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Last Updated:  Sunday, 6 April, 2003, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
National hero's happy homecoming
Grand National winner Monty's Pass was paraded at the Curragh
Monty's Pass was the star attraction at the Curragh on Sunday

Martell Grand National winner Monty's Pass enjoyed a rapturous reception on his return to Ireland on Sunday.

The 10-year-old was paraded at the Curragh where successful trainer Jimmy Mangan received a bronze horse's head from course committee chairman Michael Osborne to mark the occasion.

Monty's Pass had been due to return to Ireland in the early hours of Sunday morning but missed the 0300 BST ferry from Holyhead following an impromptu party in Liverpool on Saturday night.

Instead, they boarded the 0900 BST sailing to Dublin and stopped off on their way to County Cork at the Curragh course.

"He's in great form. We did not mind missing the ferry as we had a bit of a party in Liverpool," said trainer Mangan.

"There's only one National and plenty of ferries. I will enter the horse for the Heineken Chase at Punchestown but I am not saying he will run in it.

"We are thinking more in terms of another Kerry National and then plan again for Aintree."

Amberleigh House and Gunner Welburn were third and fourth respectively and it could be that all the principals renew rivalry in 2004.

Supreme Glory's effort went a long way to compensating connections for last year's disappointment when he had been a leading fancy in the ante-post market for the National only to be ruled out of the race through injury.

Meanwhile, Martin Pipe said on Sunday his Iris Bleu was "comfortable" in hospital after being pulled up lame by Tony McCoy.

But the news was less good about one of the champion trainer's riders Gerry Supple, who was recovering from a broken leg.

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