Donald McCain already has one eye on next year’s John Smith’s Grand National with Ballabriggs following his brilliant display in the race on Saturday
No name is more synonymous with the world’s most famous steeplechase than that of McCain, with Donald’s father, Ginger, saddling legendary three-time winner Red Rum in the 1970s as well as Amberleigh House in 2004.
McCain jnr has now added his name to the roll of honour, and proudly paraded Ballabriggs in front of his house and the gathered media on a cloudless afternoon at Bankhouse in Cholmondeley, with Ginger McCain also watching on in satisfaction.
The Cheshire-based handler said: "He’s tired, but he has had a bit of a walk. He’s got a small cut on a hind leg, but he’s OK. I would have thought next year will be geared around Aintree again.
"He’ll go for his summer break, but he may well go to the Becher Chase (over the National fences) in November.
"We always hoped he was going to make an Aintree horse. Now we know he’s taken to it, handicap marks don’t matter any more.
"I would like to think we’d be going back for the Grand National whenever, and as often as we can."
Winning jockey Jason Maguire gave up his Sunday rides at Ludlow to recover from the injuries he sustained in a heavy fall at Aintree on Thursday.
His agent Chris Broad said: "He just feels too sore to ride again, so he has taken the day off. He had stitches in his elbow and dislocated his thumb and it was very painful.
"But he struggled through Friday and Saturday, and thank goodness he did! The plan is for him to ride again on Monday, but he might take the day off again if he doesn’t feel up to it."