At A Glance - Aintree 13.04.2012

Attaglance: defied top weight to land Aintree's Listed handicap hurdle

  PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)  

Jefferson celebrates double festival double

HAVING waited over 30 years to have a winner at Aintree, Malcolm Jefferson now has two in as many days after Attaglance emulated stablemate Cape Tribulation by defying top weight in the Listed 2m4f handicap hurdle for a length and three-quarters win.

The similarities do not stop there, as like Thursday winner Cape Tribulation, Attaglance came into the race off the back of a Cheltenham Festival win, landing the Martin Pipe Hurdle last month, and coped with a rise to top weight for another competitive contest.

Jefferson said: "He was never on the bridle but he's tough and he gallops. He always gives you a good feel and is a lovely horse, very straightforward."

For jockey Harry Haynes what a difference 12 months makes. After taking a pearler from Bible Lord in the Topham at the meeting, he was in Fazakerley Hospital being treated for concussion and dehydration, before another concussion nine days later at Wetherby ruled him out for four and a half months.

Haynes said: "To come back a year on and be in this position is unbelievable. Thanks to everyone involved, Mr Jefferson has given me the opportunity to get back in the winner's enclosure and to be riding Cheltenham and Aintree winners is massive."

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.