudy Bay in 2008, which came 12 months after he missed out on the opportunity to team up with 33-1 winner Silver Birch in favour of riding the McCain-Hemmings horse Idle Talk.

Trainer Donald McCain hailed his loyalty for that decision and owner Hemmings described Maguire's efforts in sweltering conditions on Saturday as a "superb ride".

Maguire, the nephew of former jockey Adrian Maguire, gave up his Sunday rides at Ludlow to aid his recovery from the injuries and the exertions of what he called an "unbelievable" weekend.

"It's a childhood dream to win the Grand National," he said. "It's starting to sink in.

"When it happens you're a bit shell-shocked, but on Sunday I had a chance to take it all in and watch the replays and it's fantastic. It's unreal."

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