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'A day I will never forget'

SATURDAY was an incredible day and one that I certainly will never forget. Seabass was absolutely brilliant and I got a fantastic spin off him to come so close and be in contention for so long.

Unfortunately we just met a couple too good on the day. Neptune Collonges is a class horse and was third in the Gold Cup, while Sunnyhillboy is a Cheltenham Festival winner and they are two fair horses.

Going into the race on Saturday all I was looking for was to get around and after that what was going to happen would happen.

To be honest, I actually wasn't as nervous on Saturday as I probably was the previous couple of days. I had a few interviews to do and at that stage I just wanted it to happen and it wasn't until the trumpets started during the parade in front of the stand that my heart started beating through my chest.

Before the National, Ruby took a terrible fall and was unfortunately stood down. I was in the medical room to make sure he was okay (he was, which was a huge relief). He just gave me a kiss and wished me the best of luck and that's all he could do.

I had walked the track with him on Thursday and walked it with Nina Carberry, my brother Ted and my partner Ross on Saturday morning, and I sort of had a plan to follow Ruby as he had won it a couple of times, but he wasn't there and I just had to adapt.

I didn't even really notice the two false starts or Tony McCoy getting unseated, I was just concentrating on where I wanted to be jumping off.

From the start Seabass travelled and jumped brilliantly. I was following Barry Geraghty and I was happy with that as he had won it before and if he felt we were going too fast, he wouldn't have been there.

As we came to the second last fence I thought I could win. Barry asked me, "How are you going?" and I pulled down my goggles and he said: 'Jesus, you must be going well enough.' Just then I thought, 'This could really happen.'

We winged the second last and at the last I just let him go in for a short one as it's a long run and at the end of the day we were beaten fair and square. But I was a lot happier to be beaten by five lengths than a short head. It was a fantastic experience and let's hope Seabass is around next year to bring me round again!

As seems to be always the case now, there was a bit of controversy over the National again, but I was upset to see that nobody seemed to mention that Noel Fehily broke his leg in three places and how lucky Ruby was after his horrific fall.

I can't say enough how loved every horse was that ran at Aintree last week. We all love our horses and nobody wants to see any of them get hurt, but that happens, and happens every day of the week.

But they are animals and it has to be put into perspective that they aren't human beings.

These horses give us so much joy, but they love what they are doing and I personally don't think that lowering the fences is a good thing.

These things happen though and just because it's National day everyone gets revved up and it's not fair what some parts of the media are doing.


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