05.04.08 - THE GRAND NATIONAL, RACING AT AINTREE
Comply completes Pipe dream
The well-backed 7/1 joint-favourite Comply Or Die was produced with a perfectly time-run by jockey Timmy Murphy to land the John Smith’s Grand National by four lengths from King John’s Castle.
Trainer David Pipe - whose father Martin won the 1994 race with Miinnehoma - was landing the John Smith’s Grand National in only his second season with a licence and admitted that he was hopeful beforehand.
"The horse and jockey were fantastic out there but I knew he had all the right credentials and with a little luck in running we’d have the right result today. He ran well at Haydock, then looked tailormade for this after winning the Eider, which may not have been the greatest race, and there was every reason to think he would take to it, he had schooled very well at home," said Pipe.
"He had leg trouble and does lots of swimming and we’ve always looked after him. Sometimes they take a long time to get back from injury and DJ (owner David Johnson) has been very supportive. He had a lot of luck in running, which you have to have, and galloped all the way to the line. There were a few well in at the weights, but things have to go right for you and fortunately it did for us.
"He was a good novice and has always been a horse bred to jump and stay - a lot of good’s been done by the team at home.
"I had told a few people tongue in cheek beforehand to come to the party after the race and there will be some sore heads tomorrow. The horse deserves a long rest now, he’ll be aimed at all the long-distance chases next year and they don’t come any better than this.
"Grandad was the one that set us all up. He bought the yard and set Dad up, who was a great teacher to me. I don’t have any overheads and have had a very priviliged upbringing and really appreciate it. It’s an ambition everyone will always have and to fulfil it in my second season is amazing."
Timmy Murphy added: "It’s everyone’s dream to win the National and the punters aren’t as happy as I am. I built a little National fence at home as a child which I fell from more than I’ve ever fallen here! This is the highlight of anybody’s career, when you think of all the great jockeys that have never won the National. You never really rest on your laurels in the National and even over the last it’s a long way.
"He jumped fantastically all the way and I was praying going to the last, concentrating on getting his stride right, but it’s the same at every single fence in the race. I was worried because Paul Carberry was behind me and he’s not someone you like to see peering at you from behind.
"Mine popped the first and got into a nice rhythm. I usually try and wait for as long as I can and the plan was to be handy and to then get into a nice rhythm, I always planned not to get there too soon. But once we got to the elbow I thought it was time to finish it!
"When the horse was a novice he almost jumped a bit too clean, he was giving them too much height, but I was happy today after the first ditch today, that can really test them."
Owner David Johnson, who has around 70 horses in training, said: "Martin got me placed in the race a few times and David has a very good assistant now! The Pipe yard is a family yard with Martin, Carol and David and they are a close family and very professional.
"I didn’t back the horse, the occasion was fantastic enough and I’ve got back a bit of the money we gave to Tom Costello for him! I thought he was a bit close at the second but otherwise he never got a stride wrong.
"Timmy was fantastic and it still amazes me that he doesn’t get more outside rides. When he became my retained rider he was the natural choice - Richard Johnson was attached to Hobbs, Ruby was with Nicholls, Barry Geraghty couldn’t do the weight and Timmy was just the right choice. He’s a good horseman, just a good jockey."
Martin Pipe was proud of his son and added: "Comply Or Die was professionally prepared for this race - Jonathon Lower built some National fences at home and he had schooled very well over them. It was great we had the two young lads - David and Donald McCain - taking each other on and they two are very professional people."