Newland targets National defence

Leighton Aspell celebrates on Pineau De Re with trainer Dr Richard Newland (right) after winning The Crabbie's Grand National Steeple Chase during Grand National Day of the Crabbie's Grand National 2014 Festival at Aintree Racecourse.

Leighton Aspell celebrates on Pineau De Re with trainer Dr Richard Newland (right) after winning The Crabbie's Grand National Steeple Chase during Grand National Day of the Crabbie's Grand National 2014 Festival at Aintree Racecourse.

First published in Sport

DR RICHARD Newland is already looking forward to seeing Pineau De Re defend his crown in next year’s Crabbie’s Grand National following his brilliant display at Aintree.

The 11-year-old produced prodigious leaps at the final two obstacles and galloped all the way to the line up the punishing run-in to seal a famous victory in the hands of Leighton Aspell.

The veteran warmed up for his Merseyside mission with third place in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and Newland intends to take in a few races over hurdles as part of his preparation for the world’s greatest steeplechase next term.

He was delighted to report his stable star to be none the worse for his exertions and confirmed that he will now be given a well-deserved holiday.

“He gave 110 per cent on Saturday, but he was fine the next morning,” said trainer Dr Newland.

“He’s going to go up in the handicap now and it won’t be easy for him next season, as there aren’t a lot of races.

“We’d like to bring him back and have another go at the National, so perhaps we’ll go down the hurdling route and maybe do a similar thing to this year.

“He deserves a nice break now.”

The Claines-based trainer added: “We came home on Saturday night and had a nice party.”

Dr Newland and connections of Pineau De Re kept up the winning run with a low-key double at Market Rasen yesterday.

While it would be pushing it to suggest that Newland and owner John Provan enjoyed the success of Dalmo in the Racing UK Lady Riders’ Selling Handicap Hurdle as much as that of Pineau De Re, they are on such a high it will have been difficult to feel any happier. Newland also teamed up with Aspell to win the Double M Novices’ Chase with Ardkilly Witness.

Newland and Provan arrived in Lincolnshire by helicopter, weighed down by several bottles of champagne.

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