Scottish jockey Ryan Mania is preparing for a return to the Grand National ten years after his victory on the famous course.
The 33-year-old, from Galashiels in the Borders, will be riding Hill Sixteen at the flagship Aintree race on Saturday.
It comes a decade after he claimed an unlikely win there on 66/1 shot Aurora’s Encore in 2013.
He was, at 23, one of the youngest ever jockeys and first Scot in 117 years to win the race and it came just a year after he was narrowly beaten in the Scottish National on the same horse.
But a bad injury the day after his victory in the National left him with a fractured vertebra at the base of his neck.
He retired from horse racing in 2014 saying he “no longer got a kick out of winning” and citing issues in maintaining his riding weight as another main reason.
But five years later he was back on the saddle saying he had rediscovered his appreciation of the sport and citing improvements in sports nutrition to help him manage his weight more effectively.
On Saturday he will be riding Hill Sixteen for his father-in-law Sandy Thomson at the 5.15pm steeplechase in the hope he can roll back the years and produce another famous win.
Speaking to the Southern Reporter about his return to Aintree he said: “There is always a buzz and great atmosphere there, and I love going back.
“Whether it’s just for a normal meeting or the big meeting, it’s always a good place to go.”
The 2023 Grand National will begin at 5.15pm at Aintree on Saturday.
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