Richard Johnson: I made a bad mistake on Lalor at Aintree
The champion jockey reviews the Aintree Grand National Festival, and says it would be nice to have one more run on Lalor, possibly over a longer trip.
Rock The Kasbah was very slowly away in the Grand National.
It might have been the atmosphere on the day, but he took a bit of time to get into his rhythm and was very cautious early on.
It took a circuit for him to find his feet. He made a bad mistake at the ditch after the Canal Turn but he jumped The Chair well.
There were 37 of us still going at halfway which is a huge number, I’ve never known so many to be going at that time.
At the dolled off fence we all grouped together. I was right by One For Arthur who ended up finishing sixth.
He jumped the next nicely, but then General Principle fell at the ditch and we landed on his jockey JJ Slevin, which brought us down.
I was worried we’d hurt JJ, but he wasn’t too bad when I spoke with him.
It was much too early to know where he would have finished, but he was starting to get his confidence. If the ground was okay next year, we could definitely look at it again.
The Becher Chase in December would be ground dependent as well. It would be good to give him another go over the fences if we could.
Tiger Roll is an unbelievable horse.
It was amazing how well he travelled - Davy Russell was just trying to hold on to him for as long as he could.
If he ran the Gold Cup in this form, he could go close.
It’s great to see a Grand National winner come back and have such a good season. He’s a very special horse so huge credit to his connections.
Aintree as a whole
I thought there was a great atmosphere at the meeting, with horse welfare at the top of the agenda. The coverage on ITV was fantastic.
You couldn’t quite believe that it poured with rain all day on the Thursday and then Saturday was almost a heatwave. We had everything over the three days.
It was great to hear that 10 million people tuned in to watch, which shows how popular the race is and how much enjoyment it gives to so many people.
My other rides during the week
Brewin’upastorm ran really well again.
We were hopeful he could get his head in front, and he beat all the ones we thought we had to beat, but the unexposed horse came out and gave us a shock.
He ran another very good race, though, and he’s finished for the season now.
I’d have thought chasing will be on his agenda next year and I’m sure he’ll improve again for another summer on his back.
Lalor seemed to get taken off his feet a little bit and he probably now wants a step up in trip. He jumped the first nicely and generally his jumping was good. He was always in top gear.
I made one quite bad mistake down the back, which knocked him back a bit, and it’s difficult to recover from that in a Grade One.
It would be nice to have one more run this season, but we’re slightly running out of time. He won the bumper two years ago at Aintree and I’m sure he’ll get two-and-a-half miles.
Keeper Hill ran a cracker in the handicap hurdle. I’m not sure if there’s another hurdle for him in the next few weeks.
He lost his way over fences last season but I’m sure he’ll have another go next season.
Sternrubin also ran really well on Thursday, he’s a fantastic old horse who rarely runs a bad race.
He definitely got the trip and, whether it’s over hurdles or fences, hopefully we can find another good race for him.
My first ride of the meeting was La Bague Au Roi and, while she ran another good race, she didn’t seem to have the same zest as she had during the rest of the season.
Aintree comes at the time of year when some horses are ready for their holidays. She’ll be back next year.
Her form has been franked so many times this season, it couldn’t have worked out any better.
Lostintranslation was very good in the novice chase on Friday.
It was obviously disappointing not to win at Aintree, but she should be a serious contender in some of the big races next year with that mares’ allowance.
I’d say the King George will be the main aim around Christmas and we’ll go from there. She’s one to really look forward to.
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