04.04.08 - THE GRAND NATIONAL, RACING AT AINTREE
ALBERTAS BEATEN, BUT HEMMINGS STILL UPBEAT
Owner Trevor Hemmings was not downcast despite the defeat of Albertas Run who finished third in the John Smith's Mildmay Novices' Chase.
Hemmings said: "He's run six times this season and won four, so we can't complain. I'm pleased with his run.
"We thought Joe Lively would make the running and they would go a bit quicker than they did, but it didn't work out that way and we had to change tactics. I'm not using that as an excuse, because we were beaten by a couple of horses, but he'll have a holiday now and be back next year."
Hemmings won the John Smith's Grand National in 2005 with Hedgehunter, who will be one of three horses to carry his colours in tomorrow's race - the others are Cloudy Lane and Idle Talk. Despite having known the experience of leading in the big-race winner, Hemmings said: "I still get excited, but it's the same with any top race. Whether it's the Gold Cup or the Grand National, they are all special. It was very kind of Aintree to give me a replica of the winner's trophy after Hedgehunter won, and that's still on my sideboard at home."
Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of runner-up Battlecry, said: "The mistake he made at the second last has probably just cost him the race, but he's run fantastically well. I don't know if he will run again this season. We'll just see how he is."
Colin Tizzard, trainer of fourth-placed Joe Lively, said: "That must be nearly as good a race as he's run. It's a championship race and he's finished on the hocks of some high-class horses. He's come in his coat again and is right back to his best. We changed tactics today, and instead of making the running for others, we have let him have a bit of a tow. He's been racing for a while, but we might be tempted to run him in a race at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks."