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Aspell could make History on Clouds

If successful in 2016 and Leighton Aspell is again on board, he would become the first jockey to ride three consecutive National winners.




Under Aspel, Many Clouds, top-rated by beforetheoff, carried second top weight to victory yesterday at odds of 25/1.


The classy eight-year-old jumped superbly and hit the front three fences from home to win the Aintree marathon in fine style despite finishing tired. He proved too strong for Saint Are to score by one-and-three-quarter lengths, with Monbeg Dude third and Alvarado fourth.


Aspell, 38, rode Pineau De Re to victory last year and became the first jockey since Brian Fletcher on Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 to win back-to-back Nationals whilst three in a row has never been achieved.


Many Clouds did need time to recover afterwards but having shouldered 11st 9lb to victory in a wide open contest, the handicapper may be unable to stop the young winner from achieving a long-awaited double next year should he return in good heart.


Red Run carried 10st 5lb to victory in 1973 and then followed up with a massive hike in the weights with 12 stone the following year.


Many Clouds was not seen at his best in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and connections many plot a different route next season, culminating in a bid to retain his Aintree crown.


Aspell, who rides the course expertly, would then eclipse any other jockey in the race’s history with a consecutive treble.


It is certainly a plausible possibility and Many Clouds is already 16/1 favourite for next season’s National with bet365.


Trainer Oliver Sherwood had wondered whether this year’s race wasn’t a year too soon for his charge but owner Trevor Hemmings was keen to run.


It was a first Grand National success for Sherwood but Hemmings was winning the race for the third time as an owner following victories with Hedgehunter and Ballabriggs.


The veteran owner will be keen to bring Many Clouds back next year and would love to be part of another historic success.


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