sport

Aintree return already on agenda

Richard Newland is already looking forward to seeing Pineau De Re defend his crown in next year's Grand National.

The 11-year-old produced two prodigious leaps at the final two obstacles of Saturday's 1million race and galloped all the way to the line up the famously punishing run-in to seal a famous victory in the hands of Leighton Aspell.

The veteran warmed up for his Merseyside mission with a fantastic effort in defeat in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham over hurdles and Newland intends to take in a few races over the smaller obstacles as part of his preparation for the world's greatest steeplechase next term.

With the media gathered at the trainer's Worcestershire base to see the latest National hero the morning after his heroics, Newland was delighted to report his stable star to be none the worse for his exertions and confirmed that he will now be given a well-deserved holiday.

"He gave 110 per cent yesterday but he's fine this morning," he said.

"He's going to go up in the handicap now and it won't be easy for him next season as there aren't a lot of races.

"We'd like to bring him back and have another go at the National, so perhaps we'll go down the hurdling route and maybe do a similar thing to this year.

"He deserves a nice summer break now."

Newland was still planning to attend the racing at Market Rasen on Sunday to saddle his three runners in person.

"We came home last night and had a nice party in the village," said the trainer. "I saw that AP [McCoy] had hired a helicopter to go racing the next day after the National and I thought I'd try the same thing - it's something I've never done before in my life."