Grand National winner comes out of retirement for Aintree race

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  • Former Grand National winner Ryan Mania is coming out of retirement for a charity race at Aintree on 23 October.

    The 27-year-old retired jockey returns to the scene of his 2013 Grand National victory on Auroras Encore to raise funds for The Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF).

    “As soon as I heard about the race I wanted to be part of it. It will be my first since I retired,” said Mr Mania, who is now joint-master and huntsman of the Berwickshire.

    “I’ve stopped drinking and am going out running to get fit for the race and will be gutted if I don’t win.”

    There are six other fundraisers attempting to beat him over the 1m 5f flat race.

    H&H hunting editor Polly Portwin is hoping to better her fourth place in the 2011 race.

    “It will be a thrill to line up at Aintree — the home of the most famous race in the world — and I look forward to raising funds for such a worthwhile charity,” she said.

    Oliver Dale, huntsman and joint-master of the Ludlow Hunt, last rode in a charity race nine years ago and is another rider looking forward to the challenge.

    Making his debut in a charity race is Charles Clark, joint-master and huntsman of the Holderness Hunt in Yorkshire.

    He last raced five years ago, and has ridden round Wetherby in “a few hunter chases”.

    The other three riders are David Redvers, a bloodstock agent who is also joint-master of the Ledbury Hunt, Richard Tyacke, joint-master and huntsman of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hunt, and Molly Dingwall who is Aintree’s regional business development executive for the north west.

    She won her last charity race, the Jockey Club Challenge at Warwick in May aboard Dove Mountain, trained by Co Meath-based Gordon Elliot.

    Ms Dingwall hopes to borrow another horse from the Mr Elliot for the Aintree race.

    Ryan Mania does not yet have a horse lined up.

    “In the end it will be the best horse that wins, so it all depends on what the other riders are on, but I’m taking this seriously,” he said.

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    The riders will be collecting sponsorship for the TCAF’s charities: Casting for Recovery, Fishing 4 Schools and Falconry For Schools.

    Tickets to Aintree are £22.50 in advance or £25 on the day (children under 17 go free with a paying adult). Countryside Alliance lunch tickets, which include entry, race card, champagne reception and lunch cost £60.

    For general tickets contact Aintree on www.aintreethejockeyclub.co.uk/events-tickets/whats-on or for lunch tickets ring 0207 8409207.

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