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Things "can't get any better" for winning Grand National trainer

Worcester Editorial 7th Apr, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE WINNING trainer at this year’s Grand National has said things “can’t get any better” after his horse swept to victory in British racing’s biggest event.

Pineau De Re, which is one of Dr Richard Newland’s 12 horses at his stables in Claines, stormed to the front of the field to win by five lengths at Aintree on Saturday (April 5).

The 25-1 shot, who was ridden by Leighton Aspell, is owned by John Provan – a friend of Dr Newland for 25 years.

Dr Newland said he could hardly contain his excitement when he began to realise his horse had a chance of winning.

“Two out or three out we were getting excited,” he said.

“I was jumping up and down with my daughter. Leighton had a plan and delivered it superbly well. He’s a great guy and a good jockey and I’m thrilled for him.

“When something like this happens you think perhaps I should stop now because it just can’t get better than this.

“He’s a classy, classy horse Pineau De Re, I’ve always thought that.”

The former GP, who now splits his time between working at the stables on the outskirts of Worcester and running health practices in the Midlands, only began working with the 11-year-old horse a year ago.

“He doesn’t act like an 11-year-old,” Dr Newland added.

“He’s got loads of ability and he still has all the enthusiasm to do the job.

“He has the combination of stamina and a touch of speed and it was just a wonderful performance even though he made a few errors.

“This is a hobby for me really and I have no real plans to change anything at the minute. I have great work colleagues at Newbridge and I love working with them too. I’m lucky enough to be able to do this (training) and enjoy it but if you do it as a full-time job there’s a higher level of stress and less fun.”

Dr Newland also paid tribute to owner John Provan and his team of staff.

“With the racing we have a good hardcore team of five people, two excellent grooms and three really good work riders.

“John Provan and I met 25 years ago and he’s my oldest racing friend and we’ve been coming here to Aintree for 20 years together long before I trained or even owned horses. It was always our dream to have a National runner.”

Mr Provan said it felt like a dream.

“It’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic,” he added.

“We love taking on the big guys. We have come against Paul Nicholls and all the jockeys – it’s hard to get a really good jockey when you want one.

“Leighton Aspell did the job absolutely perfectly today – we couldn’t have asked anymore from a jockey. I have to say a big thank you to all of Richard’s staff, such lovely staff. They all do their job 100 per cent and it’s just fantastic for them.

“I thought we could maybe win a Midlands National and Scottish National but we could only dream of winning The Grand National, it’s a dream.”

Picture by John Grossick.

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