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Walsh so proud of Katie's bid

Ted Walsh was full of praise for his daughter Katie after she became the highest-placed female rider in John Smith's Grand National history on Seabass.

Positioned close to the pace throughout, the nine-year-old gave her the ride of her life and only gave way in the closing stages, passing the post in third behind Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy.

Walsh senior, who had trained Seabass to seven consecutive victories this season, admits for a short period he did think he could be about to train his second National winner, following on from Papillon in 2000, who was ridden by his son Ruby.

"The only way the result could have been better was if she'd managed to win it, but the horse acquitted himself well and was right there with a chance until the Elbow," Walsh told At The Races.

"Katie gave him a smashing ride every step of the way. There was plenty of pressure there on a young girl and plenty of eyes on her, but she came home with a big smile. It's something she'll have for the rest of her life.

"Everything went well for her and because she was in the first six or seven she could avoid any trouble behind her. He jumped really well and I thought jumping the second-last he was going as good as anything, if not a bit better. For a few strides I thought could this really be happening?

"But the other two were just better on the day and pulled away. If he had 10lb less he would definitely have been a bit closer, but then he might not have got in.

"He's got glassy legs on him and it would be all very good saying you could lay him out for the National in a year's time. I'll have a chat with the owners and see what they want to do. They'll be paying the bills.

"He took to the place well and he if he got back there again around the same sort of handicap mark, he's in with a shout again. It's a great race and a great pot, so that might be the plan. He's well this morning. He's out in the field with Papillon, I don't know if he's filling him in on what he should have done or shouldn't have done!"

On the issue of safety, he added: "It's terrible when a horse receives an injury and has to be put down. But if you're completely anti the National, which certain people are, they won't be satisfied until there is no National. In horse racing, or horse riding even, you are never going to eliminate the risk. I think the National has to stay the way it is."


From Belfast Telegraph