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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Katie Walsh: I never dreamt of winning the National!

Jockey Katie Walsh after her mount Thunder And Roses won the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath
Jockey Katie Walsh after her mount Thunder And Roses won the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath

Wow! What a day ... where do I start? Last Thursday evening I never dreamt that I'd now be a Grand National winning jockey and I'm still pinching myself. It's just absolutely class.

Racing has a funny way of throwing things at you.

Last Thursday, I thought I'd be going to Cork to ride Call It Magic for my husband Ross in a bumper and because of that I had to turn down the ride on previous Irish Grand National winner Lion Na Bearnai.

On Friday morning though Ross thought Sunday's bumper might be a better option for Call It Magic so I was free to ride at Fairyhouse yesterday but when I went to try and get back on Lion Na Bearnai, the ride was gone and then Sandra Hughes rang and asked me would I like to ride Thunder And Roses and I was delighted to... Call It Magic won on Sunday and Thunder And Roses, well, the rest is history isn't it?

I suppose Gigginstown had a lot of runners in the race and there was a lot of horses with light weights so I suppose that's why I got the call and I was just over the moon for Sandra, her mother Eileen and everyone at the yard after what has been a tough year for them.

I remember watching Nina win the race on Organisedconfusion and wondered what it would be like to have that feeling and I've been fortunate to have a lot of them, winning on Thousand Stars and Poker De Sivola at Cheltenham, finishing third on Seabass at Aintree, Thousand Stars again in France and Your Busy in the Kerry National.

READ MORE: Katie Walsh lands the BoyleSports Irish Grand National

I've had so many good days that you wouldn't believe it and I really appreciate every single one of them.

This is right up there of course, it's Fairyhouse, it's an Irish National and I never dreamt of winning it.

When you look at the people like Willie Mullins who haven't won it yet, you just realise how hard these races are to win and I'm very grateful to everyone that made it happen.

It's another big winner for Sandra Hughes and in extremely difficult circumstances she has done a marvellous job.

One thing you have to do is enjoy moments like this and the party was a good one in Kavanagh's Naas last night!

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