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Ulster jockey Brian Hughes is just the Boy for Grand National glory bid

By Frank Brownlow

Published 06/04/2016

Ulster jockey Brian Hughes
Ulster jockey Brian Hughes

Ulster jockey Brian Hughes will attempt to maintain the momentum of a great season when he rides O'Faolains Boy in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The Armagh rider racked up his second career century last week and is currently in fifth place in the jockeys title race on 103 winners, behind champion elect Richard Johnson who will succeed Ulster legend AP McCoy.

O'Faolains Boy is a 33-1 shot and trained by Rebecca Curtis.

Other local interest in the £1million contest includes The Druids Nephew, trained by Neil Mulholland who is originally from Glenavy and is now based near Bath.

Druids' jockey Denis O'Regan is desperate for Grand National atonement after he suffered the "gut-wrenching" despair of finishing second six years ago.

O'Regan will be having his 10th ride in the race and came closest aboard Black Apalachi who got to within five lengths of McCoy and Don't Push It in 2010.

Druids fell four out last year when bang in contention.

O'Regan - who rode faller Al Co last year - said: "When I sat on The Druids Nephew the other day he was a totally different horse.

"The ground will be important, he has a lot of speed. Last year he was motoring when he fell. Neil is confident he has him in great form.

"I must have watched the replay 20 times. He was really operating. Finishing second on Black Apalachi was gut-wrenching. I'd love to make up for it."

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